In the July 9 issue of The Economist magazine, I read this interesting article about why it is so difficult to stir up public sentiment in the United States against the wealthy. For example, why do so many people get riled up about the idea of eliminating the tax cuts for the wealthiest people, when we’re talking about 2% of the population who are radically better off than the other 98% of the population?
One paragraph in particular caught my attention:
“The point here is only that Americans do not seem to mind about the widening inequality of income and wealth as much as you might expect them to in current circumstances. By and large, they have preferred opportunity to leveling; equality of opportunity rather than equality of outcome. The trouble with this is that America is a long way from providing equal opportunity.”
I continue to wonder why it is that when you talk to people individually, they are very much in favor of creating truly equal opportunity. Somehow, though, en masse, they become reverse Robin Hoods who support the taking from the poor and giving to the rich. Even more confusing when it is against their own best interest to do so.