The nation’s wealthiest think that the poor have it pretty easy.
A survey by the Pew Research Center found that 54% of those with the greatest financial security believe that “poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return.”
Only 36% of the wealthiest say “poor people have hard lives because government benefits don’t go far enough to help them live decently.”
Those struggling the most financially believe that the poor need more help by more than a two-to-one margin.
The two groups also hold opposite views about the role of government. More than 60% of the well-to-do say that government can’t afford to do more for the needy, while 60% of those struggling say the government should do more — even if that means taking on more debt.
The wealthy and the poor also disagree on corporate profits. The rich say most corporations make a “fair and reasonable amount of profit,” while 65% of the poor believe corporations make “far too much.”
There’s more common ground between the two groups when it comes to immigration. About 65% of the rich say immigrants strengthen the country with their hard work and talent, while 27% say immigrants are a burden on the country. Most poor people surveyed agree that immigrants have a positive impact on the U.S., but by a smaller margin, just 51%, while 44% of low-income respondents said immigrants have a negative impact.