WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A new study released Friday by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity finds that when it comes to Americans’ attitudes about the state of the country, their personal freedoms, and their own financial situation, there is a huge gap between the elite top one Percent and the rest of the country. 

The study entitled “Them vs. U.S.” finds that there are “two Americas today.”  One America is represented by the views of most of those in the middle class, and the other is those who have a culturally “elite” status based on their income, education, and neighborhood.  These two groups see the world through an entirely different lens. 

“The people who think they run the country don’t think the same things about issues like individual freedom climate change and whether the government can be trusted. To understand that is to understand the divide in contemporary American politics,” said the Committee’s Steve Moore.

The survey looks at 1,000 individuals meeting strict criteria for elite status (at least one postgraduate degree, $150,000+ annual income, high-density urban residence) and compared their responses to those of a representative sample of 1,000 registered voters. The findings paint a stark picture of two divergent Americas.


  • Financial Well-being: Nearly three-quarters of the elites surveyed, 74%, believe they are better off now financially than they were when Joe Biden entered the White House. Only 20% of ordinary Americans feel the same way.
  • Individual Freedom: Elites are three times more likely than all Americans to say there is too much individual freedom in the country. Nearly 60% of elite college graduates hold this view.
  • Climate Change: An astonishing 77% of the Elites – including nearly 90% of the Elites who graduated from the top universities – favor rationing energy, gas, and meat to combat climate change. Among all Americans, 63% oppose rationing.
  • Government Trust: Elites display significantly higher trust in the government than the general public, with 70% expressing confidence in its ability to “do the right thing” compared to only 35% of all Americans.
  • Political Engagement: Elites talk about politics far more frequently than the average American. Nearly 30% talk politics daily or almost daily compared to just 9% of voters.

Read the full report here: [insert link]

These findings reveal a divergence in perspectives and priorities between elites and ordinary Americans that is cause for concern. It clearly contributes to feelings of alienation and resentment among everyday citizens, potentially fueling social and political divisions.

The survey also highlights the role of institutions like elite universities in shaping the worldview of the upper class. Elites who attended Ivy League and other “elite” schools tend to hold even more extreme views than their peers, further widening the gap with the mainstream.

The Committee to Unleash Prosperity believes these findings underscore the need for a renewed focus on common ground and shared values. Bridging the gap between elites and ordinary Americans requires open dialogue, mutual respect, and a commitment to upholding the fundamental principles of liberty and equality that have long defined the American experience.


The Committee to Unleash Prosperity is a non-profit organization committed to promoting pro-growth economic policies. Comprised of leading economists and experts in business and finance, CTUP advocates for initiatives that support economic prosperity, job creation, and individual freedom.  For more information:

CONTACT: Alexandra Preate
917-748-6537 cell

SOURCE Committee to Unleash Prosperity

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