Are Americans right to be pessimistic about the prospects of their children being better off economically than they are? Gary Becker examines the grounds for the growing pessimism. "The rate of growth in per capita income is by far the most important single variable in determining whether children will be better off than their parents," he writes. The decline in parental optimism is mainly related to a "highly regrettable" decline in expectations about whether the US will continue to grow at similar rates as in the past. The best way to restore optimism is to promote faster economic growth but this will require an "important redirection of various public priorities."