One of the points I make in my column this week is that Mitt Romney is making a mistake if he tries to run as the champion of the middle class instead of rejecting efforts to divide Americans into classes.
The Pew Research Center advances this divisive agenda by releasing, on the eve of the Republican National Convention, a poll that divides Americans into "upper" (which includes "upper-middle"), "middle," and "lower" classes, and then asking them a lot of questions about their health, happiness, and household finances.
Bloomberg News wrote an article about the Pew Poll, as did the New York Times. It's interesting how Mr. Romney is widely described as wealthy, but how President Obama, with assets of between $2.6 million and $8.3 million accumulated almost entirely while employed in government service, is rarely described as wealthy.
The Pew Poll says the respondents think the rich are smarter and harder working than average but also greedier and less honest. It'll be interesting to see whether there's a Pew Poll on the eve of the Democratic convention that says the public views public-employee union members, or the poor, as lazier and less intelligent than average, and, if there were such a poll, whether it would be covered as thoroughly by the press. Sometimes when you poll about stereotypes you get responses and news coverage that confirms the stereotypes. My own view is it's more useful to try to judge people as individuals rather than making assumptions about them by grouping them into classes.