August 18, 2008

Rich Get Richer

69%

By a margin of 69-28, Americans agree that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

By a margin of 69-28, Americans agree that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. This is similar to levels recorded on this question in surveys taken since 1994, although lower than those recorded in the earlier 1990s. Women are more likely than men to agree with this, 72% to 63%. There are few differences by income, but a higher share of middle class Americans with less than a high school education believe this (81%) than do those who have more educational attainment. The opinion of the middle class sits between those of the upper and lower classes. Among lower class Americans, 80% believe the rich get richer but a smaller majority of upper class Americans (56%) agree. Despite their uncertainty about how the rich get rich, most middle class Americans believe that people in general control their own destiny: Only 35% agree with the notion that success in life is pretty much determined by forces outside their control. More than six-in-ten (62%) disagree. Read More