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