Tags: Wealthy | poor | easy | pitied

Pew Study: 54 Percent of Most Wealthy Believe 'Poor People Have it Easy'

By    |   Sunday, 11 January 2015 10:11 PM

A majority of the nation's most wealthy people don't think the poor need to be pitied, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center.

Indeed, the study shows that 54 percent of the wealthiest maintain that "poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return."

In contrast, only 36 percent of the wealthy think that "poor people have hard lives because government benefits don't go far enough to help them live decently."

Not surprisingly, among the least wealthy people, only 29 percent subscribe to the former view, while 67 percent opt for the latter.

The poor and the rich are in closer accord on the topic of immigration.

Among the most wealthy, 65 percent say immigrants "strengthen our country because of their hard work and talent," while 36 percent says immigrants are "a burden on our country, because they take our jobs." Among the least wealthy, the totals are 51 percent and 44 percent.

Meanwhile, Harvard economist Jeff Frankel says we shouldn't tear rich people down to build poor people up.

"Pursuing the anti-oligarchy argument is not the best way to reduce inequality," he wrote on Project Syndicate last year.

"Rather, we should work from the premise that poverty in particular, and inequality in general, is simply undesirable."

Most Americans care about the issue of income inequality, Frankel asserts. "Even among the top 1 percent, approximately two-thirds believe that income differences are too large and support progressive taxation," he says.

Americans want to help the poor, "provided that it can be accomplished without undermining economic efficiency through excessive government intervention or distortion of incentives," Frankel writes.

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A majority of the nation's most wealthy people don't think the poor need to be pitied, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center.
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2015-11-11
Sunday, 11 January 2015 10:11 PM
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