Sentences to ponder

Support for redistribution, surprisingly enough, has plummeted during the recession. For years, the General Social Survey has asked individuals whether “government should reduce income differences between the rich and the poor.” Agreement with this statement dropped dramatically between 2008 and 2010, the two most recent years of data available.  Other surveys have shown similar results.

…the change is not driven by wealthy white Republicans reacting against President Obama’s agenda: the drop is if anything slightly larger among minorities, and Americans who self-identify as having below average income show the same decrease in support for redistribution as wealthier Americans.

Here is more.  The researchers, Ilyana Kuziemko and Michael I. Norton, attribute this to “last place aversion,” namely the desire to always have someone below you in the income pecking order:

Which group was the most opposed [to an increase in the minimum wage]? Those making just above the minimum wage, between $7.26 and $8.25.

For the pointer I thank The Browser.


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