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Poll: Americans ready for action to reduce wealth and income gaps

The folks at Pew Research released new poll results [1] today confirming that Americans are increasingly sick and tired of the nation’s growing economic inequality and want government to do something about it. Even sizable percentages of Republicans favor strong action.

“There is broad public agreement that economic inequality has grown over the past decade. But as President Obama prepares for Tuesday’s State of the Union, where he is expected to unveil proposals for dealing with inequality and poverty, there are wide partisan differences over how much the government should – and can – do to address these issues.

The new national survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY [2], conducted Jan. 15-19 among 1,504 adults, finds that 65% believe the gap between the rich and everyone else has increased in the last 10 years. This view is shared by majorities across nearly all groups in the public, including 68% of Democrats and 61% of Republicans.”

And while there is a significant partisan divide, overall majorities were large for some common sense solutions and assessments of the source of the problem:

“Overall, 73% of the public favors raising the federal minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour. And 63% back a one-year extension of unemployment benefits for those who have been out of work a long time. Both issues receive nearly unanimous support from Democrats and are favored by wide margins among independents but divide the GOP….

The survey finds that more people think that circumstances beyond an individual’s control (50%) – rather than a lack of hard work (35%) – are generally to blame if a person is poor.

Similarly, more say that factors beyond an individual’s control have more to do with someone being rich. About half (51%) say having greater advantages than others generally has more to do with why a person is rich, while 38% say it is because they worked harder than others.”

Read the entire story by clicking here [1]. Read the entire stroy by clicking here.