CAP en Español
Small CAP Banner

Public Opinion Snapshot: Americans Favor Action on Inequality

    PRINT:
  • print icon
  • SHARE:
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Share on Google+
  • Email icon

Occupy Wall Street has put inequality back in the national conversation. Reflecting this change, pollsters have started to ask more questions about this issue. And they are finding—surprise!—the public doesn’t like current levels of inequality and wants action to correct the situation.

In the most recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 76 percent agreed and 60 percent strongly agreed that “The current economic structure of the country is out of balance and favors a very small proportion of the rich over the rest of the country. America needs to reduce the power of major banks and corporations and demand greater accountability and transparency. The government should not provide financial aid to corporations and should not provide tax breaks to the rich.”

That’s impressively high support for such a strong statement.

do you agree with the idea that the current economic structure of the country is out of balance?

Along the same lines, in a new poll from the Public Religion Research Institute, 60 percent agreed that “our society would be better off if the distribution of wealth was more equal,” compared to just 39 percent who disagreed. And, by 63 percent to 33 percent, respondents agreed that “we need to dramatically reduce inequalities between rich and poor, whites and people of color and men and women.”

do you agree that our society would be better off if the distribution of wealth was more equal?

Conservatives are frantically trying to convince the public that this whole inequality thing is overblown. These data suggest their arguments aren’t getting much traction.

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis, go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website. 

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education, poverty)
202.478.6331 or apreiss@americanprogress.org

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, health care, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, Legal Progress, Half in Ten Education Fund)
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or rrosen@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Public Opinion Snapshot

For more from the same column, click here