New Study Shows Arizona Hates Billionaires More Than Any Other State
If you live in one of the uptown areas of the Phoenix metro area like North Scottsdale or Fountain Hills, chances are you have a taste for luxurious spas, manicured fairways, upscale shopping and sumptuous restaurants.
And chances are a lot of your neighbors hate you.
A recent study found that Arizona hates the rich more than any other state. And with the top 1% controlling almost as much of the world’s wealth as the remaining 99% combined, perhaps that’s not entirely surprising.
The new research published on May 12 comes from online money advisor, a UK-based global financial data clearinghouse. The researchers analyzed more than 50,000 geotagged tweets from this year mentioning billionaires, and rated how negative or positive each tweet was.
“Arizona is the most super-rich-hating state in the United States,” says a recent email revealing the study’s conclusion, based on a list of cities that love to hate the richest among the wealthy. filthy rich.
As the only state with three cities — Tucson, Mesa, and Phoenix — in the top 10 most billionaire-hating U.S. municipalities, Arizona takes the No. 1 honor.
Tucson and Mesa were home to the most hate, ranking first and second respectively among nearly 20,000 cities. In Tucson, almost 70% of tweets about billionaires contained acrimonious language.
The study did not share any examples.
Phoenix was not far behind, placing seventh.
Arizona is full of rich people and people who hate rich people. It’s because of Arizona widening wealth gapsays Tom Rex, associate director of the Center for Competitiveness and Prosperity Research at Arizona State University.
“If you have a large segment of the population that’s not doing well but you see others doing well, that will cause resentment,” Rex says.
More than 7 million people live in Arizona, but much of the state’s wealth is concentrated in a city of just 14,000 people.
With an average family income of over $300,000 and an average value of nearly $4 millionParadise Valley is the richest place in Arizona.
PV also ranks No. 14 among the wealthiest localities in the United States.
The city has hosted celebrities like Emma Stone, Michael Phelps and Alice Cooper. Many other big names, including Ice T, Charles Barkley and Danica Patrick, live elsewhere in the Valley.
Head east on Route 60 and you’ll find another side to Arizona.
About 290 km northeast of Paradise Valley is Whiteriver, located on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. It is a city that in 2016 had an unemployment rate of 53 percent.
Then there’s Bapchule, just a 30-40 minute drive south of Phoenix on the Gila River Indian Reservation, where the Average household income three years ago was just over $11,000.
But one metro area, Tucson, exemplifies both sides of the wealth gap in Arizona, and it’s the most billionaire-hating US city.
Catalina Foothills, a suburb just north of Tucson, is the city with the worst income inequality in Arizona, according to the US Census Bureau.
The bureau uses a measure of income inequality expressed on a scale from zero to 1, where zero represents perfect equality and 1 represents the highest level of inequality. On this scale, Catalina Foothills has the highest coefficient of any city or town in the state.
This is where ‘the most expensive house in Tucson’, a palatial hacienda-style resort on 50 acres, sold for a record $4.45 million just two months ago.
Nearby Tanque Verde, also a suburb of North Tucson, is the most educated locality and one of the wealthiest in the state. Still, Tucson has a national reputation for destitution.
“It’s no coincidence that Tucson is No. 1 on this list,” Rex points out.
The city is home to some of the most opulent and abandoned neighborhoods in the Grand Canyon State. It’s also politically more liberal than most of the rest of Arizona, Rex argues.
In a 2020 report, the Pew Research Center claimed there were 28 states with worse income inequality than Arizona. But that study didn’t take into account a key problem that’s unique to Arizona, experts say.
“We have so many people with second homes in Arizona,” Rex says. “They’re buying and building big, expensive homes, but they’re not considered Arizonans. If you could include these seasonal workers, we would be ranked lower than us.
According to Arizona Tourist Boardmore than 100,000 Canadians winter in vacation homes, condos or timeshares in Arizona.
Even more part-time national residents flock to Arizona during the winters from colder states, especially the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and high Rockies.
During the winters, some of the wealthiest people in Arizona aren’t Arizonans at all.
“The housing market is currently experiencing a rapid increase in value,” says Rex. “The rich are those who profit from it. If you’re not the owner, you don’t earn a penny.
rich young people More and more people are choosing to follow the lead of the ubiquitous saguaro cactus and plant their roots in the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas. And yet young people are most likely to resent the rich, a Survey 2019 shows.
It’s a dichotomy between poor youth and rich youth, who are “a vocal minority” online, according to Phoenix-based social media guru Terry Kurtzer.
Kurtzer owns a social media marketing company and has been teaching social media literacy classes in Phoenix since 2012.
“People like to spit hate on social media because there’s no one to punch them in the face,” he says. “They hide behind screens with no consequences until one of the platforms stops them.”
Kurtzer questions the conclusions of last week’s study.
“I think social media skews the response to inflammatory topics,” he offers. “The haters will rage. People who don’t care don’t care about these topics online.”
Stephanie Tepper, a graduate student at Cornell University in New York and researcher for the Online Money Advisor study, suggested that focusing on how and where the super-rich spend their money is neither healthy nor necessary.
“We can look to the opinions and attitudes of billionaires as a source of authority, especially on topics like investing,” Tepper says. “Tweets from billionaires – probably posted without much thought to the most average people in the world – probably shouldn’t be taken as authoritative advice.”
But viral billionaires like Elon Musk, who recently bought Twitter, have massive influence in the online space to the point where even their tweets can significantly affect the stock market.
The stock market might be “a rich man’s game,” says Rex, the local economist, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid the banter of Musk or Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who has been named the world’s most hated billionaire. in last week’s study.
“It ends up impacting you,” Rex says. “The stock market is remote for most people, but it influences the health of the economy, which spreads to everyone.”
Ten years ago, Rex told Arizona State’s Cronkite News that the wealth gap was not getting the attention it deserved. A decade later, he recounts Phoenix New Times exactly the same.
“We continue to have policies that essentially promote greater income inequality in Arizona,” he says. “I am amazed that there has not been more resentment in the United States”