A remarkable poll for something called the “Committee to Unleash Prosperity” (as if we weren’t already rich beyond the dreams of our grandparents, or indeed Louis XIV, without being conspicuously happier) found that “America’s richest citizens want food, gas and electricity to be rationed in order to fight climate change, a new poll has shown.” Of course what they really mean is, rationed for everyone else. All the people who are already rationing these things to make ends meet, and don’t like it.
No, really. What the poll did was to take a group of 1,000 people who had a postgraduate degree and made at least $150,000 a year (at least half Ivy League or some prestigious private university, as it turned out) and another group of 1,000 “representative voters”. And what a gap they found or, a bubble.
Kurt Mahlberg notes in Mercatornet that “‘The people who run America, or at least think they do, live in a bubble of their own construction,’ the report’s Executive Summary begins.”
Then Mahlberg summarizes the key differences thusly:
“Just 28 percent of Americans favour the strict rationing of gas, meat and electricity to ‘fight climate change’, compared with 77 percent of elites. Asked if gas stoves, gas-powered cars, air conditioning, SUVs, and ‘non-essential air travel’ should be banned, between 13 to 25 percent of Americans agreed, depending on the particular item in question. By contrast, 53 percent to 72 percent of elites favoured such bans. Nearly six in ten elites said there is too much individual freedom in America – double the rate of everyday Americans. Asked if they can trust the government to ‘do the right thing most of the time’, 70 percent of the elites agreed – more than twice the national average. President Joe Biden enjoys high favourability among elites, 84 percent of whom approve of the job he is doing, compared to just 44 percent of other voters.”
It is astounding that people who are not obliged to “ration” their consumption of gas, meat or electricity, let alone “non-essential air travel”, by virtue of their incomes and frequent travel on an expense account should shrug off the consequences of doing so, whereas those who struggle to make ends meet and haven’t taken an inessential flight in their lives are not, well, on board.
Of course the public could be wrong and the elite right. But let’s at least be clear that this thing is coming down from above by people arguably out of touch with realities like unaffordable energy bills, not up from the populace despite rearguard actions by those dastardly “corporate interests” so hated by The Guardian.