Class War?: What Americans Really Think about Economic by Benjamin I.

By Benjamin I.

Fresh battles in Washington over find out how to repair America’s monetary mess ups reinforced the common effect that financial matters sharply divide normal voters. certainly, many commentators break up american citizens into opposing teams: uncompromising supporters of unfettered unfastened markets and advocates for presidency recommendations to financial difficulties. yet such dichotomies, Benjamin web page and Lawrence Jacobs contend, ring fake. at school battle? they current compelling proof that the majority american citizens desire loose firm and functional govt courses to distribute wealth extra equitably.At each source of revenue point and in either significant political events, majorities include conservative egalitarianism—a philosophy that prizes individualism and self-reliance in addition to public intervention to aid americans pursue those beliefs on a degree enjoying box. Drawing on thousands of opinion reports spanning greater than seventy years, together with a brand new complete survey, web page and Jacobs demonstrate that this worldview interprets to huge aid for rules geared toward narrowing the distance among wealthy and negative and growing actual chance for all. They locate, for instance, that throughout financial, geographical, and ideological traces, such a lot americans aid better minimal wages, stronger public schooling, wider entry to common medical insurance assurance, and using tax cash to fund those programs.In this wonderful and heartening evaluation, web page and Jacobs supply our new management with a well-liked mandate to wrestle the industrial inequity that plagues our kingdom. (20090422)

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Sample text

Large majorities of Americans from both major political parties and from across the income spectrum are alarmed about the high and increasing levels of inequality and want less inequality of incomes and wealth. Chapter 2 will show that ordinary Americans make generally accurate (if sometimes underestimated) assessments of inequalities in wealth and income. And they do not like what they see. About three-quarters of all Americans, including majorities of Republicans and the affluent, believe that the differences in income in America are too large.

We take up that challenge in the conclusion. 24 2 Caring about Economic Inequality The idea that Americans are aware of economic inequality and are quite concerned about it flies in the face of conventional views of America. To some, the very suggestion that Americans care about inequality borders on fantasy or, worse, invites dangerous demagogic appeals. Despite such denials and warnings, solid evidence from surveys unmistakably demonstrates the truth: Americans know about, and worry about, the large and widening gap between the rich and everyone else.

Aversion to taxes? Even if Americans were concerned about inequality and were open to government responses, many observers accept as settled fact that the public will not pay for such programs with tax dollars. Americans are said to be extremely tax averse, unwilling to pay for public programs—even very appealing ones. If this is true, it is hard to escape the conclusion that government can do little about inequality because citizens are not willing to pay the bill. The conundrum of how to pay for government remedies has haunted Washington for many years.

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