What country would YOU escape to?

Mar 25, 2011, 9:01 AM | Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 3:48 pm

Dave Ross Commentary – Listen: What country would YOU escape to?

The Declaration of Independence declares that all men are created equal, but it does not promise that we’ll all end up with the same net worth.

“We don’t really have a middle class in America,” says Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist at Duke University.

Ariely surveyed thousands of Americans to find out what they considered to be a fair distribution of wealth. Currently in America: 20% of the population owns 84% of the total wealth — in the form of property, stock, and savings. That’s more lopsided than any other western country. It’s more like China.

So Dan asked this question — if you were a refugee, and you were going to jump on a boat and emigrate to another country, not knowing anything about it — what kind of country would you want to end up in:

“We showed people two distributions of wealth, one of them was based on Sweden and one of them was based on the U.S. We said, ‘Where would you rather live?’ and 92 percent of American’s picked Sweden.”

Sweden. It doesn’t any more socialist than that. And here’s the really crazy thing — it cut across party lines:

“For Democrats, it was 93 percent of them, choosing Sweden, and for Republicans it was 90.5 percent,” says Ariely.

Wow. So Americans, if they were figuratively escaping somewhere on a figurative boat would like to end up in Sweden. Of course, wealth gap or not, we know where the people in the ACTUAL boats seem to end up.

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What country would YOU escape to?