Culture Jana Riess: Flunking Sainthood Opinion Politics

Big business and the wealthy will make gains under Trump, says study — but poor …

A Pew study out today suggests that Americans see the wealthy as the biggest potential winners in Trump's administration.

Pew has just released a study confirming what many of us already suspected: the rich are poised to get richer in the new administration, and the poor are going to struggle even more.

That’s what Americans believe will happen, anyway — even those who presumably voted for Trump.

“Nearly two-thirds of Americans (64%) say wealthy people will gain influence in Washington when Trump takes office. Just 8% say they will lose influence, while 27% expect the wealthy will not be affected.

In addition, about half of the public thinks whites (51%), men (51%) and conservative Christians (52%) will gain influence.”

Both Republicans and Democrats actually agree on some of these ideas — like that conservative white Christians are on the ascendant. (It’s about time we got the GOP and the Dems to agree on something, even if it’s just that children, women, and minorities are up a creek without a paddle.)

Forty percent of those surveyed say that they expect to lose influence personally when Trump takes office, and only 27% said they expect to gain something — the lowest in the last four administrations. And, predictably, that does break down neatly along partisan lines: just under half of Republicans think they will gain something personally in the new regime, while two-thirds of Democrats are bracing themselves to lose ground.

You can read a summary of Pew’s report here.

About the author

Jana Riess

Senior columnist Jana Riess is the author of many books, including "The Prayer Wheel" (Random House/Convergent, 2018) and "The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church" (Oxford University Press, 2019). She has a PhD in American religious history from Columbia University.


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  • Did something happen to you when Trump won the election??? Did you lose your ethics? Same exact problem I pointed out on your last post! The study did not confirm anything of the sort. It was opinion polls of what people (not even experts, just the general public) think will happen. Is this going to be the new norm for you? Purposely misleading headlines and baseless claims? If so, there is no reason to read your blog anymore.

  • Thanks for pointing out through the survey what a lot of voters feared and still fear will happen when Trump becomes President. I have very low expectations for his success in office and a lot of apprehension, instead. There is some comfort in knowing that I am not alone in feeling this way.

  • Yawn. Your tantrum is noted. You do your führer (Trump) proud by imitating his tantrums yourself. BTW, no one else will miss them if you really go away and stay away.

  • Just remember that we have very low expectations for Trump with approval ratings at or below 40%. It won’t take much for Trump to meet or exceed our low expectations for his success as President, but it would be a pleasant surprise if he turns out better (and/or less awful) than expected. But if his numbers drop even lower at the end of his first 100 days, it will be the GOP in Congress that first get to pay for his early mistakes during the 2018 mid-term congressional elections. This poll and others, however, set the bar low for his self-saving success, so he really should do better than expected. He really should.

  • Actually about the same historical profile of winners and losers under the Republicans according to experts in looking at who wins and loses by party. So a safe bet.

  • (1) I didn’t vote for Trump and don’t like him.

    (2) Are you arguing that Jana’s headline and initial statement are correct? Does the study say big business and the wealthy will make gains under Trump? Does the study confirm the rich will get richer and the poor will struggle even more? How could yesterday’s opinion polls possibly confirm something will happen in the future? It’s so blatantly ridiculous no self-respecting person should even argue in its favor.

    Call my comments tantrums if you want. They follow much better logic than these posts.

  • And how very Tump-esque of you to name-call without addressing the claim. You even kept it Twitter length. Bravo!

  • If you are trying to dismiss my comment be making a perjorative comment about my sexuality, I am appalled but not offended. I have been happily married for over 30 years – and yes to a man – and have four adult children. And commenting about someone’s presumed sexuality doesn’t change what the data says about historical winners and losers by party in power.

  • I am also a heterosexual who’s been married to the same woman 37 years, but I’ve had the same thing happen to me, some hatemonger will make some comment about how I’m gay. That’s a badge of honor for me. As a parent of LGBTQ kids, I’ve pointed those things out to them to show them that such hateful comments show it is the person making them who is the problem, not LGBTQ folks.

  • Thanks. The comment came as a surprise. However, my initial reaction made me appreciate how others must feel when they don’t sit on the top of the ‘right’ race, religion, sexuality, education etc food chain. Not that is a walk in their shoes by any manner. So a tiny silver lining.

  • It is a study with a foolish premise. The poor hold no influence now, and would not have gained had Clinton won either. That is why they are called poor.
    Did the poor donate to Hillary to help elect her? Would she owe them any favor? Washington and Brussels, Beijing and Moscow, any other capital you would like to name is not the kingdom of the poor, but of the rich.
    Pick your economic theory… Capitalism? A rising tide lifts all boats they say… But the poor are with us. Socialism? I’m sure the unemployed of France would have a few words to take the air out of that model, or maybe Venezuela…
    Communism? Let’s ask the people of Cuba, the USSR, East Germany, or even China, where the richest people in the world are the Billionaire rulers of the “People’s ” Republic.

    The gap between rich and poor in America has been rising through the Presidencies of Carter, Reagan, the Bush family, Clinton and even the “Transformational” Obama.
    This survey is less a criticism of Trump than a resignation of Americans that they have been left out.

  • At least Clinton wouldn’t have nominated a Labor secretary who opposed raising the minimum wage and expressed the superiority of robots over people.

    I do agree that there are changes that neither party has adequately dealt with increased gap between the rich and the poor. However, Trump doesn’t really care about the left out either.

  • This is silly. The study doesn’t say what will happen; if only says what people think will happen. It only quantifies how worried people are. The fact that lots of people think the same way has ZERO effect on the actual probability of how things will play out.

  • The “you wouldn’t argue this if you weren’t kweer” is just a methodology to bullying, based upon stigma to the masses.

  • Mike: that is a perfect example of a “shortage mentality.” If someone gets something it must come from someone else. There is only so much to go around. Contrast that to an abundance mentality: When a labor saving device is invented (for example) more labor becomes available and the entire economy rises. Yes, the inventor could become a multi-millionaire but millions of other people benefit also. Steve Covey wrote about this in his classic book.

  • Not at all- It is simply a fact. Trump has already shown that. First time home homers just felt a wallet grab. Big corporations will getting tax breaks while the little guy will have to pay for them in soooooo many ways. Kellyanne must have snuckered you with her razzle dazzle. Dont get blinded by the B.S coming from Trump white house

  • No Mike – you are really positing a shortage mentality!!!!!! Not a single mortgage payment will change because of that executive order. You have to read through the smoke. Did you find out why it was written. It was reported to have been written so the Trump team can review the numbers. Sorry dude, community organizers do not comprehend finances like self-made billionaires. He wants the numbers checked. Don’t blame him, I would do the same. You must watch too much MSNBC and CNN. MSNBC predicted a crash like response, in the stock market, to Trump taking office. Stupid reporters, the Dow has broken record highs. When business is competitive, business and people all prosper. Jobs are created, goods and services are made and with proper competition, prices are reasonable and profits are normal. You should read “Free to Choose” by Milton Freeman. That will help you a great deal on economics.

  • DRB, you have clearly been drinking the koolaid. This calls for an intervention-Please get professional help as quickly as you can. Do not walk-run to get emergency help. Kelly Ann and trump have slipped you something.

  • Mike, You have no valid argument and so you devolve to name calling – although with a little humor. Checkmate – I win.

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