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Is Class Warfare Real?

Apart from the rhetoric, apparently not:

The election is right around the corner, and voters around the country have been subjected to politicians, pundits and commercials laden with allegations of class warfare and claims about which candidates cater to the rich and which candidates will best serve the interests of the poor and the middle class. But a new study, co-authored by North Carolina State University researcher Dr. Chris Ellis, shows that it would be impossible for Congress and the White House to cater solely to any socioeconomic group – because people’s preferences tend to be overwhelmingly similar when it comes to how the federal government should spend its money.

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In the study, Ellis and his co-author Dr. Joseph Ura used data from the long-running General Social Survey to measure public opinion on government spending from 1973 to 2006 and found that political sentiment was very similar between the various socioeconomic groups. Basically, trends toward becoming more liberal or more conservative tended to take place at the same time among rich, poor and middle-class voters. Ellis explains that the trends happened at the same time because both rich and poor responded to changes in the nation’s economic health, or the actions of the federal government, in broadly similar ways. Ellis is an assistant professor of political science at NC State. Ura is an assistant professor of political science at Texas A&M University.

Comments

  1. #1 daveawayfromhome
    November 1, 2008

    I’d be curious to know if one group leads the other by a bit, or if the changes in attitudes shif simultaneously.

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