More Than Three Quarters Of Conservatives Say The Poor ‘Have It Easy’
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.