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Country Less Divided Into ‘Haves’ and ‘Have Nots’

A new survey by the Gallup organization, published Thursday, says “fewer Americans see (the) U.S. divided into “haves” and “have nots” while “(t)he majority would put themselves in the "haves" category if they had to choose.” In the report, Lymari Morales writes:

“Americans are now less likely to see U.S. society as divided into the "haves" and "have nots" than they were in 2008, returning to their views prior to that point. A clear majority, 58%, say they do not think of America in this way, after Americans were divided 49% to 49% in the summer of 2008.

“The shift, documented by a Gallup poll conducted Nov. 28-Dec. 1, is noteworthy in that it came after 3 ½ years of economic turmoil in which more Americans have become unemployed and more have become negative about their personal finances. The current poll was also conducted as the Occupy Wall Street movement continues to focus on the disparities between the wealthiest 1% of Americans and everyone else.”

Here is the Gallup chart:

In an essay published by the American Spectator, Ross Kaminsky writes about this Gallup poll, and suggests that “class warfare is becoming a big loser for the left.” He adds:

“To be clear, while the poll shows that "Americans' views of their own position as 'haves' or 'have nots' have been remarkably stable," the percentage of Americans who believe that the nation is divided along those lines has plunged since the last similar poll, done just prior to President Obama's election in 2008.

"[ . . . ]

“As if to reemphasize the point, another Gallup poll released Friday shows that "More Americans say it is important that the federal government enact policies that grow the economy and increase equality of opportunity than say the same about reducing the income and wealth gap between the rich and the poor." Only 46 percent of poll respondents thought that government efforts to reduce income or wealth gaps between rich and poor were "extremely important" or "very important." However, when it comes to increasing equality of opportunity, the number is 70 percent, and for "grow and expand the economy" the number jumps to 82 percent. Somewhere Thomas Jefferson is smiling; Karl Marx and Saul Alinsky not so much.”

Things may not be as good as they seem, however. In commenting on the Gallup survey, Alana Goodman notes at Commentary's blog, Contentions:

“The one area to be concerned about is the growing number of people who categorize themselves as “have nots.” In 1989, just 17 percent of Americans put themselves in that group. That’s steadily increased during the years, and now hovers around 34 percent. This is in spite of the explosion of federal spending on entitlement programs, and if the trend continues, it will become more and more difficult to make reductions in these areas.”

Canada's Globe and Mail reports the poll results "have not received widespread attention, but they have been noticed by conservative bloggers who say the numbers are evidence that “Americans are rejecting class warfare,” as Rick Moran of American Thinker said."

Finally, Charles Blow, New York Times columnist, thinks that income inequality is “becoming the new global warming.” He writes about the Gallup poll this way:

“This happened even as the percentage of Americans who grouped themselves under either label stayed relatively constant. Nearly 6 in 10 Americans still see themselves as the haves, while only about a third see themselves as the have-nots. The numbers have been in that range for a decade.

“This is the new American delusion. The facts point to a very different reality.”

An American delusion? Seems the left, not to mention one New York Times columnist, are the ones under a delusion.


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