Saturday, October 26, 2013

American Exceptionalism?

Since 1991, a number of surveys have asked people if they agree or disagree with the statement "I admire people who get rich by working hard."  Usually about 50% "completely agree" and 40% "mostly agree."  Agreement is uniformly high among different demographic groups; it has some connection to political views, but even among liberals about 80% agree.  Is this another case of "American exceptionalism"?

The question was also asked in the 1989 Pulse of Europe survey, which I discussed in an earlier post.  The results:

                     UK     France    Italy    Spain    W. Germany   E. Germany
Completely agree     60%      59%      61%      63%       37%         40%
Mostly Agree         32%      27%      30%      28%       49%         49%

That is, there is less enthusiastic agreement in the US than in Britain, Italy, Spain, and even France.  Only the Germans have a lower percentage of "completely agree."  

No comments:

Post a Comment