Who Earns More? Liberals or Conservatives?
The Answer Lies in Who Holds a College Degree – Both Here and in the U.K.
Let me ask you a question. Who makes more money? People who are on the political left or people who are on the political right? Well, there's a new survey called the British Social Attitudes Survey. They've been doing this survey for decades. 30 years ago when they conducted this survey they discovered that economically there was no difference between politically liberal people and politically conservative people. Liberals and conservatives made pretty much the same amount of money. That was 30 years ago.
Today, they've just released the new annual survey. Conservatives earn half of what liberals earn. Those who support the death penalty earn half as much as those who oppose the death penalty. And their results in Great Britain are the same in the United States. In 1990, white conservatives earned the same amount of income as white liberals, but today they don't. And here's one theory that the researchers are offering for this. The way people feel is ingrained long before they graduate from high school. We develop our attitudes about most things in life when we're children based on our communities and, of course, no short shrift, our parents and often our religious upbringing. Those with conservative views are less likely to go to college.
And college is the key to high paying careers, according to one study. 66% of liberals, two thirds of them have a college degree. But only 14% of conservatives do. So is it possible that people who are growing up politically conservative don't want to go to those liberal colleges? Because most colleges are liberal. And they therefore choose not to go to college, and by not going to college, they're denying themselves the economic opportunities that having a college degree provides. And the result is a huge and growing difference in incomes and net worths of liberals versus conservatives. You could also argue that the lack of a college degree creates a bigger division in knowledge, not merely incomes and attitudes. It's a fascinating aspect on further areas of division within our country, and apparently it's not limited to the U.S. because they're finding the same issue in Great Britain. I'm Ric Edelman, and you have to wonder what this means for our future.