Celebrities and entertainers +86 Professional athletes +85 Lawyers +81 Presidents of major business corporations +74 US Senators and Congressmen +65 Doctors +63 TV news anchor people +57 Senior level managers in the federal government +53 Investment bankers +51 Middle level managers in the federal government +38 Military officers -2 Long-distance truck drivers -37 Nurses -40 Skilled factory workers -45 Policemen -51 Public school teachers -58 Secretaries -61 Restaurant workers -80
The numbers are the difference between the percent saying overpaid and the percent saying underpaid. For example, 87% say celebrities and entertainers are overpaid, and one percent say they are underpaid, for a score of 87-1=86. The basic pattern is that people say occupations with high pay are overpaid and occupations with low or moderate pay are underpaid. But that raises a question of why investment bankers, a famously well-paid occupation, don't rank higher.
Perhaps it's because with most of the high-paying occupations that they asked about, there is an obvious zero-sum element: people figure that if they made less, prices or taxes could be lower, or ordinary workers in their companies would get paid better. But investment bankers don't directly sell anything to the public, so people don't see who would gain if they got paid less. If this is correct, it may help to explain why the rise in top incomes over the last few decades hasn't caused much public reaction. High salaries in finance, which has contributed a lot to the rise in inequality, just seem to appear, rather than to be gained at anyone's expense.
Note: data from the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research