Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Wealthy Have Less Empathy

The findings of this psychologist's research corroborate my own personal experience, both earlier in my life and recently.  As a child, I had a paper route.  Some areas of town that were on this route had wealthier people and other areas had poorer people.  I notice early on, and it remained true, that the wealthier tipped more poorly than the poor tipped.  The difference wasn't small, it was huge, on the order of several hundred percent.

More recently, I worked at an office where this phenomenon held glaringly true as well.  While the underpaid workers were mutually supportive and compassionate to one another, the upper scum of the company was exactly the opposite.  After I left, an employee of their parent company lost her apartment to a fire.  The wealthy upper scum of the child company attempted to recruit the poorer workers in an effort to donate to this employee of the parent company that lost all she had.  They did this because it would gain favor with the executive level of the parent company.  They pressured workers that had nothing to give into donating.  Meanwhile, the wealthiest of all, a man we nicknamed "The Suit", boldly donated coupons for discount travel, a product of the company, to the unfortunate employee of the parent company (at least that is what he said he did).  These donations cost him nothing.  Moreover, how could an impoverished person that just lost everything afford to travel, even with a discount?  It reminds me of a childhood joke, where students are asked by their teacher to write a story about a poor family.  A rich girl in the class wrote: "They were so poor that the maid was poor, the butler was poor, and the chauffeur was poor."

Clearly, The Suit has no empathy.  We all know what the psychological term for this is.

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