Poll: Two out of three Americans dissatisfied with income, wealth distribution

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With President Obama recently pivoting to the topic of income inequality, a new Gallup poll finds that a majority of Americans are dissatisfied with the way income and wealth are distributed in the United States.

And while Democrats and independents are the most dissatisfied — with 75 percent and 70 percent respectively expressing dissatisfaction — a majority (54 percent) of Republicans also expressed a lack of satisfaction over the way income and wealth are distributed.

Overall, 67 percent of Americans — about two out of three — said they are either “somewhat” or “very dissatisfied” with wealth distribution in the country.

The poll conducted among a random sample of 1,018 adults in the United States from Jan. 5-8 on the Gallup Daily tracking survey also probed people’s “satisfaction with the opportunity to get ahead by working hard” in America.

The poll found a less partisan split over that prompt, with 61 percent of Republicans and 60 percent of Democrats saying they are satisfied. Independents are less satisfied with their ability to get ahead through hard work, with just 45 percent saying they are satisfied.

Overall 54 percent of Americans are satisfied, compared to 45 percent who are dissatisfied with the opportunity to get ahead through hard work.

“This measure has remained roughly constant over the past three years, but Americans are much less optimistic about economic opportunity now than before the recession and financial crisis of 2008 unfolded,” Gallup’s Rebecca Riffkin writes. “Prior to that, at least two in three Americans were satisfied, including a high of 77% in 2002.”

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

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