Cutting through the bullshit.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Red states

A poll conducted between 2 and 5 April reveals that 66% of American adults ‘feel that the money and wealth in this country should be more evenly distributed among a larger percentage of the people’! What surprised me most about this result was that it’s not a fluke or a new development. In the seven polls where Gallup has asked this question since 1984, the proportion agreeing with the statement has only dropped below 60% once, in September 2000. Thirty-seven percent actually said they believed there were too many rich people, the highest percentage since they started asking the question in 1990.

But wait, there’s more! Forty-nine percent said ‘our government should…redistribute wealth by heavy taxes on the rich’ [my emphasis], more than the 47% who disagreed and much more than the 35% answering the same question in a different poll in March 1939, in the wake of the Depression. Note that nearly half of American adults are not just saying the rich should be taxed heavily, but also that the taxes should explicitly be for the purposes of redistribution, not, for example, to slaughter Iraqis. The proportion agreeing was lowest (35%) among those with annual incomes of $75,000 or more, and highest (64%) among those with incomes under $20,000.

Only 21% believed ‘upper income people’ were paying their fair share of tax, and 66% didn't, a proportion that has declined slightly over the last two years and is well below the peak of 77% in 1993 and 1994. Seventy-one percent thought corporations were paying too little, rising to 73% among those with incomes under $75,000. And they say there’s no such thing as class!


  1. Yep, that's what we call democracy.

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