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Most Americans say US wealth distribution is unfair

5 May 2015 22:29


The majority of Americans continue to believe wealth distribution in the United States is unfair and should be more evenly distributed through imposing more taxes on the rich, according to a new survey.

A Gallup poll released on Monday found that 63 percent of Americans say that money and wealth should be more evenly distributed, almost the same as the 60 percent who said this in 1984, when Gallup first asked this question.

“Americans’ agreement that money and wealth need to be more evenly distributed reached a high point of 68 percent in April 2008, in the last year of the George W. Bush administration, and just before the full effects of the Great Recession began to take hold,” Gallup said.

Surveys conducted over the past 30 years have consistently shown that about six in 10 Americans fundamentally believe that the way income and wealth are distributed in the US is unfair.

Those with annual household incomes of at least $75,000 are considerably less likely than those with incomes below $30,000 to agree that wealth should be more evenly distributed, the poll found.

Nearly half of Americans, or 46 percent, believe the distribution of wealth and income is not fair and say he government should impose heavy taxes on the rich as a way of redistributing wealth more evenly.

One in four are free-market advocates who believe the distribution of wealth and income is fair and don’t endorse heavy taxes on the rich. Another 16 percent say the income and wealth distribution is not fair, but don’t support heavy taxes as a remedy.

Economic inequality has been a major focus for President Barack Obama, arguing that the dream of upward economic mobility is breaking down and the growing income gap is a “defining challenge of our time.”

According to an analysis released last year by Standard & Poor’s (S&P), the US income gap has been worsening and now is approaching an “extreme” threshold that threatens to harm long-term economic growth.

America’s growing income inequality, which has become a hot button topic in recent years, has reached “spectacular” heights, according to French economist Thomas Piketty.

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