Sunday, January 26, 2014

Americans are deeply divided
over what causes poverty in the first place

The belief that people are poor more through their own lack of effort than their circumstances is widely held by large segments of the population, including 51% of Republicans, and 46% of people in the highest income group (which is not that high). If you fall into this category, then it clearly doesn't make sense for society to try to solve a problem that it had little hand in creating.

The Pew Research Center has a new survey which confirms what you may already suspect: Democrats are much more likely than Republicans to believe the government should try hard to reduce poverty and inequality.

Part of this gap is explained by basic differences of belief in what the government can do (never mind what it should do). If you don't believe Washington is very effective at a lot of what it tries to accomplish, then you're not likely to think it can pull many impoverished families into the middle class, or lift up the entire bottom end of the income spectrum.

Read The Atlantic report here.


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