All This Economic Inequality Sucks, Say Most Americans

The populist sentiment that is sweeping the nation has both a source and a solid base, according to new polling that shows a majority of Americans feel like the growing gap between the rich and the poor is cause for serious concern and should be proactively addressed by government policies.

The new poll, conducted jointly by the New York Times and CBS News, found that a “strong majority”—more than six out of 10 people across party lines—think the nation’s “wealth should be more evenly divided” among its people and only slightly less (with Republican support falling off) think government policies should drive the effort to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor.

In total, the survey covered three areas of interest—economic inequality, workers’ rights, and international trade—and found, at least in broad strokes, overwhelming support for the positions of most progressives.

In abbreviated terms, the results show that Americans: 1) Recognize and dislike current levels of economic inequality and want something done about it; 2) Think low-wage workers deserve a significant raise, paid sick and parental leave, and better workplace protections; and 3) Don’t know much about pending so-called “free trade deals” being negotiated in secret and largely ignored by the mainstream media, but what they do know, they don’t like very much.