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Wealth Gap Causes Class Resentment

Hating the Game & The Players Involved

– via AOL Money & Finance –
According to a recent poll published by the Pew Research Center, nearly two-thirds of Americans believe that the wealth gap is the greatest cause of tension in America.
According to the poll, which was released Wednesday, 66% of Americans believe that there is a “strong” or “very strong” conflict between the rich and the poor. These numbers are particularly noteworthy when one considers that in July 2009 — less than three years ago — only 47% of respondents expressed those opinions. What’s more, the number of respondents who stated that there was a “very strong” conflict has more than doubled, and is currently at the highest level since Pew began asking the question in 1987.
CLASS AWARENESS
According to Wednesday’s poll, the biggest jump in class awareness has occurred among white respondents: While 74% of black and 61% of Hispanic respondents said they believed that there is a serious class conflict in America, the increase in people holding that opinion since 2009 among both those groups was less than 13%. By comparison, the number of white respondents who believe that there is a strong or very strong conflict between the rich and the poor has shot up from 43% to 65% — an increase of more than 50%
PERCEPTION
According to the survey, Democrats are most likely to perceive class tension in America, but respondents across the political spectrum overwhelmingly agreed that there is conflict between the rich and the poor. In 2009, only 38% of Republicans said they thought there was a strong conflict between classes. Today, 55% do. Among independent voters, the numbers were even more stark: in the last three years, the percent of people who perceive a serious class conflict has jumped from 45% to 68%.
There is evidence to suggest that Democrats aren’t the only people who are concerned about wealth distribution in America. In addition to the growing number of worried Republicans that the Pew poll identified, an earlier poll by Bloomberg and The Washington Post found that 53% of Republicans believe that taxes should be increased on households making more than $250,000 per year.

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