Monday, June 22, 2015

Republicans and Democrats Agree!

In a fascinating study, 5,522 folks were asked what an ideal distribution of wealth might look like, one which they deemed to be fair and just.  They were also asked to estimate today's distribution of wealth in the U.S., i.e., how much does each 20% have.

Their results are given (right) along with the actual distribution.
It's called the GAP between the rich and all the rest; economic inequality. The participants knew about the spread but not the extent.  Did you?  That the bottom 40% of Americans possess about 0.3% of the country's wealth?

The participants were asked to choose where they'd prefer to live if given the choice between these two hypothetical societies, A and B.

Of the study participants, 92% chose society B.  Interestingly, it matches their suggested ideal distribution rather nicely.  It's a common desire among all the participants and perhaps the rest of us as well.

Society A represents the U.S. as it was in 2012.  Society B is fictional but approximates Sweden's distribution of wealth.

Surprisingly, 93.5% of Democrats and 90.2% of Republicans prefer and approve of the more equal distribution.

Finally, they agree on something of substance.  Now all they need is to admit it and figure out how to make it happen.  When President Obama raised the issue in 2013, both parties in Congress shut him down.  Understandable, perhaps; they and their friends are all top 2 percent wealthy and maybe haven't really seen the rest of the country.  Trump's plan will expand the GAP even more.  Of course.

You can see the source published article here for all the scholarly details.
Michael I. Norton, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA; and Dan Ariely, Department of Psychology, Duke University, Durham, NC

Wait, wait; 93% of Democrats and 90% of Republicans would rather live in Sweden?  Okay, that's bizarre.