A new survey from market research firm GlobeScan shows that 58 percent of Americans agree with the statement “the rich deserve their wealth,” CNBC reports.
That’s more people than in 2008, before the economic crisis, Wall Street bailouts and the Occupy movement. A majority of Americans also said that inequality is “an acceptable part of our economic system,” a number that has also increased since 1998.
GlobeScan polled more than 12,000 adults across 23 countries about their attitudes towards economic inequality as part of the annual GlobeScan Radar global public opinion study on business and its role in society. In 12 countries over 50 percent of people said they did not believe that the rich deserved their wealth.
However, the U.S is one of only six countries surveyed in 2012 where respondents felt that rich people deserve their wealth. The others in the top three were Australia (61 percent up from 53 percent 2008) and Canada (58 percent, down from 61 percent in 2008).
They contrast with much of GlobeScan’s recent polling, where Anglo-Saxon nations were among the developed countries where trust in business more generally was lower than in the developing world.
Attitudes in Europe were mixed, with 45 percent of Britons feeling the rich deserve their wealth, 31 percent of French and 35 percent of Germans.
Greece emerged as the country least likely to feel that its rich people deserved their wealth (with only nine pre cent agreeing), but Russia (16 percent, down from 17 percent) Turkey (20 percent, up from 14 percent) and Spain (20 percent, up from 18 percent) were also profoundly sceptical.
Newsmax reports that taxes have become so punitive for affluent taxpayers in the United States that socialite and ex-songwriter Denise Rich, renounced her citizenship last year in part because Austria's tax policies will let her keep more of her wealth.
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