Positive views of Wall Street have slipped, though only modestly, since the advent of Occupy Wall Street and an increased focus on economic inequality. Currently, 58% agree that “Wall Street makes an important contribution to the American economy,” down from 63% in 2009.
A larger majority (72%) agrees that “Wall Street only cares about making money for itself.” Three years ago, 67% expressed this view.
Large majorities of college graduates (66%) and those with family incomes of $100,000 or more (70%) say that Wall Street makes an important contribution to the economy. About half of those with a high school education or less and those with incomes of less than $30,000 agree (50%, 52%, respectively).
Nearly seven-in-ten Republicans (69%) say that Wall Street contributes significantly to the economy, compared with 57% of independents and 53% of Democrats. Republicans are also less likely than Democrats or independents to say that Wall Street only cares about making money for itself. But sizable majorities across partisan groups – as well as education and income categories – express this view.