Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Americans Waking Up to Class Warfare, Find Themselves Under Attack

This could just be what the corporatist Right fears most; the American public realizing there's a class war underway and they've been taking fire.   If the American people get in a mood to counterattack, the forces of corporatism and their rightwing political minions could be in a very bad way.

A Pew Research Center study has found two-thirds of Americans now believe there are "very strong" or "strong" conflicts between rich and poor America.   That's up almost 20% since just 2009.

"Not only have perceptions of class conflict grown more prevalent; so, too, has the belief that these disputes are intense. According to the new survey, three-in-ten Americans (30%) say there are “very strong conflicts” between poor people and rich people. That is double the proportion that offered a similar view in July 2009 and the largest share expressing this opinion since the question was first asked in 1987."

And the Pew study found the rich-poor divide had taken top spot among socially divisive issues plaguing America.

"As a result, in the public’s evaluations of divisions within American society, conflicts between rich and poor now rank ahead of three other potential sources of group tension—between immigrants and the native born; between blacks and whites; and between young and old."

"...While blacks are still more likely than whites see serious class conflicts, the share of whites who hold this view has increased by 22 percentage points, to 65%, since 2009. At the same time, the proportion of blacks (74%) and Hispanics (61%) sharing this judgment has grown by single digits (8 and 6 points, respectively).

"The biggest increases in perceptions of class conflicts occurred among political liberals and Americans who say they are not affiliated with either major party. In each group the proportion who say there are major disagreements between rich and poor Americans increased by more than 20 percentage points since 2009.

"These changes in attitudes over a relatively short period of time may reflect the income and wealth inequality message conveyed by Occupy Wall Street protesters across the country in late 2011 that led to a spike in media attention to the topic. But the changes also may also reflect a growing public awareness of underlying shifts in the distribution of wealth in American society."

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