Survey: Ivy League ‘Elites’ Believe Americans Are Too Free, Support Rationing Gas, Meat To Fight Climate Change

Those surveyed were three times more likely to believe that Americans enjoy too much freedom than the 16 percent of average Americans who believe the same.

AP/Markus Schreiber
A wall featuring an artistic rendering of the main themes and ambitions discussed at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting under the theme of 'Rebuilding Trust' at Davos, Switzerland. AP/Markus Schreiber

A new survey of what are described as “elite” Americans suggests that the views of the country’s wealthiest and best-educated citizens are dramatically out of sync with those of average Americans and represent a threat to the ideals of freedom, equality and self-governance enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

The survey by the conservative Committee to Unleash Prosperity, headed by former presidential contender Steve Forbes, found that a majority of the so-called top “One Percent” of Americans believe their fellow citizens enjoy too much freedom and that the government can be trusted to “do the right thing most of the time.”

“This Grand Canyon-sized chasm between where everyday Americans stand on the state of the country, expanding government power, draconian climate change solutions, and Joe Biden’s job performance may partly explain the Donald Trump phenomenon and his high approval ratings among working-class voters, who feel wholly connected with the rebellion against the arrogance of the ruling class Elites,” the report’s authors conclude.

The report is based on two separate surveys of 1,000 elite Americans taken in September 2023 by RMG Research Inc. For the purposes of the survey, “elites” were defined as those having a postgraduate degree, a household income of more than $150,000 annually, and living in a zip code with more than 10,000 people per square mile. Nearly three-fourths of those surveyed identified as Democrats, while 14 percent identified as Republican.

Three-quarters of those surveyed — and 88 percent of Ivy League graduates — said their personal financial situation has improved during the Biden presidency, compared to just 20 percent of most Americans who say they feel that way. A huge majority of the elites, or 84 percent, expressed approval of the job President Biden is doing, compared to 40 percent of most Americans.

The elites surveyed were three times more likely to believe that Americans enjoy too much freedom at the moment compared to the 16 percent of most Americans who believe the same. Some 55 percent of Ivy League graduates said Americans have too much freedom.

Most of these elites told surveyors they are likely to support curtailing Americans’ freedom in the interest of combating climate change. Nearly 90 percent of Ivy League graduates and 77 percent of the one-percenters said they would support rationing gas, meat, and electricity in the name of climate change. Only 28 percent of average Americans said the same thing.

Between half and two-thirds of the elites surveyed also said they would support banning such modern conveniences as gas stoves, gas-powered cars, SUVs, and air conditioning if it was done in the name of fighting climate change. Some 70 percent of Ivy League graduates and 55 percent of one-percenters said they would also support limits on “non-essential” air travel as part of a program aimed at climate change.

On education, 70 percent of Ivy Leaguers and 67 percent of one-percenters said they would support a candidate who believes teachers and other education professionals — not parents — should decide what students are taught in public schools. Nearly half, or 45 percent, of average Americans said it should be the parents who decide. The elites, 70 percent of them at least, are far more likely to trust the American government to do right by its citizens most of the time, more than twice the national average.

“It is important to note that not all members of the Elites are elitists,” the report concludes. “Some don’t think about politics all that much, and others actively support traditional American values such as individual freedom. Still, given the influence they yield, the overall views of the Elites represent an existential threat to America’s founding ideals of freedom, equality, and self-governance.”

The New York Sun

© 2024 The New York Sun Company, LLC. All rights reserved.

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. The material on this site is protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used.

The New York Sun

Sign in or  create a free account

By continuing you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use