Americans' sentiment toward the economy soured overall in the second quarter, but the wealthy were much more optimistic, according to the CNBC All-America Economic Survey.
Only 24 percent of respondents view the economy as excellent or good, down from 27 percent in the first quarter. In terms of their outlook on the economy for the next year, again just 24 percent of respondents think the economy will get better, compared to 28 percent in the first quarter.
But among those with annual income of at least $100,000 or with at least $50,000 in the stock market, 45 percent see the economy as excellent or good, up from 33 percent in the first quarter.
The poll also showed concern about income inequality, according to CNBC
, although it didn't cite specific numbers.
The survey "demonstrates that those at the top are doing great—everyone else is stagnating or faltering," Jay Campbell, who worked on the bipartisan poll with Democratic-leaning Hart Research Associates, told CNBC. "Whichever party shows it can remedy this situation is the party that will "win the economy."
Meanwhile, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, says the technology revolution
will exacerbate our country's unequal distribution of income over the next decade.
"Income and wealth will become even more concentrated than they are today," the University of California, Berkeley public policy professor writes on The Huffington Post. "Those who create or invest in blockbuster ideas will earn unprecedented sums and returns. The corollary is they will have enormous political power."
But it won't be so hot for the rest of us, Reich says. "Most people will not share in the monetary gains, and their political power will disappear. The middle class's share of the total economic pie will continue to shrink."
But there is hope, Reich says.
"The current trend is not preordained to last .... We can--indeed, I believe we must--ignite a political movement to reorganize the economy for the benefit of the many, rather than for the lavish lifestyles of a precious few."
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