This study says angry people want to redistribute income. This study is naive. I’ve noticed that some people deny that there is such a thing as Global Warming, and these people are also more optimistic about the future. And yet, what is their optimism based on? It is purely delusional. They live in denial about the various harms that the environment has suffered over the last several thousand years, and so they have an easy time being optimistic about the future. Likewise, many of these same people live in denial about the various forms of social inequality that history records, and so these people tend not see any need for any kind of remedy. But all of their happiness and optimism is based on denial of reality. I’m also suspicious of the self-reported lack of anger. This is a group that tends to live in denial of everything bad, so even if they did get angry frequently, I assume they would not be aware of it. Self reported data always needs to be viewed with suspicion.
The data are broadly inconsistent with the standard belief in the social psychology literature that pro-capitalist and anti-redistributionist views are positively associated with racism.
I then explore an alternative hypothesis, showing that, compared to anti-redistributionists, strong redistributionists have about two to three times higher odds of reporting that in the prior seven days they were angry, mad at someone, outraged, sad, lonely, and had trouble shaking the blues. Similarly, anti-redistributionists had about two to four times higher odds of reporting being happy or at ease. Not only do redistributionists report more anger, but they report that their anger lasts longer. When asked about the last time they were angry, strong redistributionists were more than twice as likely as strong opponents of leveling to admit that they responded to their anger by plotting revenge. Last, both redistributionists and anti-capitalists expressed lower overall happiness, less happy marriages, and lower satisfaction with their financial situations and with their jobs or housework.
Further, in the 2002 and 2004 General Social Surveys anti-redistributionists were generally more likely to report altruistic behavior. In particular, those who opposed more government redistribution of income were much more likely to donate money to charities, religious organizations, and political candidates. The one sort of altruistic behavior that the redistributionists were more likely to engage in was giving money to a homeless person on the street.
Evidence from sixteen national representative samples from 1980 through 2004 tends to suggest that Social Dominance Orientation has been in part misconceived. In the United States, segments of the academic community seem to have reversed the relationship between pro-capitalism and income redistribution on the one hand, and racism and intolerance on the other. Those who support capitalism and oppose greater income redistribution tend to be better educated, to have higher family incomes, to be less traditionally racist, and to be less intolerant of unpopular groups. Those who oppose greater redistribution also tend to be more generous in donating to charities and more likely to engage in some other altruistic behavior. The academic assumption that anti-capitalism and opposition to income redistribution reflect an orientation toward social dominance seems unwarranted.