Droppin’ Knowledge

Timothy Noah, Slate

Norton and Ariely broke down the responses by income group and found the guesses became slightly more accurate as you moved up the income scale. But more striking was the uniformity among income groups. All five quintiles imagined the top quintile to possess about 60 percent of the nation’s wealth. (Again, the real figure is 85 percent.) More surprising still, the average guess of a respondent who’d voted for George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election was not appreciably different from the average guess of a respondent who’d voted for John Kerry. The Kerry voters imagined the top quintile’s share to be larger than the Bush voters did, but again, both figured it was about 60 percent.

Americans’ ignorance about wealth (and, probably, income) distribution is encouraging in the sense that it offers hope that most voters might opt for government policies more conducive to equality if only they knew how unequal things were. But it’s dismaying in the sense that people who occupy a position of relative privilege seem to go out of their way to avoid acknowledging it.

Timothy Noah, Slate

i saw this before.

introductory sociology 3rd week of class, i saw something similiar to this chart but the results remain the same.

the top 20% of wealthy individuals posses 85% of the U.S wealth (and 50% of Congress).

and that my friend is the scariest part of the wealth distribution.