Over the next year, Al Jazeera America will focus on the American middle class—and on rebuilding the dream that, for so many Americans, feels out of reach.

"Real Money with Ali Velshi" is spearheading the network’s coverage and will start by exploring the challenges that have faced the middle class in the last 60 years. We’ll look at the generation that left to fight in World War II, returning to a United States full of seemingly infinite possibilities. Secure jobs and good wages enabled Americans to buy homes, provide for their children and live the American dream.

But in the last 30 years, that dream has started to crumble. Manufacturing jobs declined due to outsourcing and automation. Prices rose, salaries fell and student loans shackled an entire generation with debt. Today, the term “middle class” is often preceded by the words “shrinking,” “squeezed” or “burdened.”

This year, our mission is to explore the American middle class, its challenges and the possible real-life solutions to its most pressing struggles, including college debt and saving for retirement.

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