More Americans view outsourcing as a marker of economic inequality than automation

A survey asked American adults how much various measures impact US economic inequality.

There is no area where a majority feel it contributes greatly to economic inequality. Broadly equal numbers pointed to structural issues like the educational system (44%), the tax system (45%), and outsourcing jobs to other countries (45%).

42% feel life choices account for economic inequality, while 40% feel it’s down to the improved opportunities some people are born with.

30% of Americans feel automation is a major contributor to economic inequality while 45% blame outsourcing jobs abroad.

37% of adults feel insufficient regulation of large corporations is to blame compared to 15% of adults who feel too much regulation is the problem.

Republicans are more likely than Democrats to point to life choices as contributing greatly to economic inequality

60% of Republicans say that life choices people contribute substantially to economic inequality compared to 27% among Democrats. It’s also the case that Republicans are more likely to view some people’s harder work as a major contributor to economic inequality than Democrats.

50% of Democrats and 11% of Republicans blame discrimination against minorities for inequality in the US. Democrats are also far more likely to blame the differences in opportunity, the tax system, or insufficient regulation of major corporations for economic inequality.

While most Republicans overall feel people’s different life choices contribute greatly to economic inequality, those with higher incomes are much more likely to say this.

52% of lower-income Republicans blame the educational system compared to 33% of middle-income Republicans and 38% of upper-income Republicans.

The same plays out concerning Republican attitudes to the automation of jobs. 39% of Democrats with lower incomes and 32% with middle incomes feel that automating jobs contributes greatly to economic inequality compared to just 25% of Democrats in the upper-income tier.

60% of Americans say most people can succeed if they work hard

60% of Americans feel hard work guarantees success while 39% feel the opposite. 78% of Republicans believe hard work leads to success while just 22% feel does not guarantee success. 45% of Democrats feel hard work leads to success.

Republicans’ views differ by income. Majorities in all groups feel hard work should lead to success. Despite this, 34% of lower-income Republicans feel neither hard work nor determination guarantees success. This sentiment is shared by just 14% of higher-income Republicans.

Half of Americans feel poor people suffer from hard lives due to the insufficiency of government benefits. 47% feel poor people have easy lives as they get benefits in exchange for nothing. 72% of Democrats feel the poor have hard lives, while the same number of Republicans feel poor people have it easy.