From today's Pew Research Center poll on "Haves and Have-Nots": The public overwhelmingly supports the Hurricane Katrina rebuilding aid already approved by Congress. Going forward, however, as many Americans worry that the government will spend too much on hurricane relief as say it will spend too little. A new poll finds that that 51% of Americans say their biggest concern about the government’s relief effort is that the money will not go to the needy, while 32% worry that the money will be wasted on unnecessary things. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted among 1,500 adults from Oct. 6-10, finds increasing public perceptions of economic inequality in the aftermath of Katrina. Nearly half (48%) believe that American society is divided between the “haves” and “have-nots.” That represents a 10-point rise since March 2005, with the increase coming across the economic spectrum.
Jessica Clark is a writer, editor and researcher, with more than 15 years of experience spanning commercial, educational, independent and public media production. Currently she is the Research Director for American University’s Center for Social Media. She also writes a monthly column for PBS’ MediaShift on new directions in public media. She is the author, with Tracy Van Slyke, of Beyond the Echo Chamber: Reshaping Politics Through Networked Progressive Media (2010, New Press).