June 26, 2014 7:16 pm -

Pew Research is out with research that show how differently the right thinks about the poor than does the left.

More than three quarters of conservative Americans – those in the steadfast conservative, business conservative, and young outsider typology groups – agree that “poor people have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything.” Only seven percent of steadfast conservatives say that the poor “have hard lives.”

Even a not-insignificant share of left-leaning groups say that the poor have it easy. But overall the widespread agreements among conservatives on this point is what’s really striking here. There are reasonable, well-intentioned arguments on either side of many poverty-related issues – about the causes of poverty (see the right half of the chart), or whether government benefits provide a leg up or simply perpetuate poverty, for instance.

Christopher Ingraham points out how “easy” life is for the poor:

  • Compared to middle and upper-income Americans, the poor are three times less likely to have health insurance coverage, and more likely to put off or skip necessary medical treatment as a result;
  • They are three times more likely to be victimized by crime;
  • The daily stresses of living under poverty impose a cognitive burden equivalent to losing 13 IQ points;
  • Poor children are three times more likely to be affected by food scarcity and obesity;
  • Poor children receive a lower quality education in public school, and the ones who make it to college are more likely to drop out;
  • Poorer Americans breathe dirtier air, they sleep less, and the even have less sex;
  • And in the end all this “easy living” literally shaves decades off their lives.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

No responses to More Than Three Quarters Of Conservatives Say The Poor ‘Have It Easy’

  1. Eric Trommater June 26th, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    Hmm Conservatives hate the poor? Interesting. In other news microwave burritos are no where near a delicious as they look on the package and the internet gives people access to porn. I know I was shocked too!

    • granpa.usthai June 27th, 2014 at 12:03 am

      the internet gives people access to porn?

      OMG! -how oh how did that ever happen?

      we must stop porn @ all cost! – (including the 1st)

      next thing you know, all the GOP’s will be watching sites that have naked men showering together (for gay ID only).

  2. Dwendt44 June 26th, 2014 at 8:21 pm

    The poor have it ‘easy’ compared to the homeless or the poor in South America, Mexico, etc… But is that the kind of country we really want?
    Starving masses, sick, dirty, and rag wearing children? Really?
    Those that say that either have never been poor for any length of time, or are brain dead.

    • William June 27th, 2014 at 2:07 am

      But is that the kind of country we really want?
      Your question, exquisitely simple, yet so profound.

    • fahvel June 27th, 2014 at 2:49 am

      brain dead!

  3. Alan June 26th, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    All the poor need to do is get jobs or, better yet, start their own businesses like freedom-loving Americans should! Amirite?

    • fancypants June 27th, 2014 at 12:11 am

      If you can find a bank that gives the poor enough money to start a business with low interest rates ?
      Conservative tv and radio have all the financial institutions convinced that its not their fault that our economy has been in the tank for years. As for getting a job ( other then walmart ) who pays enough to cover your bills + money in the bank ?
      Ive been trying for years and its 98% conservative owned businesses who like to crucify liberals any way they can, the other 2% have a very long waiting list

      • Dwendt44 June 27th, 2014 at 12:33 am

        Even at $10+ you can’t afford a new car much less a house. You’re lucky if you can afford clothing and health insurance.
        Even food and such must be measured carefully. BTDT.
        The company I retired from cut the wages of new hires to just under $11. Then demands the employee fork over for group health insurance and contribute to their own 401K. What’s left?

        • fancypants June 27th, 2014 at 12:52 am

          There are many companies in my state that are owned by out of state corporations who get BIG tax breaks by their legislators. To make a long story short if you don’t bash Chicago / Obama your not going to last too long.
          The employment hypocrisy is more political then ever before out here and the right is looking to intimidate your vote or your not going to be employed. The sad part is if you have several jobs on your resume it goes against you Even if you were productive at past jobs.

  4. labman57 June 26th, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    These conservative folks need to spend a day in the shoes of those living in poverty while working multiple minimum wage jobs in an effort to make ends meet.

  5. granpa.usthai June 27th, 2014 at 12:06 am

    offer will always remain open, Conservative America. Feel free to trade places just any old time. In the MEANwhile, making life less enjoyable for others will most likely end up in yours becoming less enjoyable also. (it’s the irony of life).

  6. William June 27th, 2014 at 1:27 am

    Why don’t you poor people just buy or inherit more money?

  7. fancypants June 27th, 2014 at 1:57 am


  8. Elliot J. Stamler June 27th, 2014 at 10:29 am

    As the late Sophie Tucker said, “I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor and believe me, rich is better.” Same with me. (Thankfully rich (?) now.) I have had the opportunity in my life to see poor people and how they live. There is no simple, uniform answer. A considerable minority have grave personal deficiencies that make them poor. A majority do not. Where I utterly part company with the conservatives is their nasty, selfish, self-satisfied attitude that ALL of the poor are that way solely due to their own inadequacy and that society (including government!) should not do anything about poverty. Conservatism=immorality for that reason and especially in light of their endless raving about “morality” and “decency” which to them solely means other peoples’ sex lives.