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Common Information

On the whole, the American population has very little taste for income redistribution as economic policy. Beginning in the 1930s, public opinion polls have rarely shown strong support for income redistribution; during times of economic hardship, the percentage of Americans in favor of such a system has barely crested 50 percent. Similarly, Americans have been reluctant to press for a limit on the profits of big corporations, with less than a third of those polled in the 20 year span between 1950 and 1970 favouring such a policy.

Even during the Depression, the populace was reluctant to embrace income redistribution as a solution to the country’s woes. In 1939, over 60 percent of respondents indicated that the government should not increase taxes on the wealthy and an overwhelming majority—over 80 percent—rejected the idea of the government confiscating wealth. Clearly, the American spirit of Lockean liberalism and rugged individualism runs deep. It appears that most people are content to trust income distribution to the private market.

Of course, while overall support for income distribution remains low on average, there are some significant differences in levels of support based on income levels. As expected, those in the lowest income bracket demonstrate the strongest support for employment and income maintenance programs. However, contrary to expectations, these differences in support were not largest during the volatile economic times of the 1930s and 1940s. Rather, the documented differences in support based on income have been relatively stable over time. On the whole, political scientists have noticed anywhere from a 22 percent to 34 percent difference between the opinions of those classified as "prosperous" and those classified as "poor" on the question of income redistribution.

Q.

Common Information Question: 4/4

An assumption underlying the author’s assertion in the second paragraph is that:

 A.

the private market is the best way to distribute income in an economy

 B.

Americans had never experienced economic hardships as severe as those experienced during the Great Depression

 C.

Lockean liberalism and rugged individualism entail a reliance on private markets for income distribution

 D.

the government had no intentions of confiscating property during the Great Depression

 E.

income redistribution would be insufficient to solve the country’s economic woes during the Great Depression

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Solution:
Option(C) is correct

This is an apply information question. An assumption is necessary to tie an argument together. In the second paragraph, the author holds that "the American spirit of Lockean liberalism and rugged individualism runs deep.

It appears that most people are content to trust income distribution to the private market." If the author is arguing that most people trust the market because of their spirit of Lockean liberalism and rugged individualism, then the assumption must be choice C, that there is a connection between the two.

The other choices are not relevant to the author’s argument.


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