“America’s richest 1% and Ivy Leaguers say the rest of the country has TOO much personal freedom and want to ration food and electricity, shocking poll finds,” so says the headline.
America’s top earners have been blasted as ‘wildly out of touch’ after polling showed their views differ sharply from regular voters on everything from climate change to personal liberties.
A survey has found that ‘top 1 percent’ earners and Ivy League graduates are much keener on banning and rationing cars and air travel in pursuit of climate targets than the rest of the country.
They also expressed an authoritarian streak — nearly six in ten members of the elite say there’s too much personal freedom in the US, many times more than for ordinary voters.
Well-heeled, Ivy League graduates have very different views on personal freedom than regular voters+3View gallery
The survey focussed on postgrad, city slickers earning more than $150,000 per year
Elites want to ration food and electricity to cut emissions of planet-heating gases
The Committee to Unleash Prosperity, a free market advocacy group which led the poll, said in its report that the great and the good ‘live in a bubble of their own construction.’
‘The people who think they run the country don’t think the same things about issues like individual freedom climate change and whether the government can be trusted,’ said committee member Steve Moore.
‘To understand that is to understand the divide in contemporary American politics.’
The survey comes amid a rise in populist sentiment that crosses political lines — everyone from Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump to leftist Occupy Wall Street organizers have railed against the elite ‘top 1 percent.’
Pollsters contrasted the views of regular voters with two surveys last September of 1,000 members of the elite — identified as those with postgraduate degrees living in cities and earning more than $150,000 a year.
Scott Rasmussen, the president of RMG Research, which conducted the poll, called them an ‘urban academic elite’ that is ‘extraordinarily influential in government, corporate America, and the philanthropic worlds.’+3View gallery
Anti-elite sentiment has grown in the US in recent decades, including among supporters of former president Donald Trump
Gas stoves and vacationing by jet plane would also be for the chop+3View gallery
President Biden is a lot more popular among the jet set than among regular voters
The survey delivered these remarkable findings:
- The elites are better off financially than the rest of the country — three quarters say they are doing better now than in the past, compared to just a fifth of everyday Americans.
- The elites support the rationing of gas, meat, and electricity to cut emissions of planet-heating gases — more than three quarters of elites support such a Draconian policy, to which two thirds of regular Americans are opposed.
- Their climate-fighting aspirations do not stop there. Elites also support banning many modern conveniences, from gas stoves, to air conditioners, non-essential air travel and gas-guzzling SUVs. Regular voters would by wide margins keep all of these, the survey showed.
- Elites are much keener on the US government than others. Fully 70 percent of them trust federal officials to ‘do the right thing most of the time’ — more than twice the nationwide average.
- They also like the man at the top of it, President Joe Biden. He gets an 84 percent job approval rating from the elite — roughly twice as high as it is for the general public.
- The same goes for schoolteachers and education chiefs. Two thirds of the elite say teachers should decide what kids learn at school. Regular voters are more in favor of parents deciding what happens at school, perhaps reflecting concerns about the politicized race, gender, and sexuality lessons in class.
- Regular voters are either cool or sour when it comes to lawyers, lobbyists, politicians, and journalists. Among the elites, which includes members of these so-called ‘talking professions,’ opinion is much more favorable.
- Nearly six in ten of the elite say there’s too much individual freedom in America — double the share for all Americans.
Maybe the real problem is that there are too many self important, entitled people who are suffering from bad, possibly fatal, cases of cranial anal impaction.