The wealthy are smart, hard-working - and greedy, Americans say

People admire the wealthy but want them to pay higher taxes
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

The rich really are different than everybody else – more intelligent and industrious but also greedier and not as honest, according to a new poll.

In a reflection of the country’s conflicting opinions of the wealthy, large majorities of Americans view the upper class as smart and hardworking, according to the survey by the Pew Research Center.

But more than half of respondents say the well-off should pay more taxes, and two-thirds worry that the income gap between the rich and poor is widening.

The focus on wealth comes as Republicans gather this week in Florida (weather permitting) to officially select Mitt Romney as the party’s presidential nominee.


Although the generally favorable opinions of rich people would seem to bode well for Romney, he could be dogged by concerns that his policies could favor the upper class.

More than 3 in 5 people say Republicans favor the wealthy over the middle and lower classes. Fewer than 1 in 4 say the GOP leans toward the middle class.


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