Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My students are certain that rich people are evil: My students will sit placidly through all sorts of controversial things I say in class; that is, until I say something to the effect that rich people are not monsters. They believe with religious zeal that elites live to see little guys suffer. They make me feel like some sort of traitor when I tell them that the attitudes of the wealthy toward (lower class) criminals are no more aggressive than those of the poor. According to the GSS, 75% of individuals making $110K or more favor the death penalty, but practically the same number of people making under $15K feel the same way (73%).

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wonder how the opinions of the rich and poor compare on issues more economic? Free trade agreements or something else that would effect the middle class less positively that the elites.

Tino_G said...

Free trade probably helps the middle class at least at much as the rich (the middle class buys more cheap consumer goods). The ones hurt are the lower class whose wages go down.

anon said...

If immigration counts as free trade, then the middle class isn't too far behind the lower classes.

It's possible that in the next decade or so we'll see a divide between the wealthy and everyone else like we haven't seen since the 1930s.

Tino_G said...

Immigration has compleatly different economic effects than free trade. Free trade is almost without any doubt good for most, or even all Americans. Immigration as it is today is economically negative for the majority, including the rich and poor both.

From the perspective of the poor immigrants can compete in the service industry (where most work), whereas the Chinese cannot.

More importantly Chinese textiles do not collect billions in welfare or vote for higher taxes.

Free trade however is the reason average guys can buy big screen TV:s that only the rich could afford a few years ago. It is the only reason you can cloth your kidds for a fraction of what it used to cost.