Attitudes to inequality

In: Uncategorized

3 Jul 2009

A belated look at the recent Joseph Rowntree Foundation report on Understanding Attitudes to Tackling Economic Inequality by Tom Horton and Louise Barnfield of the Fabian Society. A couple of points that struck me:

* Almost everyone defined themselves as in the middle of the income spectrum. This is despite the fact that those polled were a cross-section of the population. The “income gap” was therefore interpreted as being between the “middle” and the super rich.

* The idea of prioritising economic growth as a way of raising living standards was unpopular (p45). This could well be a popular perception but it is also possible that the authors’ prejudices skewed the results. They linked support for economic growth with a free market vision and support for smaller government. It apparently it did not even occur to them that it is possible to be in favour of strong growth without being a free marketeer.

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