Tags: poll | Economy | Richer | Americans

WSJ-NBC Poll: Economy Favors Richer Americans

Wednesday, 09 Nov 2011 08:21 AM

The economy is calibrated in a manner to act in the interests of the rich more than anyone else, a poll finds.

More than three-quarters of Americans say the economy "favors a very small proportion of the rich over the rest of the country," a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows.

Liberals beware, though, as the polls finds the most Americans also harbor conservative views: 53 percent of adults believe – 33 percent strongly — that the national debt and the size of government must be cut, regulations on business should be pared back, and taxes should not be raised on anyone, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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The poll also finds that 76 percent of those surveyed strongly or mildly agree with the statement: "The current economic structure of the country is out of balance and favors a very small proportion of the rich over the rest of the country. America needs to reduce the power of major banks and corporations and demand greater accountability and transparency. The government should not provide financial aid to corporations and should not provide tax breaks to the rich."

Separately, Census Bureau data finds that 49.1 million Americans, or 16 percent of the total, live in poverty.

More sophisticated methodology used during the study reveals that more Americans are living below the poverty line than previously thought.

"The new measure is going to give us a better sense of the extent of poverty, and who's poor, and the effect of government programs," Jane Waldfogel, an expert on poverty at the Columbia University School of Social Work, tells Yahoo News.

"So in all those respects, it's vastly superior."

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