In the News (from News.com.au): “A recent study by researchers at the University of California Berkeley Campus has found a clear connection between wealth and a disregard for a fellow person’s feelings. The Berkeley research team is lead by Paul Piff, a psychologist with an avid interest in the power of money over human interaction.
“In one test Piff’s research team set up games of Monopoly between more than 100 pairs of strangers. A coin was flipped and randomly determined which person out of the pair would be the ‘rich’ player in the game. The game was clearly rigged in favour of the ‘rich’ player, with fascinating results.
“The rich player was given twice as much money as their poorer competitor, and when they passed ‘GO’ they collected twice the salary they were entitled to. They also got to roll two dice on their turn instead of one, and thus moved around the board quicker.
“The videos showed that the language and comments of the richer players became more confident as the game progressed. They began to move their piece around the board much louder, at times smacking it down.
“We were more likely to see signs of dominance and non-verbal signs, displays of power and celebration among the rich players,” said Piff. …
“’The rich players actually started to become ruder toward the other person, less and less sensitive to the plight of those poor … players,’ said Piff. They became ‘more and more demonstrative of their material success, more likely to showcase how well they were doing.’
“Numerous surveys and studies made over seven years found that wealthier individuals are more likely to moralise greed as being good, and the pursuit of self-interest as being acceptable. …
“Individuals who made between $15,000 and $25,000 a year gave on average 44 per cent more of their money to the stranger than the individuals who earned between $150,000 and $200,000 a year.”
“They even tested hundreds of vehicles and found that drivers of expensive cars were more inclined to break the law, failing to stop at a pedestrian crossing when there was someone waiting to cross.
“Nearly 50 per cent of drivers of expensive range cars cut off pedestrians, while none of the drivers of the least expensive cars did. As the price of the car increased, the driver’s tendencies to break the law increased too.
“Other studies have tested whether richer individuals are more likely to lie in negotiations, to endorse unethical behavior at work like stealing cash from the cash register, taking bribes or lying to customers.
“What these studies have found is that, “the wealthier you are, the more likely you are to pursue a vision of personal success, of achievement and accomplishment, to the detriment of others around you.”
My Comment: How can we get back on the right track? Only by implementing re-education that will lead to the leveling of wealth in a voluntary way. Otherwise, we are faced with civil war.