[Ed. – Actually, it appears the “rich” believe correctly that America’s poor, who have the same 24 hours a day everyone else does, get a lot of stuff without having to work for it. That said, neither the rich nor the poor have it easy, in our overregulated land. The rich work harder. But because of the effect of regulation, many of the poor are understandably discouraged when their labor isn’t allowed to yield more benefit for them, but instead is siphoned off to programs run by the state. The poor take the brunt of big government and overregulation.]
Most of America’s richest think poor people have it easy in this country,according to a new report released by the Pew Research Center. The center surveyed a nationally representative group of people this past fall, and found that the majority of the country’s most financially secure citizens (54 percent at the very top, and 57 percent just below) believe the “poor have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return.” America’s least financially secure, meanwhile, vehemently disagree — nearly 70 percent say the poor have hard lives because the benefits “don’t go far enough.” Nationally, the population is almost evenly split.
Why the surprising lack of compassion? It’s hard to say. At the very top, the sentiment is likely tied to conservatism, which traditionally bemoans government programs that redistribute wealth, calling them safety nets. Some 40 percent of the financially secure are politically conservative, according to Pew. And conservatives are even more likely to say the “poor have it easy” than the rich — a recent Pew survey found that more than three quarters of conservatives feel that way.