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Upper class more likely to be scofflaws due to greed, study finds

Discussion in 'Political Debates' started by work in progress, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. work in progress

    work in progress New Member

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    This isn't exactly news to most people: Upper class more likely to be scofflaws due to greed, study finds
    but, I was going to post this previously but forgot. The collation of six studies mentioned, shows that the wealthy are more likely to be dishonest, and excuse unethical behaviour out of a sense of entitlement....they're just better than everyone else! And they have the money to prove how much better they are!

    This should serve as another reason why unregulated capitalism becomes increasingly ruthless and dysfunctional, and social ills increase as incomes and living standards in a population become increasingly stratified into separate economic classes.

     
  2. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger Staff Member Premium Member

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    I dunno.

    I think feelings of entitlement and unethical behavior (just to get an edge) pops up often regardless of class. But I will admit that this is only based on doing business with a range of people...I've collaborated with people of all stripes, from dirt poor to multi-millionaires. I'm okay with personal testimony taken with a grain of salt, so...just saying. :)

    People is people. :shrug:
     
  3. JacobEzra

    JacobEzra New Member

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    Upper class and old, senile, republicans can be a lot of things. Not much to say its a lie when a millionaire calls Obama a "snob" for trying to get lower class people into college. And a room full of old folk clapping :rolleyes:
     
  4. Tarheeler

    Tarheeler Argumentative Curmudgeon Staff Member Premium Member

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    Especially when the guy saying it has not only a BA but also an MBA and a JD and has accumulated a fair amount of money because of them.
     
  5. JacobEzra

    JacobEzra New Member

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    :yes: That made me laugh. Hypocrites to say the lest
     
  6. fulp

    fulp New Member

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    Does power corrupt, or rather do people with issues tend to seek power? Hmmm.

    As someone with issues I'd say it's B :D
     
  7. Protester

    Protester New Member

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    Just to let you know the circumstances of the person who said this:

    This is commonly referred to as Lord Acton's dictum. But it is the third phrase in this quote that might be the most important, if little-known:

    --Lord Acton

    Most people who quote Lord Acton's Dictum are unaware that it refers to Papal power and was made by a Catholic, albeit not an unquestioning one.

    John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    So to paraphrase another old saying, "the rich get rich and the poor get poorer," because the rich are greedy so-and-so's? Yes, unfortunately usually all too true. Allen Stanford guilty of massive Ponzi scheme - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
     
    dust1n likes this.
  8. dyanaprajna2011

    dyanaprajna2011 Dharmapala

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    I agree for the most part with the OP. And what makes matters worse is that those rich people, when caught in the act of unethical behavior, are oftentimes given reduced sentences, if not let go completely, by the government. It's almost like the wealthy are rewarded for unethical, greedy behavior.
     
  9. fulp

    fulp New Member

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    I just came across this, check it out starting from 11:30:

    youtube.com/watch?v=8vHOpZhQeLs

    I obviously had to think of this topic, so I googled a bit:

    forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2011/06/14/why-some-psychopaths-make-great-ceos/

     
  10. Levite

    Levite Higher and Higher

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    Shocking. So hard to believe. The rich, entitled? It's so unlike them!
     
  11. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Oldest Heretic

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    Anglican...heretic
    Notable quotes by Lord Acton

    "The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the people versus the banks."
    “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely"

    Perhaps we are just beginning to appreciate the first.......
     
    fulp likes this.
  12. work in progress

    work in progress New Member

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    There is a pattern here; it's not just anecdotes. I've posted stuff previously on social science research from the Equality Trust, which demonstrates that societies lose their social cohesion as income and wealth gaps increase. Instead of everyone feeling like part of a group, they're wondering about their position on the social ladder, and anxious to kick anyone down who may be rising above them.

    So, this shouldn't be surprising that those at the top, or near the top of the pyramid feel a sense of privilege...that the rules which apply to the commoners don't apply to them...because they are special...or some b.s.

    Actually I was finally motivated to post this thread after watching this nauseating intro of Rick Santorum by his billionaire - Foster Freiss: [youtube]EqwyKmW4uCs[/youtube]
    CPAC: Foster Friess Says He's Discriminated Against Because He is Rich



    This guy, who's name either sounds like a James Bond villain, or a flavour of ice cream, has become mostly renowned for his "aspirin between the legs" birth control advice. But here in this segment of the CPAC intro, he's claiming that his billionaire class is being persecuted because they are rich! And worse, he gives the appearance that he actually believes his own b.s.!

    This is what happens to wealthy and priviledged, who have totally lost touch with the way most people have to live. It would be a little more acceptable if he had any claim to being a victim, unlike the people who have to work for him, or those who are affected by the money he has injected into political decision-making process. But I think this fits with the wider issue of unethical behaviour by the rich and powerful. Why should they be concerned about ethical behaviour, when they feel nothing in common with those who are lower than them on the economic ladder?
     
  13. MysticSang'ha

    MysticSang'ha Big Squishy Hugger Staff Member Premium Member

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    Oh, I don't deny that the wealthy are capable of unethical behavior. But I have concerns over any premise that people in other classes are immune from unethical behavior.

    My armchair analysis (so I know it doesn't mean much ;) ) is that we feel the impact of the ethics of the wealthy more profoundly because of their expanded sphere of influence.
     
  14. fulp

    fulp New Member

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    Nobody said that. "CEOs are 4 times more likely to be psychopaths" doesn't mean other people can't be psychopaths as well, or that all CEOs are. But it *does* mean something.

    And I think ignoring this, or playing it down, is the most lethal thing humanity as whole can do. Everything else is peanuts. If we don't face the reasons, the ways of power, and the people who hold it, we're responsible for the death of others at best, and dead ourselves at worst. But instead we're worried about "hackers" and "terrorists" and "pedophiles". Not that I want to play any of *that* down, but systemic problems > individual problems any time of day, and this stuff adds up. Nobody will ever count the suicides in the wake of an economic crisis as murder, but that's kinda what it is, when stuff becomes corrupt enough (I think that point was passed a bunch of centuries ago). At some point I'm not interested in the crimes of the little guy anymore, just because it's scary to face the owners and the battle droids on their leash. Like that guy on that plane said, "let's roll". It's not like waiting helps. /daily rant

    Analysis of what though? Of the research, or of popular opinion?
     
  15. 4consideration

    4consideration Well-Known Member Staff Member Premium Member

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    Let's take a look at this research and this whole thread -- including the validity of drawing any conclusions against the weatlhy -- or anyone else for that matter. Based upon what I can see when looking into it, it looks like a more solid arguement could be made for applying this data to -- college students, teachers, and anyone with a job that they themselves view as a respected job.

    This research was not done on wealthy people as a group, nor does it appear that it included anyone of the level of material wealth that it is being used for the purpose of confirming and justifying a predudice against that group. It uses a person's opinion of themselves to set the standard for "upper class."

    I think that it is very appopriate that you posted this in the political debate section, as this seems to be a very politically motivated article -- designed to create a predudice against a particular class, the wealthy. As I see it, intellectual honesty is at stake here.

    The studies do not specifically refer to the wealthy. It says “upper class” but the article does create an impression that it means wealthy, which is not the case when one looks at who is being studied – apparently, mostly college students. (Two of the studies observed cars near Berkley, but I see no indication that they would know who was driving those cars, nor how they would verify that the driver was also the owner.)

    I wonder how many people reading the article have observed that according to the criteria used, the term "upper class" could easily refer to you -- personally. Before taking a position of "us" against "them" in terms of class, please consider that you may be giving support toward a predudice that could easily be aimed at you, by simply shifting the focus toward a slightly different conclusion.

    I contend that (using the same methods that this article uses for drawing conclusions, not what I would call intellectual honesty, though) one could easily present a more solid argument for making the same assumption toward anyone with any level of "higher education" and a job -- like teachers (or anyone with a job, higher education and/or better than average income.) I am not asking you to take my conclusions because I say it. I am asking you to think about it. This is what is being used to determine "upper class" and what is being equated with "wealth."

    "Volunteers reported their social class using the MacArthur Scale of Subjective Socioeconomic Status and filled out surveys revealing their attitudes about unprincipled behaviors and greed."

    It is interesting to me that no links were provided for the casual reader to see what the MacArthur Scale is actually measuring. It was not difficult to find online.

    http://www.macses.ucsf.edu/research/psychosocial/subjective.php

    (The two links below are available within the text of the summary on the MacArthur Scale by following the above link, and are only provided separately for quicker reference.)

    SES Ladder: http://www.macses.ucsf.edu/research/psychosocial/usladder.php

    Community Ladder: http://www.macses.ucsf.edu/research/psychosocial/commladder.php

    The SES ladder asks people to rank themselves on a ladder, considering people with the most money, the most education and the most respected jobs. How many of you would rank yourselves somewhere in the upper portion? I would, and it's not because of money. I don't have "a job" right now, and no I'm not independently wealthy. I have a college degree and I think it is "respectable" to be at home taking care of my children. My husband's income would not put us above average in income, but my overall view according to the ranking process they used is that we are above average.

    It doesn't make sense to me to use any of this information to support a conclusion about any group of people. It seems intellectually dishonest to use such studies as evidence against a group of people that was not even specifically included, much less specifically studied. As previously stated, it seems that within the studies indicated, most of the participants were college students

    http://www.pnas.org/content/suppl/2012/02/22/1118373109.DCSupplemental/pnas.201118373SI.pdf (Link to Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences Supporting Information for these studies. I do not have a subscription to allow me to view all the information, but this information was available to anyone. It is apparent from a number of the questions that they were designed to apply to students.)

    I would caution anyone of intelligence and education -- especially the academic community -- against automatically jumping on the bandwagon of assumption of unethical or greedy tendencies based on these studies -- because once it is widely accepted and supported by the academic community as valid, it would be very difficult for that same community to defend against it being applied, specifically, to them.
     
  16. fulp

    fulp New Member

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    strawman. next.
     
  17. 4consideration

    4consideration Well-Known Member Staff Member Premium Member

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    Please show me where in the studies wealth was considered, except in the observation of a type of vehicle driven?
     
  18. 4consideration

    4consideration Well-Known Member Staff Member Premium Member

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    Wow, you must be one of the fastest readers in the world.

    To think that you could read my lengthy post, follow 4 links -- two of which contain 3 pages of text or more -- think about it -- and then reply to my post -- all within 7 minutes of my posting it. That is really quite amazing.

    Or, did you just react to my first sentence? If so, no harm done, why don't you actually read it and think about it this time?
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012
  19. fulp

    fulp New Member

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    91
    What I meant was that nobody is claiming studies as this allow to make assumptions about individuals based on their wealth or power. Which would be silly, isn't the point of checking out statistical distributions, and doesn't make those findings invalid per se. That's your argument in big parts, that stupid people could misuse this and hurt the precious feelings of rich individuals? Well great, then don't tell them about it.

    And in regards to real wealth, what do you propose? You can only do these studies with volunteers, after all. Actually making tests on the very top layer of the rich and powerful isn't even an option. You can ask them, they'll say no, that's that.

    There's something to be said about extrapolation, and having grown up in a town of millionaires (that's not even an exaggeration), I don't see what the problem is with testing students, either. You could do it with 10 year olds actually. But again, you won't find those kids to be volunteered for those studies. And yes, I've known *plenty* of fine upper class peeps. But the general patina of soulessness could still only be missed by a very blind person. But that's just opinions, personal anecdotes and impressions -- so testing is needed.

    Also, the ones about CEO's having a 4 times as high likelyhood to be psychopaths isn't exactly dependant on "wether they imagine themselves to be CEOs", so your objection doesn't apply to that one at all.
     
  20. fulp

    fulp New Member

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    91
    No, I actually do read that fast. I didn't read the links, I responded on your argument you hinge on them, and which is invalid in my books for reasons I pointed out, no matter the content of those links.
     
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