The Undeserving Rich: American Beliefs about Inequality, Opportunity, and Redistribution
It is widely assumed that Americans care little about income inequality, believe opportunities abound, admire the rich, and dislike redistributive policies. Leslie McCall contends that such assumptions are based on both incomplete survey data and economic conditions of the past and not present. In fact, Americans have desired less inequality for decades, and McCall's book explains why. Americans become most concerned about inequality in times of inequitable growth, when they view the rich as prospering while opportunities for good jobs, fair pay, and high quality education are restricted for everyone else. As a result, they favor policies to expand opportunity and redistribute earnings in the workplace, reducing inequality in the market rather than redistributing income after the fact with tax and spending policies. This book resolves the paradox of how Americans can express little enthusiasm for welfare state policies and still yearn for a more equitable society and forwards a new model of preferences about income inequality rooted in labor market opportunities rather than welfare state policies.
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ambivalence American beliefs American dream analysis Bartels beliefs about income beliefs about inequality beliefs regarding income beneﬁts the rich business cycle Chapter concerns about income concerns about inequality deﬁned deﬁnition discussed disparities distribution earnings economic inequality egalitarian equal opportunity equality of opportunity equality of outcomes equitable growth executives ﬁnancial ﬁnd ﬁndings ﬁrst getting ahead groups ideology income differences increase International Social Survey issue Kluegal and Smith levels of inequality logistic regression media coverage meritocracy middle class National Election Studies Newsweek nomic opposition to inequality outcomes pay inequality percent policy preferences political progressive taxation prosperity public opinion questions about beliefs reﬂect regarding income inequality regression responses rising income inequality rising inequality shifts signiﬁcant signiﬁcantly social class social policy Social Survey Program speciﬁc spending strong agreement subject terms three questions tion trend tropes unemployment unequal upward mobility views wage welfare Zaller