Economics, US Politics

Un-f***ing-believable

Brad Delong quotes a very interesting paragraph in his Blog. It goes as follows:

DAVID BROOKS, ATLANTIC MONTHLY – During the most recent presidential election a Time magazine-CNN poll asked voters whether they were in the top 1 percent of income earners. Nineteen percent reported that they were, and another 20 percent said that they expected to be there one day

If correct, this number shows a) that Americans are ignorant to a scary extent about their relative economic situation as well as about the absolute levels and distribution of income and wealth in their society; and b) that material affluence (or the social standing associated with a high income) and „winning“ have become important the US to an extent people either choose to lie about their relative financial statusnot to they choose not to know about not being part of the top 1%.

I think comparing these percetual numbers with the real income distribution will lead to intreresting insights regarding the „rational“ political behavior of those electing and those elected. Likewise international comparisons would be interesting – in this country everybody tries to calculate himself poorer than factually correct.

Very interesting. Clearly more thinking is needed in this respect.

Standard