I’m just going to quote this whole MR post:
Support for redistribution, surprisingly enough, has plummeted during the recession. For years, the General Social Survey has asked individuals whether “government should reduce income differences between the rich and the poor.” Agreement with this statement dropped dramatically between 2008 and 2010, the two most recent years of data available. Other surveys have shown similar results.
…the change is not driven by wealthy white Republicans reacting against President Obama’s agenda: the drop is if anything slightly larger among minorities, and Americans who self-identify as having below average income show the same decrease in support for redistribution as wealthier Americans.
Which group was the most opposed [to an increase in the minimum wage]? Those making just above the minimum wage, between $7.26 and $8.25.
For the pointer I thank The Browser.
Here’s my comment on MR:
Maybe people automatically think that “the poor” is an unemployed person (ie somebody else, most people have jobs). When times are good, you probably don’t mind risking a tax increase for the sake of supporting a cause that signals your magnanimity.
When the ship is sinking, though, @#$@ the women and children, I need to watch out for #1.
My theory of political discourse is that people affiliate with causes when they perceive it to be relatively costless for them to do so. You can yammer on about the poor all you like; actually, you can yammer on about ANYTHING you like, but as soon as shit gets real, the decision-making process changes rapidly.
Talk is cheap: this is why prediction markets are the best way of figuring out what people really think.
Following a comment exchange below, please be sure to take the title to be a bit of artistic license (ie not, strictly speaking, true).