Poll: Americans See Economic Divide
June 21, 2001 2:37 PM   Subscribe

Poll: Americans See Economic Divide Hey, maybe we're finally starting to catch on!
posted by mapalm (13 comments total)
Question authority.
posted by UncleFes at 3:25 PM on June 21, 2001

Just think how pissed they'll be when even the $3/5/600 tax rebate goes primarily to the upper-class and wealthy as well... On a semi-related note, the latest polls (Polls! Ugh- Ptooie!) indicate that over this same six months, public approval of Bush has plummeted, principally because they don't think he's in tune with the needs and desires of many Americans.

Yep, one post in and already a Bush bash- an unbeatable record!
posted by hincandenza at 3:26 PM on June 21, 2001

Ah, gee whiz, UncleFes- ya blew my shot at being the first post! Must... learn... to... type... faster!
posted by hincandenza at 3:27 PM on June 21, 2001

The basic message of the article seems to be that poor people are still poor, and that poor people can't afford expensive things. Being somewhat less than well-off myself, I can certainly relate, but it isn't much of a revelation.
posted by RylandDotNet at 3:43 PM on June 21, 2001

Worth noting that the pollsters are at least up-front about the sampling criteria and the questions asked -- and that the Web puts these raw data in the public domain, which gives us the chance to question authority in a way that wouldn't have been possible ten years ago.
In addition to sampling error, one should bear in mind that question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of opinion polls.
Of course, none of this will make it to the nightly news.
posted by holgate at 3:44 PM on June 21, 2001

Oh, but this is interesting:
Q.8F2 Do you happen to know which political party has a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives?

Republican: 31%
Democratic: 34%
Don't Know/Refused: 35%
There are other questions that ask about factual things, rather than opinions, such as "Is the Federal Govt. spending more or less than it takes in?" where a large plurality pick the wrong alternative. Which, if anything, goes to show that mainstream media are doing a bad job (or, if you're a follower of Chomsky, a highly effective job) when it comes to informing the public.
posted by holgate at 3:51 PM on June 21, 2001

Ryland: Well, my point is that while the whiz-bang media reported on the upside of the boom (which they may have benefited from more so than others) as if every American was a stock-option holding dot-com millionaire, this doesn't mean people are necessarily blind to what they see in their own lives. It sort of relates to this other ongoing thread about how much people are truly influenced by media reporting...

Holgate: Right on- polls can be used to promote almost any agenda, but as UncleFes pointed out some critical questions need to be asked about any poll, and the web has enabled to actually see the questions asked and how they are scored. I recall the bizarreness of the Gallup polls during the pre-election days and how increasingly I and many others began to question just how the heck they were getting such wildly fluctuating and inconsistent numbers...
posted by hincandenza at 3:54 PM on June 21, 2001

hincandenza: Reason why Gallup's polls were so bizarre before the elections? One, they released one-day results of three-day polls. Two, they were conducting the polls for CNN and USA Today. What do the latter media organizations want? Some good numbers to use. Gallup was and is much more reliable with the three-day numbers, and non-affiliated polling. There was a lot of debate, however, as to whether the one-day polls were an accurate reflection of day-to-day swings. Somewhat, I think, but not much, given small sample sizes. Polling, in any case, came to be like political junkie porn during the 2000 election.
posted by raysmj at 4:18 PM on June 21, 2001

There is one fact that things like this always skip over.

Just because there is a larger gap between poor and rich.. doesn't mean that the poor in 30 years will be the same as the poor now, ditto for the rich. Infact, people jump between these two groups all the time.

An absolute majority of the people in the bottom 20 percent in income in 1975 were also in the top 20 percent at some point over the next 17 years.

It's funny how socialists can twist statistics round to make it look as if capitalism is bad. No folks.. it's good that the rich are getting richer. Many of today's poor will be within the top 20% within 20 years!
posted by wackybrit at 1:46 PM on June 22, 2001

ok, wackybit...whatever you say..."many of today's poor will be within the top 20% within 20 years!"

"Many"? What does that mean? The fact remains that 1% of Americans control over 40% of the wealth, and by extension, power of this country. A few sops to the poor doesn't change that.
posted by mapalm at 4:47 PM on June 22, 2001

or sops to the so-called "middle class."

yea, keep slaving away, get the bucks to buy that new dvd player, clasify yourself as "middle class," and keep telling yourself: "I love this country, I love this country," as you're fucked in the ass.
posted by mapalm at 4:49 PM on June 22, 2001

"Many"? What does that mean?

I think it means exactly what he said in the post you're replying to. It was in boldface, so it should be easy to find.
posted by kindall at 5:10 PM on June 22, 2001

Mapalm said: The fact remains that 1% of Americans control over 40% of the wealth, and by extension, power of this country.

People have chosen to live within a democracy, a monarchy or under a dictator. If you want every person on the planet to have equal shares of everything, embrace communism.

If, however, you want a world where your ability to collect money paves your future, choose capitalism.

I think I know which way provides the most flexibility for those willing to work harder (or smarter) than others.
posted by wackybrit at 7:08 PM on June 22, 2001

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