New York Times: “At 38 colleges in America, including five in the Ivy League – Dartmouth, Princeton, Yale, Penn and Brown – more students came from the top 1 percent of the income scale than from the entire bottom 60 percent.”
Pew Research: “As the debate continues over repeal of the Affordable Care Act and what might replace it, a growing share of Americans believe that the federal government has a responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage…”
Quartz: “Economists at Harvard University recently published research on actual and perceived economic mobility in the United States and four European countries. They found an American public in denial. The data show that Americans believe the chance that a person who is born into the bottom 20% of households in income in the US can reach the top 20% in adulthood is more than 50% higher than in reality.”
“The researchers also discovered that, within the US, an overly optimistic outlook about economic mobility is concentrated in the parts of the country where actual mobility is lowest.”
Pew Research: “Black and white police officers have strikingly different views on a number of important issues related to their jobs, including recent fatal encounters between law enforcement and black citizens and the protests that those encounters have sparked, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. On some subjects, racial differences among the police are considerably more pronounced than they are among the public as a whole.”
Pew Research: “As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office, the public views one of his signature campaign promises – the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border – as a less important goal for immigration policy than several other objectives, such as cracking down on visa overstays.”
Quartz: “According to the November 2016 data, over 5.5 million Americans said they want a job, but don’t have one, and are not considered a part of the labor force. If these people were included in the unemployment rate, it would jump to 8.2%.”
Gallup: “As Donald Trump prepares to take the presidential oath on Jan. 20, less than half of Americans are confident in his ability to handle an international crisis (46%), to use military force wisely (47%) or to prevent major scandals in his administration (44%). At least seven in 10 Americans were confident in Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton in these areas before they took office.”
Another interesting finding: only 60% believe Trump can “work effectively with Congress to get things done.” 89% foresaw congressional cooperation with President-elect Obama in 2009.
Gallup: “Many more Americans have considered themselves politically conservative than liberal since the early 1990s. That remained the case in 2016, when an average of 36% of U.S. adults throughout the year identified themselves as conservative and 25% as liberal. Yet that 11-percentage-point margin is half of what it was at its peak in 1996 and is down from 14 points only two years ago.”
Washington Post: “The nation shed manufacturing jobs at a steady pace over most of the last quarter century. A combination of trade deals, automation and economic recessions sent the number of manufacturing jobs plummeting, with 6 million jobs being lost by 2011.”
“But since then, about half a million jobs have been regained.”
“They’re not the same jobs that left. They’re not coming back everywhere, or even in the same places where jobs were lost. The map of where products are made in this country is being redrawn.”
Gallup: “Slightly more Americans agree (52%) than disagree (45%) that the federal government is responsible for making sure all Americans have healthcare coverage. This balance of views is similar to last year but represents a shift from 2012 to 2014, when majorities said ensuring healthcare coverage for all was not the government’s job.”
“When asked if they would prefer a government-run healthcare system or a system based on private insurance, majorities of Americans have consistently said they prefer a private system. However, this year’s 10-percentage-point gap in favor of a private system (53%) compared with a government system (43%) is the narrowest in Gallup’s trend.”
Gallup: “Americans’ support for keeping the Electoral College system for electing presidents has increased sharply. Weeks after the 2016 election, 47% of Americans say they want to keep the Electoral College, while 49% say they want to amend the Constitution to allow for a popular vote for president. In the past, a clear majority favored amending the U.S. Constitution to replace the Electoral College with a popular vote system.”
Also interesting: 66% of adult Americans accurately identified Clinton as the winner of the popular vote. The answers did diverge along party lines, with 85% of Democrats and only 56% of Republicans naming Clinton as the popular vote winner.
Gallup’s Frank Newport created a list of Trump policy proposals and their relative public support.
He grouped them into three categories: “those that appear to be largely in sync with American public opinion, those that are clearly out of sync and those on which the public is divided.”
R Street: “One of the politically hottest statistics right now is median household income, especially its slow growth. But there is a big problem with understanding what this statistic means, since it mixes up two different things: the changing composition of households and changes in incomes. If the makeup of households is altering dramatically, as it has in recent decades, median household income may be a quite misleading number.”
“For example, it is mathematically possible for everyone’s income to be rising, while the median household income is falling. How is that possible? The paradox is caused by counting by households, when the relationship between individuals and households keeps shifting.”