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Monday, November 28, 2016

Public Opinion Survey:  Should Governments Tax The Rich And Subsidize The Poor?

Robert W. McGee (Fayetteville State), Should Governments Tax the Rich and Subsidize the Poor? An Empirical Study of Opinion in the United States:

The present study reports the findings of a survey conducted by the World Values Survey scientists in the United States on the question of whether governments should tax the rich and subsidize the poor. The sample size of 2166 consisted of individuals from all parts of the United States. A 10-point Likert Scale was used to determine the extent of agreement or disagreement with the question. Various demographic variables were also examined to determine whether differences between groups were significant. Demographic variables included gender, age, marital status, social class, education level, region of the country, religion and ethnicity.

This study examines opinion in the United States on the question of whether it is a legitimate function of government to confiscate the property of the rich and distribute that property to the poor. ...

The questions asked:  Many things are desirable, but not all of them are essential characteristics of democracy. Please tell me for each of the following things how essential you think it is as a characteristic of democracy. Use this scale where 1 means “not at all an essential characteristic of democracy” and 10 means it definitely is “an essential characteristic of democracy”: Governments tax the rich and subsidize the poor.

Responses were measured on a 10-point Likert scale where 1 is “Not an essential characteristic of democracy” and 10 is “An essential characteristic of democracy.” The sample size was 2166.

Table 1 shows the overall results. The mean score of 5.04 indicates strong support for the view that confiscating the wealth of the rich to subsidize the poor is a legitimate function of democracy.

Table 1

Robert W. McGee (Fayetteville State), Should Governments Tax the Rich and Subsidize the Poor? An Empirical Study of Opinion in 59 Countries:

The present study reports the findings of a survey conducted by the World Values Survey scientists in 59 countries on the question of whether governments should tax the rich and subsidize the poor. A 10-point Likert Scale was used to determine the extent of agreement or disagreement with the question. Results varied widely, depending on country.

The findings of the present study are summarized below in Table 1. The people of Brazil were most opposed to the idea that the rich should be taxed to support the poor. However, its mean score of 4.51 indicates that a lot of Brazilians believe such taxation and subsidy policies are acceptable. The country least opposed to taxing the rich and subsidizing the poor was Pakistan, with a mean score of 8.69 which is significantly higher than the mean score of any other country.

Table 2

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2016/11/public-opinion-survey-should-governments-tax-the-rich-and-subsidize-the-poor.html

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Comments

On a 1 to 10 scale, 5.04 with a SD of 2.44 is a "strong support?" In your collectivist dreams.

Posted by: ruralcounsel | Nov 28, 2016 4:23:31 AM

I was wondering the same thing. How does a score dead in the middle between essential and not essential (and with a high deviation) indicate "strong support?"

And you wonder why so many people ridicule academics and pay so little attention to their "studies."

Posted by: todd | Nov 28, 2016 7:19:44 AM

Don't the rich (top 20% of income earners) already subsidize the working and middle classes (bottom 60% of income earners)?

Posted by: MM | Nov 28, 2016 6:57:30 PM

I wonder what the results would have been if the question were "help the poor" rather than "subsidize the poor."

Posted by: Malcom Tent | Nov 29, 2016 10:05:12 AM

This guy is an amazing case. Look at the cites in some of his papers. He can literally have dozens of cites to his other papers. He will take something that should be one paper, and make 10 papers out of it. He claimed to have been on the cover of ESPN magazine, and was not. Amazing individual. He claims more than a half-dozen earned doctorates. Etc. Amazing.

Posted by: John Doe | Nov 29, 2016 12:51:59 PM