The findings would be similar if this study were to be repeated in Britain. Leftists think of themselves as "caring" and concerned for the "most vulnerable members of society." In practice, this comes down to not trusting people to look after themselves and to forcing strangers to pay for this supposed inadequacy.
Growing up in Britain, with the then-young Welfare State merging into the everyday scene, I often heard it used as an excuse for not taking personal responsibility for others; in short for meanness. This was not just a matter of people passing beggars in the street. Ordinary families rapidly lost their natural sense of responsibility for each other, in ways that would be utterly shocking to those from "less civilised" countries.
Just as Scrooge asked those seeking a charitable contribution "Are there no workhouses?", so Leftists feel absolved from reaching into their own pockets by the fact that - at their instigation - the Government forcibly reaches into everyones'.
In a recent interview, Gordon Brown said he can't understand how people can know how little it costs to educate an African child and yet not want to do it. Of course, many who know do something about it. They reach into their pockets and give of their own earnings. Brown's instinct as a Socialist, however, is to be "generous" with the money of others. His apparent belief that giving taxpayers' money to Africa makes him a good person is a perversion of the idea of charity. By any rational analysis he is not a kind man, but a thief. The Robin Hood myth has a lot to answer for.
Nor is the finding that American Leftists have higher-than-average incomes surprising. John Kerry is America's typical Leftist, just as Polly Toynbee is Britain's. Neither has the remotest understanding of life as an ordinary working Joe. Those who grew up among the working classes are far less likely to see them as weaklings in need of lifelong care. They know ordinary working people are as strong and capable of looking after their families as anyone else. When you do find a working-class Socialist, you will find a cynic on the make; a Stalin, a Prescott. All the true believers are from the upper echelons of society.
So appalling is British public education, working class people are often just as intelligent as the middle and upper classes. As the first member of my family ever to reach higher education, I have been shocked by the stupidity of many in my own "learned" profession, who would never have made it if they had been born into ordinary families. Men I worked with on building sites and in factories when I was a student would, intellectually, knock many of them into a cocked hat.
If there is any sensible class-distinction to be made in Britain (which is doubtful) perhaps it is that those who grow up isolated from economic reality by wealth and privilege are more likely to struggle to cope with life's inevitable misfortunes. They project their own fears of falling off life's tight-rope onto others, who don't actually share them at all.
More often than not, Leftism is driven by mere condescension based on ignorance.