… it’s what we do ‘know’ that isn’t true. Thanks to commentor Stuck in the Funhouse for the Raw Story link, “Most Americans want wealth distribution similar to Sweden“:
… For decades, polls have shown that a plurality of Americans — around 40 percent — consider themselves conservative, while only around 20 percent self-identify as liberals. But a new study from two noted economists casts doubt on what values lie beneath those political labels.
According to research (PDF) carried out by Michael I. Norton of Harvard Business School and Dan Ariely of Duke University, and flagged by Paul Kedrosky at the Infectious Greed blog, 92 percent of Americans would choose to live in a society with far less income disparity than the US, choosing Sweden’s model over that of the US.
What’s more, the study’s authors say that this applies to people of all income levels and all political leanings: The poor and the rich, Democrats and Republicans are all equally likely to choose the Swedish model.
“What is most striking” about the results, argue the authors, is that they show “more consensus than disagreement among … different demographic groups. All groups – even the wealthiest respondents – desired a more equal distribution of wealth than what they estimated the current United States level to be, while all groups also desired some inequality – even the poorest respondents.”
By all means, check out the whole study at the link. It’s pretty clear that keeping Heartland Americans(tm) ignorant of the increase in income disparity over the past 30 years has worked very nicely for the people at the top of the economic pyramid, so how do we combat this… short of pitchforks and torches?