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Disdain Or Admiration? What Americans Think Of Billionaires, And What Those Opinions Mean

Get Rich or Die Tryin’ is the debut studio album by American rapper 50 Cent. But this song was more than just another pop-rap song. It is emblematic of the culture that has grown in America in the past several decades. It may be interesting to see what the views Americans have toward our billionaires (the rich) and postulate where views toward them will be in the future.

It is no secret to most that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, as wealth inequality has grown steadily for many decades. More recently, the trend is accelerating as we can see in the chart below.

Billionaire Global GrowthHere is an interesting video below demonstrating how the top ten richest billionaires rotate positions over time. For the most part, the names change little, though rotate over time.

Just how do the “rich” think relative to the rest of us. The rich are more risk-tolerant, open, extroverted, and conscientious but less neurotic than the general population. Now, who would of thunk this? Well, here is a study that shows this, and see this in a summary chart below.

Rich vs Not Rich Views

There is a difference between “Born Rich” and “Became Rich” – if one can really define this. The Became Rich would think it more difficult to improve one’s SES in the United States, feel greater empathy toward the poor, attribute poverty to external circumstances, believe that the poor are sacrificing many things in life to improve their socio-economic conditions and have greater support for redistribution. This is somewhat contrary to commonly believed opinions. See this in the chart below and learn more here.

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Views of Born vs Became RichAmericans’ more generalized opinions about the top 1% are generally shared across the political spectrum. Only 23% of those polled said they consider billionaires to be good role models for the country, while 65% said they don’t.

Similarly, only 36% said they generally had positive feelings about billionaires, as opposed to 49% who said they did not. Oddly, Black Americans said they had much more positive feelings about billionaires than did members of other racial subgroups. Democrats were also more likely to be anti-billionaires than Republicans. See this in the chart below and learn more here.

Negative View of BillionairesAccording to a YouGov poll, the US public does not have a particularly positive opinion of the Amazon founder, with 49% saying they find him very or somewhat unfavorable. Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is even more widely disliked, with YouGov finding that 6 out of every 10 Americans find him very or somewhat unfavorable. See American views on specific billionaires in the chart below and learn more here.

Views of Billionaires

There is a common belief that people are jealous of the rich, but this feeling is certainly not universal. The “Born Rich,” especially when they flaunt their riches, are often looked down upon by society. However, many look at self-made billionaires as aspirational people worth emulating. This has been the prevailing view of Americans in the past. But consider the following.

  • “Too Big To Fail,” back in the 2008 “Great Recession,” taught us that being rich comes with unwarranted privilege.
  • Covid was a billionaire boom – see how the super-rich soaked up the Covid cash.
  • Corporatocracy has led to the uncanny marriage of government and business. The Uber corruption is just the latest. Will anything be done about it? See here documentaries on corporate corruption.
  • Many of the silicon valley tech companies are now managing how and what we think – here is just one example.
  • Almost every day Hollyweird is constantly telling us what we need to believe.

The problem here is that if capitalism becomes so distorted, people will lose confidence in what has built America for decades. So instead of the elites fixing the issues to make capitalism clean again, it makes fertile ground for socialists and communists to indoctrinate the youth. Unfortunately, this is exactly what has happened. Learn more here.

The point here is that the once aspirational aspects of the rich, are becoming something of the past. Instead, now the rich are busy telling us what to believe and managing our lives according to their own views, despite growing negative views of them. In the past, the rich were content just to be rich. Whether the rich understand this or not, the rich are taking responsibility for our lives – it’s what happens when you own everything. What happens if things go wrong?

Right or wrong, the billionaire rich should increase their investment in pitchfork protectors.

By Tom Williams at Right Wire Report

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Blue State Conservative. The BSC is not responsible for, and does not verify the accuracy of, any information presented.

Notice: This article may contain commentary that reflects the author’s opinion.

Photo by Ivan Ragozin on Unsplash