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Thread: public opinion survey by income class?

  1. #1 public opinion survey by income class? 
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    rational democratic peace theory suggests that the majority of a society would not be in favor of a war, if the cost (financial cost and casualties) of the war is equally distributed. now some political scientist say that due to social (income) inequality and professional military (instead of general conscription) the high+middle income classes can be in favor of a war because the lower income classes will have to pay the cost of the war. i would like to find out if this is true. are lower income classes less in favor of wars than high+middle income classes? i can't find any public opinion survey that groups opinions by income classes. at least pipa, pew, worldviews don't... does anybody know of a public opinion survey that provides this kind of information? i would really appreciate any kind of help!


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    Veracity Vigilante inow's Avatar
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    A quick poke with the google stick turned up the following:


    http://www.britannica.com/bps/additi...TARY-PERSONNEL
    The role of class in this process is a bit more challenging to uncover. Very little research among civilian groups has elaborated how different classes would show support for the war in Iraq. How one measures class is important to this discussion. In terms of education, more educated people are less supportive of war than less educated people, particularly among educated elites with advanced degrees (see Shepard & Shepard, 1996). There appears to be somewhat greater support for the war in Iraq among those with a high-school degree or less (Jones, 2005). Little is known about the role of income in these opinion processes except the fact that Republicans report greater income then Democrats. In the civilian literature we see large differences in how men and women approach war and a disparity in the opinion of Whites and African Americans. It may be that these groups simply reflect two separate sets of circumstances that lead to the same outcome: low support for conflict. However, Nincic and Nincic (2002) suggest a way to bring together the literature showing the low levels of support for war among both women and minorities. They argue that these groups share an alienation from the ruling class in the U .S. which leads them to be skeptical of many foreign policy endeavors, especially those that may include the use of force. Extending Nincic and Nincic's argument to social class suggests that people with lower incomes may feel that they have less at stake in foreign interventions and thus are less likely to show support for them.

    While the above commentary was specific to Iraq, I would bet that you could learn more by looking for those studies referenced in the text. Good luck.


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    In my limited study of political science I came across this contridiction myself.

    Higher income earners are more likely to support war than lower income earners, arguably for the reasons you outlined about who bears the cost. However there is a very strong correlation between education and anti-war sentiment. There is also an obvious correlation between education and higher incomes.

    This never made sense to me and I never managed to find any studies that looked into it, probably because the prospect of researching this seems as apealing as putting your hand through a juicer.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    ďNaturally the common people donít want war. But after all, it is the
    leaders of a country who determine the policy, and itís always a
    simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy or a
    fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.
    Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of
    the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are
    being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and
    for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every
    country.Ē
    -Hermann Goering

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    Arguably the same way George W. and the republicans sold the war in Iraq to the people of america?
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    JX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chenzah
    Arguably the same way George W. and the republicans sold the war in Iraq to the people of america?
    No they didn't do that at all. All they did was...wait a second...damnit!
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    inow, many thanks, that really helped me!

    chenzah, from the information that i've gathered until now, it seems like there is a correlation between income and attitude towards war. however as you've already pointed out education but also race are much more important factors in explaining anti war sentiment.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/8122/Blac...ared-1991.aspx

    the iraq war case is actually a very interesting case. i personally do not believe that the republicans were that succesful in selling that war. 70 % (!) of the american people were in favor of a war against iraq right after 9/11, which was months before the option to attack iraq was even propagated publicly. right before the iraq war 59% favored the war, so the media didn't really have that much of an influence on public opinion. especially when you consider the fact that seven months BEFORE 9/11 52% of the people already favored a war. (you can find the data here: Foyle, Douglas C., Leading the Public to War? The Influence of American Public Option on the Bush Administrationís Decision to Go to War in Iraq, in: International Journal of Public Opinion Research,16/3, 2004, 269-294)

    so for some reasons (most probably past relations with iraq) the american people really wanted to get rid of saddam even though he was not really a threat to them.... makes me wonder about the rationality of the american people in this case. maybe they just dont realize how high the cost of war really is....
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    70 % (!) of the american people were in favor of a war against iraq right after 9/11, which was months before the option to attack iraq was even propagated publicly.
    The Gallup poll you draw this factoid from indeed says 'Currently, about 7 in 10 Americans say they "favor the war with Iraq." ' However the date of the poll report is April 4, 2003 which is not by any stretch of the imagination right after 9/11. By the time this poll was taken Bush's neocon propagandists had done their job well.
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    i drawed this fact from another source, which showed the development of public attitude towards war in iraq over time....

    Foyle, Douglas C., Leading the Public to War? The Influence of American Public Option on the Bush Administrationís Decision to Go to War in Iraq, in: International Journal of Public Opinion Research,16/3, 2004, 269-294

    as i have already mentioned this article makes clear that the war was popular before it was propagated
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    Quote Originally Posted by juliana
    as i have already mentioned this article makes clear that the war was popular before it was propagated
    Interesting, but not as I remember things. I recall the majority of us being in favor of diplomacy. I donít have time to check right now but will do so later.
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  12. #11  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    are lower income classes less in favor of wars than high+middle income classes?
    As I indirectly alluded to previously(thru Goering's statement), propaganda by the government and media(yellow journalism, fearmongering, hatemongering, wmd, war on terror, false flag, pentagon pundits, facts taken out of context, etc) helps whip up a warmongering fervor among the people who will be doing the paying and the dying for the benefit of those that will do the profiteering, and imo people with lower income might have a harder time seeing through the bullshit that is used to justify the war while some of the people with high income (Haliburton, Exxon, Ratheon, etc) might see through the bullshit but pretend and amplify it because of the motherload of cash in play; the massive wealth transfered from the masses into their pockets, which the war facilitates.

    Its always easier to fight to the last drop of other people's blood, so I do suspect that support for war would drop if a Draft was instated sending middleclass kids to die, and even more opposed if chickenhawk draft dodgers like WBush, Cheney, Clinton, and all kids from wealthy and politically connected families were given a gun and dropped on the front line, and even less likely if corporate profits was drafted, that is all people and corporations are asked to shoulder the sacrifice and corporations pay 100% war tax on profits to pay for the war (when right now the opposite is true, Halliburton doesnt sacrifice like the soldiers, it gets billions in tax payer debts and then moves to Dubai to not pay the taxes it is profiteering from).


    so for some reasons (most probably past relations with iraq) the american people really wanted to get rid of saddam even though he was not really a threat to them.... makes me wonder about the rationality of the american people in this case. maybe they just dont realize how high the cost of war really is
    the "some reason" is in great part the Propaganda to manipulate public opinion, and it has worked. (As Orwell mentions which power was Oceania's enemy or ally could be edited in one way or another, the new truth is the truth because its official even if it contradicts the position held prior)
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