The Two Americas

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"The Two Americas"

It seems that an increasing number of people adhere to the basic populist frame about the state of our economy:


On the other hand, most people still see themselves as “haves” which should blunt the appeal of populist remedies somewhat:


The fact that the trends are diverging is interesting and it’s hard to know what to make of it. As you can read here household income is a strong predictor of whether or not you think of yourself as a “have” but there’s also a large racial/ethnic component with middle income non-hispanic whites tending to see themselves as “haves” whereas middle income blacks and hispanics tend to see themselves as “have nots.” It would be interesting to look at wealth in this regard (it seems like a better correlate of “have”-ness than income anyway) and see how much of the racial element survives independently of wealth effects.

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