While liberals and the poor favored slightly more equal distributions than conservatives and the wealthy, a large majority of every group we surveyed — from the poorest to the richest, from the most conservative to the most liberal — agreed that the current level of wealth inequality was too high and wanted a more equitable distribution of wealth. In fact, Americans reported wanting to live in a country that looks more like Sweden than the United States.
Despite these reservations, our results suggest that policies that increase inequality — those that favor the wealthy, say, or that place a greater burden on the poor — are unlikely to reflect the desires of Americans from across the political and economic spectrum. Rather, they seem to favor policies that involve taking from the rich and giving to the poor.
The Post-Gazette featured an article this morning about a topic that has been bugging me for a while. They not only made the all-to-common (and I believe false) argument, they took it a step farther. The issue at hand, the distribution of wealth in the United States. I have a couple quotes up there, but reading the article is worthwhile.
The essential problem with this article is that the main argument they use to support a “redistribution” of wealth is that most of the people in the United States seem to want it. In the early 1800s when most of the United States wanted slavery, did that make it right? Would a poll in 2000 that said most Americans deserve to own their own house have justified the policies that resulted in the mortgage crisis? Public opinion is certainly relevant, but it should not be the only thing that our country’s leaders consider.
Looking past their short-sighted opinion, why don’t I think a redistribution of wealth would be a good idea in general?
Now don’t get me wrong, I would PREFER a more equal distribution of wealth. However, I believe that a distribution of wealth is a RESULT of an entire culture. You can’t change that one aspect without changing the whole culture any more then you could start forcing the entire country to wear a uniform (it is after-all unfair that some people have more style then others) without changing our culture. That said, I’m in favor of two policies that should bring a smile to those of you offended by my post so far.
I think making these two adjustments would go a long ways to pointing us towards a more equal wealth distribution without shoving us there so hard that it fundamentally changes our culture.