Gallup asked U.S. citizens how much income per year they would need to earn to consider themselves “rich.” I thought the answer would be a salary of more than $1 million per year. Actually, the median answer is $150,000 annually.
So, when talking heads refer to “The Rich,” their audiences interpret this as people making $150,000 or more annually. I’d bet few of the political pundits know this -- nor probably do most people in Washington.
Here’s what this chief executive and believer in enterprise and meritocracy hopes: That as November nears, candidates in the varied elections stay on the same page regarding how they define rich. Or they’ll misread public opinion and continue to divide the electorate. This misunderstanding could even cost some politicians their jobs.
Gallup also asked Americans if they themselves would like to be rich, and overwhelmingly they say “yes.” And nearly a full third of Americans are optimistic they will get there.
The word “rich” is tarnished in our country by leaders, politicians, and talking heads. It’s a dirty word in politics because it’s misunderstood. But becoming wealthy is still a part of the great American Dream.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012