Politics

Most Americans Believe Current Government Policies Help Big Business, Not Middle Class

| by Ethan Brown
Dollar Bill.Dollar Bill.

In a new poll by Pew Research Center, Americans believe big businesses benefit most from the economic policies that have been created and implemented since President Barack Obama took office in 2009.

While 3 out of 4 Americans believe banks and financial companies have benefitted greatly or fairly from government policies, 72 percent believe that the middle class has not received any benefits in the post-recession America.

In terms of the job market, more Americans now have a more positive outlook than two years ago. In September 2013, only 47 percent felt the job market had recovered from the recession. Now, that number is up to 67 percent.

Also, more believe household incomes have recovered or stabilized over the last two years, as 55 percent say incomes have recovered, compared to 44 percent in the fall of 2013.

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In terms of individual incomes, 86 percent of those making $100,000 or more say they were not affected by the recession or have since recovered their losses. For those making $30,000 or less, only 50 percent say they weren’t affected or have since recovered.

The poll also questioned participants on their beliefs of government assistance benefits to the poor.  Of those polled, 49 percent believed government assistance was helpful to keep people from extreme poverty, while 44 percent believed the benefits hurt citizens by forcing them to rely on the federal government for help. In ideological terms, 74 percent of Democrats agreed with the first statement, while 71 percent of Republicans agreed with the second.

Other information can be gleaned from questions relating to a person's sense of financial stability, rather than asking broad question about the economy. For example, a Fox News poll revealed that 31 percent of Americans believe they are “getting ahead.” In the same poll, 49 percent said they are “just able to pay most bills,” which was down from 54 percent in 2009.

Sources: Pew Research Center, Fox News / Photo Credit: Sarah Corriher/Flickr