A recent poll by the University of Phoenix and the National Journal shows that Hispanics and blacks are more optimistic than whites about the future. Ester Aguilera, president of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, offered a possible explanation during a panel discussion at the Newseum this morning to mark the release of the poll.
Blacks and Hispanics haven't, as a group, yet achieved the success that whites have, Aguilera said. In other words, they are optimistic about the future because there's room for them to move up the economic food chain. College-educated whites, by contrast, have already achieved substantial successes and may not see a clear path for further upward mobility.
The future of America is, to some extent, tied to that optimism. As the Baby Boomers exit the labor force, young Hispanics are coming in. Between 2010 and 2020, Hispanics will account for 74 percent of the growth in the labor force, said Paul Taylor, director of the Pew Hispanic Center.
Boomers need to invest in educating the young to ensure there is a strong economic base to support Medicare and Social Security, said Taylor.
"We all need each other," he said.