What Americans Don't Know About Wealth Distribution

Centerist Cynic

www.whatweshouldknowblog.com

Recently an online panel was conducted of 5,000 Americans to find out how their perceptions of wealth distribution in the US compared to the actual distribution of wealth and what the survey respondents stated they would like the distribution of wealth to be.

The chart below shows how wrong these survey respondents were about the current distribution of wealth.   Just as important, it shows what the survey respondents think the distriubiton of wealth should be.  The distribution of wealth that the survey respondents would like to see was to a large degree consistent across party lines, age groups and other demographics. 

Note:  The bottom 20% of earners does not show on the Actual Distribution of Wealth Bar because it is too small a percentage to show.  This chart is from a Mother Jones article that referenced the study.

All of this leaves me with the question - if Americans are in broad agreement with what they think wealth distribution should be, is it possible for Democrats, Republicans and Independents to come to agreement on how the desired wealth distribution can be achieved?

Here's a link to the entire study.  http://www.people.hbs.edu/mnorton/norton%20ariely%20in%20press.pdf

 

This was first posted on my blog www.whatweshouldknowblog.com

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