ANXIETY NOSTALGIA AND MISTRUST

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PRRI-AVS-2015-Web

FINDINGS FROM THE 2015 AMERICAN VALUES SURVEY 23

(51% vs. 18%, respectively) and to say that they most trust Fox News to give them accurate

information about politics and current events (34% vs. 10%, respectively).

Americans who perceive a large degree of unfairness in the economic system have dramatically

different issue priorities than those who do not. For example, among Americans who perceive a

very high degree of economic unfairness, nearly two-thirds (64%) say that the growing gap between

the rich and the poor is a critical issue and 60% say the cost of education is a critical issue.

By contrast, among Americans who believe the economic playing field is level (low scores on the

EII), only 21% say the gap between the rich and poor is a critical issue and only 32% say the cost

of education is a critical issue.

More than eight in ten (82%) Americans who perceive very high levels of unfairness in the economic

system say that one of the big problems in the country is that not everyone has an equal chance

in life, compared to only 27% of those who see a level playing field (low scores on the EII). Those

who fall in the middle category of the EII are more divided, with nearly half (49%) saying that a lack

of equal opportunity is one of the country’s big problems, and 40% saying the opposite.

Economic Policies

In the current climate of economic pessimism, Americans express broad and increasing support

for several populist economic policies, such as raising the minimum wage, paid sick leave, and

paid parental leave in the workplace.

FIGURE 8. Favor increasing the minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to…

By party affiliation

$10.10 per hour $15 per hour

100

80

76

72

91

84

60

59 60

58

40

32

20

0

All Americans Republican Independent Democrat

Source: PRRI 2015 American Values Survey.

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