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May 17, 2019

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Marketplace Morning Report

The age of fraud

May 17, 2019
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Anxiety Index

If the economy is rigged, toward whom?

Kimberly Adams Oct 20, 2016
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Most Americans agree economic benefits are skewed toward the rich, along with big corporations.
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The economy is “rigged.” At least most Americans think so, according to the latest Marketplace-Edison Research Economic Poll. Supporters of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump agree.

Regardless of party, most Americans agree economic benefits are skewed toward the rich and big corporations.

Sylvia Allegretto of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at the University of California, Berkeley said research backs up the idea.

“I mean there’s sentiment, and there’s reality, and in this instance they’re lining up pretty well,” Allegretto said. “When you look at measures of inequality — income inequality, wage inequality or even wealth inequality — we see that things are getting much, much worse over the last several decades.”

Beyond  that, though, Americans’ consensus falls apart. For example, when we asked whether the economy is “rigged” in favor of a particular race, more than half of Secretary Hillary Clinton’s supporters said, yes, in favor of white people. Only 21 percent of Donald Trump’s supporters agreed.

And the stark political divide continued when people were asked about the economy being rigged in favor of immigrants or people on public assistance. Most Trump supporters said the economy is rigged in favor of those groups. Most Clinton supporters said it was not.

Mary Meyn is a director of research at Edison Research, which conducted the Marketplace poll. She said these big differences match what’s being said on the campaign trail on both sides, even if they don’t match the economy.

“So we have, on the one hand, the statistics and the information about how the economy is doing, and then on the other hand, we have rhetoric,” Meyn said. “And I think that the survey shows that the rhetoric is winning in terms of perception of how the economy is doing.”

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