Majority of Republicans Who Agree There's Too Much Inequality Say Large Corporations Should Help Fix It, Survey Shows

A majority of Republicans who agree there's too much economic inequality in the U.S. said that large corporations and businesses have a lot of responsibility for fixing it, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center.

More broadly, most Americans (61 percent) say there's too much inequality, including 41 percent of likely Republican voters and 78 percent of likely Democratic voters.

That 41 percent could be part of a slightly more progressive coalition of Republicans, as they're younger and less wealthy than others surveyed, according to demographic information provided by Pew to Newsweek. That's in step with earlier reports that younger GOP members tend to care about climate change, see benefits to immigration and support access to contraception.

Among this group, Republicans who say there's too much inequality, 23 percent are younger than 30, and more than half are younger than 50, according to Pew. They also tend to be in lower-income brackets and are less likely to be married, compared with other respondents, though these two measures are closely tied to age, a spokesperson said.

Younger Republicans Depart on Key Issues
Jake Kriete, right, looks at his phone as he attends an election night rally for Republican Senate candidate Mike Braun on November 6, 2018, in Indianapolis. Jim Young/Getty Images

At the same time, it's unclear what they'd like to see done about economic disparities. While slightly more than half of these Republicans think companies should play a role, relatively few agree that raising the federal minimum wage (26 percent), eliminating college debt (28 percent) or breaking up large corporations (23 percent) would be effective in solving the problem, the survey shows.

Curiously, only 36 percent of them think that increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans would do a great deal to solve inequality, according to one question. Yet the vast majority of them think the federal government should raise their taxes anyway, according to another.

A good number of these Republicans also think the federal government (44 percent) should step in to address inequality, but fewer think wealthy individuals (34 percent) should do the same.

Half of Republicans agreed that the U.S. economy requires major changes in order to address inequality—unless they have lower incomes. About 63 percent of lower-income respondents called for major changes, compared with 48 percent and 43 percent of those with middle and upper incomes, respectively, Pew found.

Inequality continues to widen in the U.S., according to the report. In 2018, the wealthiest households had more than 12 times the income of those at the bottom, and only families with net worths in the top 20 percent have recovered wealth that was lost during the financial crisis, according to Pew.