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Rep. Paul Ryan at CPAC 2014
He doesn't represent America.
The conservative vision of the world is in stark contrast to what the rest of the country sees. That's been obvious in all sorts of issues, from abortion to gay marriage to marijuana legalization, but here's an issue that's particularly salient this election year: poverty and income inequality.
Among all Americans, 44 percent said they think poor people are poor mostly because of a lack of opportunities, while only 30 percent said it's mostly because of their individual failings. More specifically, 47 percent said poverty has to do more with the fact good jobs aren't available, while only 28 percent said it's because poor people have a poor work ethic.

Likewise, 52 percent said most wealthy people got where they are primarily because they had more opportunities, while 31 percent said the wealthy just worked harder than other people.

When it comes to unemployment, 51 percent said most are trying to find jobs but can't, while only 36 percent said most could find jobs if they want to. On the other hand, respondents were more divided about the long term unemployed. Forty-five percent said people who have been unemployed more than 6 months are trying to find jobs but can't, while 41 percent said they could find jobs if they wanted to.

Those in the minority on every question were, of course, Republicans who "tended to think the poor are poor because of individual failings, rather than lack of opportunities (48 percent to 23 percent), and that they have a poor work ethic rather than good jobs being unavailable to them (49 percent to 21 percent)." So it's no surprise that 58 percent of Republicans think that the unemployed don't have jobs because they don't want them. Even people making more than $100,000 a year in this poll believe that the rich just have more opportunities available to them than everyone else, by a 49-33 margin.

Here's just one more issue on which Republicans are far, far apart from the mainstream.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 12:22 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (38+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 12:22:19 PM PDT

  •  Ryan is so oily, you'de slip off the rungs (9+ / 0-)

    of any ladder he had handled anyway.

    Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

    by Ellen Columbo on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 12:53:44 PM PDT

  •  Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, folks! (11+ / 0-)

    Nevermind that it's impossible, according to Newton's First Law of Motion.

    One more example of science having a liberal bias.

    We have always been at war with al Qaeda.

    by Dallasdoc on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 01:59:25 PM PDT

  •  Damn, (5+ / 0-)

    there's that 47% number again.

    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 02:05:03 PM PDT

  •  Too Bad There's No Brown-nosing Option. (3+ / 0-)

    If there was a question that asked "would poor people still be poor if they kissed the rich guy's ass 24/7"?, Republicans (if answering honestly) would score a 95-5.


    by Johnny Wendell on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 02:14:19 PM PDT

  •  FDR's Four Freedoms Speech (4+ / 0-)

    Freedom from Want is under attack by the Right again.

    The speech delivered by President Roosevelt incorporated the following text, known as the Four Freedoms:

    "In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

    The first is freedom of speech and expression—everywhere in the world.

    The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way—everywhere in the world.

    The third is freedom from want—which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants—everywhere in the world.

    The fourth is freedom from fear—which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor—anywhere in the world.

    That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called new order of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb."

    Franklin D. Roosevelt, excerpted from the State of the Union Address to the Congress, January 6, 1941

  •  know that opportunities are attainable (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alypse1, bartcopfan

    What I see is that one needs to know that opportunity is attainable.  For me I saw people of different backgrounds and races and genders succeeding in a number of different fields. I was lucky growing up in a diverse community.  The inner city was of engineers, accountants, professors, trades people, ministers and custodians.  Everyone living their life to the best of their ability.  There was nothing that could not be done if you wanted to do it and were willing to make sacrifices.

    But, what conservertives miss,is if these models are not there, if the community is segregated like so much if the US remians(as shown in the map on the site today), where are the role models.

    So many kids I see today either do not see that opportunities are realistically attainable, or they do not think that working towards a goal is going to result in a tangible benefit.  For instance, it may be that they are told that only expensive colleges are worthwhile, so when they have to go to a 'lesser' college they give up, even though most of us know that making the best of education you have is the path to success.

    •  Opportunity is not a mindset, it's an effect (0+ / 0-)

      I like the empowering spirit of your post lowt but I disagree with the assertion that opportunity is available if you know how to open it to you.

      Factually, there is much less opportunity today, especially for our American youth. I went to Wendy's through the drive thru the other day and there wasn't one person under the age of forty working there. That is telling, when I was a kid you wouldn't have found one person over the age of forty. Burger joints were where we entered the job market, not made a career of.

      Opportunity happens when demand for workers is created. For America, that means American workers.

      Today unfortunately there is not much demand for the American worker unless it's at Wendy's or some other food or retail service.

      America has become hostile to corporations, unless you are politically connected. We're even hostile to our own energy industry.

      Why are we doing this to ourselves?

      Our system of free market capitalism has been completely perverted by our government. Mainly the Federal govt. Not just this administration but any one that has either created a corporate tax and any one that created a corporate tax loophole.

      This creates an uneven playing field.

      I hear people always talking about Corporate Lobbyist as if they are the problem. They are not.

      The only way a Corporate Lobbyist can be effective is by agreement from OUR elected officials that we allowed to hold that seat in the first place and we pay they're salary and of whom have taken a sworn oath of office to represent us.

      This is why we have our new normal of high unemployment and pitiful participation rate.

      Once the private market becomes too burdensome from over regulation for a company to grow, expand or simply increase it's profit margin at it's current location it moves to a better, less encumbered location more suited for the company's well being.

  •  Sad commentary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's simply irrational for 58% of Republicans to believe that a person's willingness or unwillingness to work determines whether he or she lives a comfortable life or an impoverished one.  That so many Americans could be so misguided is largely a measure of the right-wing media's success in manipulating the opinions of more than 25% of the population.

  •  Check out the by-question party self-ID numbers (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, alypse1, bartcopfan, wxorknot

    in the crosstabs.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 02:27:24 PM PDT

    •  I was just wondering about the income breakdowns! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor, wxorknot

      Thank you!

      I am especially interested in how Republican'ts/conservatives in the lowest income bracket (<$40k) would answer, though (sadly) I don't see it broken down to that extent.

      Lots of interesting tidbits in there, e.g. it matters how the question is asked of the best-off (>$100k) a plurality say people are poor because of individual failings, yet a plurality also says good jobs aren't available. And stronger pluralities of those making >$80k say the wealthy had more opportunities than of those making $40-80k!

      Again, thanks for sharing!

      "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

      by bartcopfan on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 03:06:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There's that ~30% of defend popping up again (0+ / 0-)

    Imagine the most profound idea ever conceptualized occupying this space. Now expect exactly the opposite. You'll never be disappointed.

    by Gurnt on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 03:13:44 PM PDT

  •  There's that ~30% of dead endepopping up again (0+ / 0-)

    Imagine the most profound idea ever conceptualized occupying this space. Now expect exactly the opposite. You'll never be disappointed.

    by Gurnt on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 03:15:05 PM PDT

  •  Rethugs Aren't About to Let Facts & TRUTH Ruin (0+ / 0-)

    perfectly good delusions based on bigotry.

  •  Those numbers all reflect the 'eternal 35 percent' (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That the GOP is welcome to, forever, in every election to come.

  •  Again and again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, Arfeeto

    we witness where the Republicans are on the wrong side of what Americans believe and what Americans want.

    And why is that? Well hell, I'm no expert by a long shot, but something tells me that the message coming from the right wing conservatives is louder and more pronounced than our message.
    Perhaps it is something else that I and others are not privy to, but definitely something is amiss here.

    We know how drowned out our message can become because of the likes of Fox and right wing radio, so the question becomes how can we effectively combat that scenario if indeed that is the reason our message is not getting across?

    Our side has money too, so we should be able to craft a message production that really reaches and moves people to vote. At least I would think so.

    At any rate, we are not as effective as the right wing machine and if want that to change, a new and improved effort on our part is required.

    "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." Louis Brandeis

    by wxorknot on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 04:11:38 PM PDT

    •  you can see it here in the comments... (0+ / 0-)

      We run far too many victory laps, and spend too little time actually listening to people who we think "should" vote Democrat but vote Republican. I find that their reasons for voting Republican never are anything like what Daily Kos would pretend them to be. The people I know who vote conservative despite not making a ton of money have a lot of pride, and are trying to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps. They're less focused on other people or large-scale solutions, and often thinking that the game is rigged against them (even if it is) would be detrimental to their efforts to stay afloat, to their day-to-day sanity. They kindof know that the system is rough on the poor and there isn't equal opportunity, but also are fighting to feel pride, and fighting to keep their own spirits up, fighting to make it in a partly-rigged game rather than give up. The Democratic message makes them a victim-class ... who the hell wants to be a victim? The left used to focus on the idea that all value came from the working class, but that is rarely our message anymore: we talk about inequality as if the world is full of losers and winners, rather than real workers and people who take more than they make. We tell people they are losers, and also they should vote for us. Fox is terrible but it isn't all-powerful, you can see why progressives fail just by skimming articles and comments and making a list of how many are full of mockery that might be aimed at the R. leadership but leak over to ordinary people with different starting political views, instead of being listening and inviting.

      •  Huh? (0+ / 0-)
        The left used to focus on the idea that all value came from the working class, but that is rarely our message anymore: we talk about inequality as if the world is full of losers and winners, rather than real workers and people who take more than they make.
        I'm not sure what message you are hearing, but that is exctly the opposite of the message that is being crafted today by the Democratic Party and this president. And I might add that is not the message being conveyed here at Daily Kos.

        Point in fact the message going out right now is the value of working class Americans and the wholesale attack on the middle class by Republican lawmakers.

        I cannot take you serious when you state...

        The left used to focus on the idea that all value came from the working class,
        Primarily because that is what our focus is on going into these elections.

        I am suspect of your intentions here until I see more of your writing and for the time being will be wary. On that note, take care.

        "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." Louis Brandeis

        by wxorknot on Sun Apr 20, 2014 at 06:27:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Couple that with the Princeton study (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean, Arfeeto, ncarolinagirl

    showing we are turning into a plutocracy and you do have to wonder what the future holds as policy gets further and further away from what the public really wants.   Will Republicans just continue to lose elections or will they get more desperate with voter suppression?

    Here's a link to the Princeton study write up on TPM: href="">

    The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

    by LiberalLady on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 07:45:27 PM PDT

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