When given the chance to erase the huge financial disparity between the super-rich and the poor, a vast majority of Americans, unfortunately, refused to pull the same heroic feat as Robin Hood.
In a new study conducted in the United States and Germany, political scientists gave 5,000 participants two Amazon gift cards valued at $25, $50, or $75. One of the cards was theirs, while the other is to be shared with another person.
They were then offered the option to move funds from the other card into theirs, free of charge, using the "give-or-take" slide bar.
Results Of The Robin Hood Study
Surprisingly, participants chose to transfer a small amount instead of giving the second card away with untouched funds.
Scientists also noted that most of the richer cardholders were not willing to share their funds with poorer cardholders, while those who were willing to preferred not to take from the rich even when they had the power.
"This suggests that inequality persists in part because individuals are not averse enough to inequality," says Michael Bechtel, coauthor and associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis.
Results of the study also revealed that participants from Germany were more keen on addressing economic inequality rather than those from the United States, and this matches the wealth redistribution programs that currently exist in both nations.
In the absence of such programs, Germany has a higher poverty level at 36 percent than the United States, which only has 32 percent. However, with the implementation of progressive social initiatives, Germany successfully reduced the level to only 20 percent.
Income Inequality In The United States
The inequality has become so apparent as those belonging to the elite class now earn an income that's nine times bigger than 90 percent of the nation.
Believe it or not, these people are making 198 times than America's poorest, and their income continues to grow throughout the years.
Income of the upper class started peaking during the late 1920s before the Great Depression started. By the middle of the 20th century, their share of the nation's income has already doubled.
To be specific, chief executives or employees on the same level enjoy a retirement benefit that is enormous when compared to that of a regular worker.
In 2015, the retirement fund of around 100 chief executives amounted to $4.7 billion. Meanwhile, regular workers who are fortunate enough to have a 401(k) plan only receive an average of $18,433.