Support for Redistribution Shaped by Compassion, Self-Interest, Envy - Reason.com:
"...Self-interest also played a role: support for redistribution was higher in people who thought that they or their family would benefit from it personally.
The more surprising findings involved envy and fairness.
Envy, directed toward those better off than you, predicted support for redistribution.
"When a rival outperforms you in some activity, your relative standing decreases," said Sznycer.
"People sometimes act to chip away at their rivals' advantages, even when that also harms third parties or even sometimes themselves."
...When given two hypothetical policies—lower taxes on the rich resulting in more revenue to help the poor versus higher taxes on the rich but less money for the poor—one in six people preferred the second, more spiteful option.
This willingness to hurt the poor to pull down the rich was predicted only by the individual's proneness to envy.
Fairness looms large in political rhetoric and theories of justice.
But differences in subjects' taste for fairness did not predict how strongly they supported redistribution.
The results were the same in the United State, the United Kingdom, India, and Israel: support for redistribution was predicted by compassion, self-interest, and envy, but not fairness."
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