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Americans Believe Our Economic System Favors the Wealthy

Conservatives treat any suggestion that our current economic system unfairly favors the wealthy as tantamount to calling for socialism. In doing so they should realize they’re attacking the opinions of most Americans who do, in fact, believe the system unfairly favors the wealthy. In a December poll, the Pew Research Center found that 61 percent of Americans believe this is the case compared to just 36 percent who disagree.

Figure 1

And in a just-released poll, ABC News/The Washington Post found that 55 percent of Americans believe unfairness in the economic system that favors the wealthy is the bigger problem in the country, compared to 35 percent who believe overregulation of the free market that interferes with growth and prosperity is the bigger problem.

Figure 2

Conservatives should be careful who they’re accusing of being socialists. Most Americans do believe the economic system is unfair and the wealthy are the benefactors of that unfairness. So far, all the bluster on conservatives’ part is doing little to change that view.

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.