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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Duke Study Shows Confusion About Wealth Distribution

Even though strong majorities favor higher taxes on the wealthy, Americans still grossly underestimate the gap in wealth distribution, according to “Sweden: Home of the American Dream,” a post by Rachel Black at the New America Foundation website:

In a survey conducted by a psychologist at Duke University, 7,000 people across America were given three pie charts displaying different distributions of wealth and asked which they thought was the United States. 92 percent chose the distribution of wealth in Sweden (where the top fifth owns 36 percent of the wealth, the bottom fifth owning 11 percent) over that in the United States where the richest fifth owns 83 percent of the wealth, leaving the bottom 40 percent with .3 percent of the wealth. The number that chose the third chart where each fifth held 20 percent amounted to a rounding error.

All of which suggests that Dems could gain even more public support for tax reform, if they put more effort into educating the public about the facts of income distribution in the U.S.

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