Americans And Inequality

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 26 2011 @ 5:51pm


David Brooks assured us yesterday that Americans are moving away from – not towards – redistributionism. But here's a poll question from his own paper today

Do you feel that the distribution of money and wealth in this country is fair, or do you feel that momey and wealth should be more evenly distributed among more people?

66 percent back more even distribution of wealth, compared with only 26 who don't. I do not believe this is some great ideological move leftwards. I think it's a pragmatic worry about what is happening to American society and culture, and about how we reduce our debt of those with the most money continue to get away with paying historically low levels of tax. The data are increasingly indisputable, as Jeff Weintraub elaborates on here.

On the question of whose policies favor the middle class, 23 percent say that of the Obama administration, compared with only 9 percent saying it of the GOP. A staggering 69 percent say that GOP policies favor the rich, not a great position for a party in these times. And a reminder of why Romney is trying hard to avoid some of the policies more egregiously indifferent to inequality, like those of Perry and Cain. He's not stupid. Just shameless.

Something is happening in America, and I feel it within myself. A moderate and calm embrace of reducing inequality is not the electoral killer many assume it is. Times have changed. And Obama's more populist pitch has some serious data behind it.