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How Wealth Reduces Compassion

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Patters, Aug 7, 2012.

  1. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Interesting article. I bet most of us will agree that the more expensive the car, the less considerate drivers are. I've often commented how in places like East Boston (poor) driver's always stop for people in the crosswalk while in Cambridge (rich) that rarely happens. I think with wealth often comes a sense of arrogance and entitlement. The article reviews several different studies, and is worth reading.

    How Wealth Reduces Compassion: Scientific American

    Who is more likely to lie, cheat, and steal—the poor person or the rich one? It’s temping to think that the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to act fairly. After all, if you already have enough for yourself, it’s easier to think about what others may need. But research suggests the opposite is true: as people climb the social ladder, their compassionate feelings towards other people decline.

    ...

    In one study, Piff and his colleagues discreetly observed the behavior of drivers at a busy four-way intersection. They found that luxury car drivers were more likely to cut off other motorists instead of waiting for their turn at the intersection. This was true for both men and women upper-class drivers, regardless of the time of day or the amount of traffic at the intersection. In a different study they found that luxury car drivers were also more likely to speed past a pedestrian trying to use a crosswalk, even after making eye contact with the pedestrian.
  2. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

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    Compassion is a weakness.
  3. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    .Kennedy's.
  4. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well Nan Pelosi and H Reid are rich and they seem to lack compassion.
  5. Drewski

    Drewski Rookie

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    Driving in this state Wista, I agree completely. You will get to where you are going in twice the time if you are a compassionate driver in MA. This statement isn't agreeing with not stopping for people in a cross-walk, as that is should be done at all costs, just speaking to the general attitudes of most M@$$hole drivers.

    Patters - I did read the article and had a couple of questions/observations pertaining to it.

    1. Is there an aspect of time=money to this? i.e. as a human climbs a given social structure, be it wealth or education, does the value they place on their time increase too?

    I'll speak about myself (and loosely go OT) to illustrate my point. I am a "work to live type"; I work to make money to allow me to live; pay the bills and spend or save whatever is leftover. I personally have a dollar value to the company I work for; for easy number arguments sake it is $50/hr. Since I am a work to live type, my personal time is worth more to me than my work time. So if I am worth $50/hr to my employer, to me, my personal time is easily worth twice that.

    Does that imply I worth more than someone else? Absolutely not. But it does manifest itself in how I get from A to B. If my trip to Patriot Place with my wife takes me 20 mins to get there while I drive in the left lane on Rt. 1 behind someone doing 5 under the posted speed limit.... well if I pass them on the right and go around, ill be there in 10...that is a tradeoff I will make 10 times out of 10. It isn't personal, its business. If a person wants to drive in the high speed lane at or below the posted limit, that is certainly their choice, but a choice that I would consider lacking in compassion, not to mention driving 101 wrong as the left lane is the passing lane. As easy as we could say "well the faster driver should be more considerate and not pass on the right" one could say "ya but the slower driver is not using the left passing lane correctly and is being inconsiderate to the other drivers on the road at that time". My action - cutting one off so to speak, would simply be viewed as lacking in compassion in this story, while not stepping back to view the complete context.

    2. Greed, from what I could tell, as a statistical variable, wasn't really included in this relationship.

    Greed generally speaking, increases with wealth and status. It is a drug unlike many others (see our current political leaders for examples). However greed isnt a rule when it comes to wealth and education. i.e. one could argue that to be greedy one has to be wealthy. But the inverse, to be wealthy one has to be greedy, is clearly false. Even moving the goalposts from "wealthy" to "comfortable" still leaves it as a false statement. I'm sure many of us could find examples in our lives of people who are comfortable or even wealthy who are not greedy people.

    3. Isn't much of the money given to charity in this country, a country that as a whole, gives more to charities than most other developed countries, given by "wealthy" people? Is that not a form of compassion?

    4. How does geography fit into their study? Drawing compassion levels from how people drive a car would easily skew the study if it was taken in Cambridge MA versus say Kenwood OH.

    And finally:

    5. Why is the assumption luxury car=wealthy? I would argue that a rich person could easily buy a practical non luxury vehicle (say a Toyota Camary or a Prius) as a less well off person could buy a BMW. Hell a good friend of mine, who would fall into the less well off category, drive's a Vette (gotta love scratch tickets).

    Do more wealthy people generally drive luxury cars more often versus less wealthy? Obviously, but it isnt a statistical rule, and it seems from the study, they literally said "oh, there is a BMW blowing through a crosswalk. Rich person has less compassion". Without actually confirming with the driver their economic status.

    Interesting study, and I would agree that there are some nuggets to draw on and discuss. But from a statistical POV, I think the methodology is a little off.

    Just my two cents.

    D
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
  6. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    What East Boston are you talking about Patters? It certainly isn't the one I went to school in, and set foot in all the time. People in East Boston will try to run you down while you're in the crosswalk, staring at you the entire time, and then offer up a "what the $#%^ are you looking at b*tich" as you dive toward the sidewalk to avoid their car. Seriously, what planet do you live on? Oh yea that's right. You live in Cambridge. That explains everything.
  7. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact On the Roster

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    Talk about about a ridiculous stereotype.

    Guess the study (and you) avoid places like mattapan square, sout main st in Randolph and stoughton center. I can tell you that the driving in needham center, wellesley center, and dover is much more considerate. Seen with my own eyes.

    Cambridge......LMAO.....as in the people's republic? The place is half professional granola head liberals and half minority.

    You are just as bad as any racist

    Last edited: Aug 7, 2012
  8. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Patters is the most bitter, partisan, ill informed, race driven poster in here. To Patters, everything in life comes down to D vs R, Left vs Right, Liberal vs Conservative, minority vs majority, black vs white, hetero vs homo, christian vs non christian, etc. etc. etc. I can't imagine what it's like to go through life with such a preconditioned way of thinking. See, East Boston is "poor", so people there are wonderful and polite. They walk little old ladies across the street. Help you get your kitten out of a tree. They even shovel your car out when it snows. Of course, those of us who actually live, work, or grew up in places like East Boston, know that the reality is a touch different.
  9. Nikolai

    Nikolai Football Atheist PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Yep, off base completely. I've seen better arguments to rile people up for class warfare.

    Also, luxury car does not equal wealthy as many have pointed out. I joke to myself that when I see people driving a Mercedes, it's either "new money" or someone who wants to have the appearance of money. Mercedes knows this, which is why they advertise a $319/month lease option. Ignoring all the other costs, the point is to reach out to people who are not necessarily all that wealthy, but want the appearance of it.

    When I met my mentor in 1999, he was VP of Ops at an $80 million company. He drove a 1986 Mercury Sable. There are more like that than you may think.

    Anyway, I understand there is a certain callousness from people who achieve success, especially through business. It's often done through a lot of hard work and by fighting battles in which you see the ugly side of humanity. People are all smiles until money is involved.

    As for driving and stopping at crosswalks, it's a far more regional phenomenon than a class phenomenon. Poor and rich alike in Atlantic Canada and the American south and midwest have pretty good road manners. The northeast is a different story.

    That's without getting into what one might experience in other parts of the world, mostly because this study is very obviously North American-centric.
  10. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey

    Class warfare and race baiting are the mantras of the democratic party ...

    zebra's don't change their stripes.
  11. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact On the Roster

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    No, they don't .... Look at the similar threads below
  12. Drewski

    Drewski Rookie

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    The question I always go back to with class warfare topics is this:

    Poor, Working Class, Middle Class and Rich exist in some shape or form in every society throughout the history of human kind. This isn't new or unique.

    Sumer and the Indus River Civilizations (the so called cradles of civilization) had all the classes represented as we do today.

    There is always going to be classes regardless of what any politician or party wants to do "to fight it". The issue is, no matter what you do, it doesn't change the situation, all it truly accomplishes is infighting among the masses and a re-definition of a given group (i.e. a policy is passed which makes the "poor" now "working class").

    Well then we have to save the working class cuz they're the new poor!!

    Now am I in favor of policies which benefit one group (say rich) over another (say poor)? No I am not. I am for policies which benefit as many people as possible (what I call inclusive policy rather than exclusive policy). But pretending we are going to "end poverty" as a war cry is hilarious to me.....

    10K years of (mainstream) human history tells me it just doesn't happen.
  13. Ilikehappyppl

    Ilikehappyppl Rookie

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    I could of told you this without a study or an article, most rich people suck.....Not all but a huge majority are just selfish,self-centered pricks with no moral compass.


    Now the right will tell you rich people, walk on water,are the reason for gravity and the reason the sun comes up everyday, for the rest of us with our heads not in our *******s, we know this is not true.

    Poor people built this country, poor people clean your house,fix your food,fix your car,cut your grass,clean your streets, without them the rich would not be rich....They need us (poor,middle class) more then we need them!

    Now in this forum you have the rich apologists and people that someday "think" they'll be rich but we both know that's not going to happen. I have met better people at an AA or NA meeting then I have a Church, I have met poor people that would give the skin off their backs to help others but seen rich people take from the penny jar.

    You don't get rich by being a good person, you get rich by cutting corners and being greedy. FYI anyone can be rich, most of us just don't want to sell our soul to do so......
  14. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact On the Roster

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    LOL....replace right with left, and rich with your minority of choice.



  15. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

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    Insanely Idiotic (Billy Madison) - YouTube
  16. Drewski

    Drewski Rookie

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    So if someone takes a position not of the "rich people suck and are self centered pricks" that makes them an apologist?

    Im sure there are a lot of people who are rich and crappy human beings. Just the same I am sure there are people who are not rich and are crappy human beings. Rich isn't a qualifier or prerequisite to sucking or being a prick.

    This country was built on hard word, ingenuity and the dare to dream...from people of all walks of life. However, regardless of where they started, the people who "built" this country ended up rich. Riches are how we as a society reward the efforts and sacrifice a person makes while plugging away at making the world a better place.

    I hope to be comfortable to the point that I can provide for my wife and future children so they can have the lifestyle they deserve while I'm out "earning the bread". If that is "rich" so be it...but the irony is there is nothing stopping me from doing that outside of my own ambition to achieve it. That's the great thing about America (to me anyway), at the end of the day it doesnt matter who my dad was or what my family name is....all that matters is how much I am willing to put in to get there.

    Sure I could reach a point in my career where I say enough is enough and stop striving to be the best [fill in the blank] (SQL Developer for me) and I rest on my laurels, but I will have had every opportunity to achieve whatever it is I want.

    And honest work still does mean something. Sure there are the crappy CEOs and Execs at various companies porking us little guys, but don't be fooled. For every sh!tty exec you see on the news there are 10-20 exec (small business owners, execs in corporations etc) who have earned their good fortune by working hard with integrity and honesty.

    I guess I'll just agree to disagree.

    D
  17. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Today the people should have seen the Cambridge I grew up in.........:singing:

    We were all poor, we all stuck together, the students did their thing we did ours.

    Racism ran rampant in City Hall, Harvard, MIT, Police and Fire, moreso in the Colleges, we hung around with the Blacks the Colleges didn't want them anywhere near their terirtory unless they were there to take out the rubbish, no Black guy in his right mind would walk into a bar in Harvard Sq during the 40's even during the war in uniform.

    Cambridge Has Plenty Of skeletons in it's closet, the Civil Rights Movement cleaned it up and never let any of those sanctimonious do-gooders tell you they welcomed it, they fought it right up into the 70's then they realized they were on the losing side so they started grinning and making believe they loved it, I wish some of those old timers could have lived to see "The Condom Machine" in the lobby of City Hall back in the 70's, I have no idea if it is still there, you could pick up your Birth Certificate and a package of Rubbers at the same time.

    Most of the people that live in Cambridge today are all f-cking nuts.
  18. Hamar

    Hamar Rookie

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    Maybe people that are less compassionate are more likely to become rich.
  19. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey

    How do we factor in fat wealthy people and poor wealthy people.

    Study: Obesity Increases Driver’s Risk Of Being In Car Accident « CBS Seattle

    SEATTLE (CBS Seattle) – A new study claims that obesity could not only increase a driver’s risk of being in a car accident, but also result in more severe injuries.
    The study, conducted by Canadian scientists at the University of Laval and published in the Journal of Transportation Safety & Security, claimed that morbidly obese drivers may be at increased risk of a crash due to weight-related health complications

    JK Patters ... after all this was the thread of the day for a while. ;););)
  20. IllegalContact

    IllegalContact On the Roster

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    like most other diseases, obesity is a disease of the poor

    poor people are fat because of government subsidies

    The Economics of Obesity: Why Are Poor People Fat?

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