Wealth Distribution: America or Equalden?


Photo: Reuters

The ongoing debate of one-percenters versus the rest of us notwithstanding, what is the ideal wealth distribution for America?

To find out, Dan Ariely, author and Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics from Duke University, and his team asked over 5,000 Americans to create a wealth distribution that's ideal to them. Surprisingly, the result is about equal across gender, income, and political affiliation. That's right - both Democrats and Republicans chose the same:

[We] asked people to choose between two unidentified distributions (again under the veil of ignorance). The first option, unbeknownst to participants, reflected the distribution of wealth in America. For the second option we modified the distribution found in Sweden, making it substantially more equal (we referred to this fictional nation as "Equalden").

We discovered that 92% of Americans preferred the distribution of "Equalden" to America's. And if one were to assume that the 8% who preferred America's distribution was made up of wealthy Republican men, he or she would be mistaken. The preference for "Equalden" was slightly different for Republicans and Democrats, and in the expected direction, but the magnitude was very small: 93.5% of Democrats and 90.2% of Republicans preferred the more equal distribution. While this 3.3% difference is substantial when we think about the economy of an entire country, if we look at it from the perspective of the gap between Equalden and the U.S., it's clear that the similarity across the political spectrum is far more substantial than the differences. And once again, participant's gender and income level did not produce any appreciable difference in this preference.

Read more at The Atlantic: Link


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Ask yourself which is preferable?

A. Johnny has five apples, Jenny has three apples, Jody has one apple. At any time any of them may earn more apples, or consume apples.

B. Johnny has one apple, Jenny has one apple, Jody has one apple. This is rigidly enforced, and there is no hope for more apples.

Economic mobility > economic equality, but the cult of equality (read: closet Marxists) dares not mention economic mobility.
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I agree Wolftech. Useless poll. Ask people if they want more money. They will say yes. Ask them if they want their neighbors to have more money. Most Americans will say yes (good for them - this is Christian). Ask them if they want one neighbors to have more money by stealing it from other neighbors and they will / should say no. Forced charity is slavery.
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If you want wealth, work for it. Contrary to what 0bama says, success is possible if you work hard and and are smart about things (and can keep government from taking what is yours and giving it to those what don't deserve it because they are too lazy to do for themselves).
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