I missed this when the NY Times published it last week but this piece makes some interesting points about conservatives, progressives, and how they compare to other cultures around the world on the subject of income inequality. The headline that appeared in the published version of the paper was “Think Only Liberals Will Share the Wealth? A Survey May Surprise You.” So right off the bat, this is presented as a story about conservatives for a liberal audience. But the really surprising outcome of the survey is that American conservatives and liberals come pretty close to agreeing, at least when it comes to distributing money in a thought experiment.
This research project was carried out be economists at the Norwegian School of Economics who surveyed thousands of people around the world and asked them about income inequality and whether the government had a role in evening things out. Here’s how Americans responded. Note this is broken into two camps, those who support President Trump (middle column) and those who oppose him (right column).
There’s a lot to take in here but the main thing is that pro-Trump Americans are twice as likely to say the rich are willing to delay gratification and take risks as anti-Trump Americans. Pro-Trump Americans are also far more likely to say the rich work harder while only 8 percent of anti-Trump Americans thought this was a factor in income inequality. By contrast, twice as many anti-Trump Americans saw selfishness as an explanation for inequality.