A majority of Americans see an increasingly large gap between rich and poor, and want the federal government to intervene in an attempt to address the disparity, according to a new poll on Wednesday.
Well over half - 61 percent - say that the income disparity between rich and poor is “larger than it’s been historically,” including 37 percent of Americans who see it as “much larger,” the Washington Post-ABC News poll found.
Meanwhile, 31 percent of Americans say that the income distribution is about the same as in the past, and 5 percent view disparities as “smaller” than it has been historically.
Approximately the same number who view income disparities as historically large also view the federal government as necessary to intervene in addressing it.
Indeed, 60 percent of Americans think the federal government should “pursue policies that try to reduce the gap between wealth and less well-off Americans,” while 35 percent opposed the notion.
In fact, income inequality is higher now than it has been for about half a century, with the disparity between rich and poor increasing over 20 percent between 1967 and 2005, according to the Census Bureau.
Ideology played a key role on views of wealth disparities in America. More than 7 in 10 liberals say disparities are historically high; compared to less than half of conservatives.
The poll was conducted Oct. 31 to Nov. 3, among a sample of 1,004 adults. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
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