The American people are beginning to realize that the super rich are getting richer, and are doing so at their expense. Two-thirds of Americans now believe there are conflicts between the rich and poor, an issue that surfaced clearly in the Republican primary debates. This is an issue that will carry over into the general election. The findings, reported in a recent Pew Research Center nationwide survey, showed that 66% of Americans believe there are “very strong” or “strong” conflicts between the rich and the poor. That figure is an increase of 19% from 2009. Those holding that belief now include majorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independents, as well as whites, blacks and Hispanics.
Newt Gingrich and other GOP challengers to Mitt Romney have been highly successful in their attacks for the former governor’s work at Bain Capital, a private equity firm. They have charged that Romney and Bain are responsible for massive layoffs at companies acquired by Bain. Interestingly, these attacks are coming from Republicans, not Democrats. It’s obvious that the attacks on Romney have paid off.
According to Pew Research, the changes in attitude “over a relatively short period of time may reflect the income and wealth inequality message conveyed by Occupy Wall Street protesters across the country in late 2011 that led to an increase in media attention to the topic.” Pew says “the changes also may reflect a growing public awareness of underlying shifts in the distribution of wealth in American society.” According to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data, the proportion of overall wealth “held by the top 10% of the population increased from 49% in 2005 to 56% in 2009.”
The Pew survey found that among Republicans, 55% believed there were conflicts between the rich and poor, an increase of 17% from 2009. Democrats were at 73%, an increase of 18%, while Independents were at 68%, a jump of 23%. Whites believing there are conflicts between rich and poor increased by 22% to 65% since 2009, while 74% of blacks held that view and 61% of Hispanics. The increase among blacks and Hispanics was 8 and 6 points, respectively.
The obvious message from all of the recent polling is that most Americans are greatly concerned over the state of our nation’s economy. But the overwhelming majority believe only a very small group of individuals at the top of the economic ladder are doing well, with the rest of Americans doing not so well. A lesson our political leaders should get from all of this is that the demise of the middle class is perhaps the most serious issue facing this country. The attacks on the middle class must stop and those who are doing the attacking must be controlled. If we fail in this ongoing battle, our country will be the loser.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.