With the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) protests moving across the United States, anger at corporate America seems to be intensifying even further.
According to the results of a recent poll, conducted by Harris Interactive, a large majority of Americans (7 in 10 or 69 percent) believe that top corporate executives earn more than they deserve. Most people also believe that managers have become rich at the expense of ordinary workers. Only 29 percent (3 in 10) believe they earn what they deserve and a tiny 2 percent say they should actually be making more.
The results of the poll also reveal a difference between Democrats and Republicans. As much as 76 percent of the former (and 71 percent of Independents) believe that these executives make more than they deserve, compared to 59 percent of the latter, who believe they do not.
In addition, apart from the earnings of senior managers, the poll also focused on people at whose expense the money was flowing in.
According to the results, approximately 4 in 5 Americans (80 percent) thought that senior managers made money at the expense of ordinary workers; half of that figure (47 percent) were strongly of the above opinion. There was a noticeable divide here too, between Democrats and Republicans, who weighed in at 89 and 69 percent, respectively.
It appeared that people were, by and large, angry; 77 percent of them, in fact, confirmed the strong nature of their feelings, given the current state of affairs.
Unfair Distribution of Rewards
According to the poll, two-thirds of all Americans (65 percent) believe rewards in the American workplace are distributed less fairly than five years ago. Only one-third (32 percent) say rewards are fairly distributed and a mere 3 percent say they are distributed better than before.
In terms of the divide between Democrats and Republicans, 74 percent of the former (and 67 percent of Independents) speak of unfair rewards distribution, compared to 51 percent of the Republicans who believe the same.
Reason Behind the Anger?
The poll also suggests that the reason for the American people's anger is that they are, compared to five years ago, worse of financially. Two in five Americans are poorer now than five years ago; two others are at about the same level and only the odd one in five has improved his/her position.
The financial conditions, among 42 percent of all Republicans, is weaker now than it was five years back. The same goes for 38 percent of all Democrats and 40 percent of all Independents.
The protests and demonstrations across the country are expected to continue until the economy turns around and the job market bounces back. The anger seems obvious and this is one way that some Americans are expressing their frustration at corporate America.
The poll was conducted online, within the U.S., between October 25 and 27, 2011 among 2,115 adults (aged 18 and over).