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Tall poppies? Which countries think the rich deserve their wealth

Australia is often accused of harbouring a ‘tall poppy syndrome’, or an uneasiness and hostility with towards our perceived betters.

But when we’re compared globally, a higher percentage of Australians think rich people deserve their wealth than in any of 23 countries surveyed by GlobeScan recently. The market-research company polled 12,000 people across 23 countries between December 2011 and February 2012.

Just over 60% of Australians answered in the affirmative when asked the question. Next on the list was Canada, then the United States, with the developing economics of China and India coming close behind.

Broadly speaking, Anglo-Saxon countries and rapidly industrialising economies seemed the most positive towards their rich. In recession-stricken Greece, less than 10% of respondents believed the rich deserved their wealth.

The Economist has the chart.

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Myriam Robin


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Myriam Robin is a reporter for SmartCompany and its sister site LeadingCompany. She has degrees in economics, international studies and journalism. She likes writing about businesses taking risks and doing new things.
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