Okay But Who Is to Blame for All This Inequality?
Inequality is the root of social evil.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 28, 2014
According to Pew Research, most Americans (65%) agree that the gap between the poor and the rich has grown in the past decade, but they do not agree on why.
Among people who said the gap between the rich and everyone else has grown, we asked an “open-ended question” — what, in their own words, the main reason was. About a fifth (20%) said tax loopholes (or, more generally, tax laws skewed to favor the rich) were the main reason. Ten percent pinned the blame on Congress or government policies more broadly; about as many (9%) cited the lackluster job market, while 6% named corporations or business executives.
But well over half of the people who saw a widening gap cited a host of other reasons, among them (in no particular order): Obama and Democrats, Bush and Republicans, the education system, the capitalist system, the stock market, banks, lobbyists, the strong/weak work ethic of the rich/poor, too much public assistance, not enough public assistance, over-regulation, under-regulation, the rich having more power and opportunity, the rich not spending enough, and simply “a lot of greedy people out there.”
Beautiful. Perhaps not surprisingly, results were pretty consistent with party boundaries, with Republicans blaming Congress and Democrats blaming lenient tax laws.
About one-in-ten (9%) Republicans and GOP-leaning independents cited poor people’s work ethic and government assistance programs, compared with less than 1% of Democrats who said that.