What sort of political agenda would you create to win elections in the America portrayed by the new 2013 Economic Values Survey from the Public Religion Research Institute and Brookings? A few of the findings:
1. For just about everybody other than Republicans and post-grads, jobs are the biggest economic issue. (See above chart.)
2. Seventy percent of Americans think income equality is getting worse, though Hispanics somewhat less so (52%).
3. While the public is evenly divided about whether the economy is improving, Americans are more likely to believe the US economy has improved (35%) than that their own personal financial situation has improved (23%).
4. Americans are generally pessimistic about upward economic mobility, particularly those between 18 and 33 year old:
5. Two-thirds of Americans think government is broken, one-third says its working. No group gives government higher marks than Hispanics, though Millennials are close.
6. Some 63% of Americans agree government should be doing more to reduce the gap between rich and poor. And 62% say it is the responsibility of government to take care of people who cannot take care of themselves. Also, 56% of Americans — with an even higher percentage of Hispanics and Millennials — also believe that government should guarantee health insurance for all citizens, even if doing so would require tax increases.
7. Millennials and Hispanics think it is a big problem that not every American gets an equal shot at success.
8. Roughly 60% of Hispanics think family instability is a big economic problem, while roughly the same number of blacks do not.
9. A majority (54%) of Americans — even more so among Millennials and Hispanics — believe the best way to promote economic growth in the United States is to spend more on education and the nation’s infrastructure while raising taxes on wealthy individuals and businesses to pay for that spending, while 4-in-10 (41%) Americans believe the best way to promote economic growth is to lower taxes on individuals and businesses and to pay for those tax cuts by cutting spending on some government services and programs.