Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Ford Foundation Works to Promote Government Action on Income Equality
Economic inequality in the United States has become a hot topic in the public conversation, but public opinion polls show that it’s not an urgent issue for most people. Americans know economic inequality exists, but they drastically underestimate the wealth gap. Creating jobs and lowering the deficit outrank reducing income inequality as policy priorities.
The messages that anti-poverty advocates use to raise urgency about the issue often fall flat. Typical approaches focus on inequality statistics, portray people in poverty as victims, or feature complex systemic problems that seem almost unsolvable. These kinds of messages don’t motivate people to call for government action to address growing inequality.
The Ford Foundation sought to create a message that would build public support for government action to close the widening wealth gap, and asked our team to explore taxpayers’ attitudes and test messages about the government’s role in reducing inequality....