Thursday, February 21, 2008

Find the gap

An unsatisfying opinion poll in the Guardian:

A large majority, 75%, say the gap between high and low incomes is too wide in Britain, the highest ever level found by ICM. Only 15% think the wealth gap is about right. That suggests public unease about the so-called super-rich

Well, it’s hard to know whether the response does suggest that – rather than unease about the rarely mentioned ‘super-poor’. The question asked was: “Thinking about income levels generally in Britain today, would you say that the gap between those on high incomes and those on low incomes is too large, about right or too small?”

‘The’ gap between rich and poor is a vague notion, and however defined comprises any number of lesser gaps. What would be much more useful would be to see what people had to say about the gap between those on high and those on middle incomes, and that between middle and low incomes.

It’d also be interesting to gauge roughly how much different groups would class as being high, middle or low income (I’d guess that most people up in the top 10% would imagine themselves to be ‘middle-income’).

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