Saturday, August 6, 2011

Out of the mainstream, 2

A February 2005 survey by the New York Times and CBS News asked "on the whole, do you think it should or should not be the government's responsibility to provide a decent standard of living for the elderly?"  79% said it should, 17% that it shouldn't.  Who was this 17%?  They tended to be more affluent and white--no surprise there.  But they were also better educated and older.  For example, only 5% of the people who weren't high school graduates thought it shouldn't be the government's responsibility--that rose to 27% among college graduates and 31% among people with graduate education.  Of course, more educated people tend to make more money, but the educational difference is still there after controlling for income.  I thought that the age effect might be limited to more affluent people, who might think that there were more pressing needs than looking out for them--but it seemed to apply to older people at all income levels.

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