Do Americans Actually Care About Income Inequality? Hell Yeah They Do.

We're fed up, we're not going to take it anymore, and we expect the government to do something about it.

That's what the majority of Americans think about income inequality, according to a new poll by Pew and USA Today. 69% of citizens polled thought that the government should do "a lot" or "some" to reduce staggering levels of inequity between the richest Americans and everyone else, while 67% of Americans thought the government has "a lot" or "some" capability to actually pull off this gargantuan tax.


While Republicans think that the best way to help the poor is cutting taxes on the wealthy and corporations to encourage investment and getting them off of aid which "does more harm than good" at 59% and 65% respectively, the public disagrees.

Perhaps they're seeing that corporate profits are doing just fine in the down economy.


Just 35% of Americans think we should lower taxes on the wealthy and corporations, while 54% think they should be raised to expand programs for the poor. And 49% of all Americans think government aid to the poor does more good than harm.


Republicans also find themselves in the minority on the minimum wage. Democrats are planning to push a bill that will raise the minimum wage to $10.10, and 73% of the population (including 53% of Republicans) agree with them:


Just 25% of Americans, mainly Republicans, oppose a minimum wage of $10.10 - and only 3% of the population is undecided.

The polls indicate that Americans also support extending benefits for the long-term unemployed by a nearly 2-1 margin, with 63% in favor.

And finally, Americans think the government has both a responsibility and the ability to combat poverty. 82% of those polled thought that the government should do "a lot" or "some" to fight for the poor, while 77% thought that it can.


So the next time someone tells you that income inequality "doesn't matter," you can point to the vast majority of Americans on your side and say "It might not matter to you, but it sure as hell matters to us."

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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