NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Class Warfare Strategies Fail among People Hoping to Strike it Rich

April 1, 2003

According to a recent Gallup poll, many ordinary Americans nurse the hope that one day they will become wealthy. So they are not much in sympathy with policies and procedures designed to soak the rich. The Gallup survey of 1,000 adults found:

  • Only 2 percent of Americans consider themselves rich today -- but a whopping 31 percent expect to become rich in the future.
  • Young people are the most optimistic, with 51 percent of those ages 18 to 29 nurturing expectations of great wealth.
  • But the hopefulness extends across all age groups -- with even 22 percent of those ages 50 to 64 figuring they hit the jackpot some day, although only 4 percent of them are rich today.
  • One in every five persons earning less than $30,000 a year has that expectation -- with the share climbing to 38 percent for those earning between $50,000 and $74,000, and all the way to 51 percent for those making more than $75,000.

One wouldn't find this kind of optimism unless Americans saw their society offering opportunity and upward mobility.

Source: Editorial, "Is This a Great Country?" April 1, 2003, Wall Street Journal.

For text (WSJ subscription required),,SB104916447351027700,00.html


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