This post has been updated.
Politifact is running a poll today, asking readers to weigh in on whether they believe that the growing gap between the rich and everyone else is threatening our economy.
Politifact acknowledges that “a majority of more than three dozen economists surveyed recently by the Associated Press say the growing gap between the richest Americans and everyone else isn’t just bad for individuals, it is also damaging the economy.” (What they should have additionally mentioned is that this majority includes the most esteemed economists from around the world, including Nobel laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz, the IMF, and MacArthur “genius” Emmanuel Saez.)
Yet, Politifact wants you to weigh in about whether you agree. They are literally asking readers to provide an opinion on something that facts can (and have) proven.
It’s also unclear why they’re providing skewed offerings for poll respondents. Politifact offers one option for yes – “definitely” – but two for no – “absolutely not” and “probably not.” (They also gave readers three options to hedge: “maybe,” “I’m not sure,” and/or “other.”)
The growing wage gap between the rich and the rest of us is a documented fact, and its impacts on the U.S. economy are directly linked to our economic woes. Economists around the world agree on this.
UPDATE: For what it’s worth, most readers do agree with science. At the time of this blog post, more than 65% of poll participants shared that they believe the gap between the rich and everyone else definitely threatens the U.S.’s economic recovery. If you include the “maybe” vote, that’s more than 73%. Within 24 hours, more than 3/4 of poll respondents said that they definitely believe the wage gap between the rich and everyone else threatens U.S. economic recovery. (Include the “maybe” vote, and we’re over 80%.) Sounds to us like the people have spoken.