The Harris Poll also found that three in 10 (29%) say top company managers make about what they deserve, and 2% believe they make less than what they deserve. There is a partisan difference as three-quarter of Democrats (76%) and seven in 10 Independents (71%) believe these top managers make more than they deserve. compared to 59% of Republicans.
It’s not just the fact that company leaders are paid more, it’s who the money is coming at the expense of that seems to be a concern, a press release said. Four in five Americans (80%) agree that top company managers have become rich at the expense of ordinary workers, with almost half (47%) strongly agreeing. Again there is a partisan divide as nine in 10 Democrats (89%) agree compared to seven in 10 Republicans (69%).
Among those who believe top company managers have become rich at the expense of ordinary workers, over three-quarters (77%) are angry that this has happened, with 34% very angry. Less than one in five (18%) are not very angry and only 5% are not at all angry.
There is also a distribution of rewards issue as two-thirds of Americans (65%) believe rewards in the American workplace are distributed less fairly than five years ago, while one-third (32%) say rewards are distributed just as fairly, and 3% say more fairly. In 2002 two-thirds of Americans (66%) also believed rewards in the American workplace were distributed less fairly than they were five years previously. There is, yet again, a partisan difference on distribution of rewards in the workplace. Three-quarters of Democrats (74%) and two-thirds of Independents (67%) say these rewards are distributed less fairly, compared to half of Republicans (51%) who say the same.
Much of respondents' anger is due to the fact that Americans are not happy financially. Compared to five years ago, two in five Americans are worse off financially (40%), two in five are financially about the same, and less than one in five (18%) are better off. Here there is no real partisan difference as two in five Republicans (42%), Democrats (38%), and Independents (40%) all say they are worse off financially than they were five years ago.
The Harris Poll was conducted online within the U.S. between October 25 and 27, 2011, among 2,115 adults (ages 18 and over).