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Thu Mar 15, 2012, 07:30 AM

Why are rich people such jerks?

More money can mean more character flaws, according to research indicating that wealthy people are more likely to lack ethics, generosity and compassion.


3/14/2012 3:34 PM ET.|By Liz Weston, MSN Money

My husband and I were waiting for a dinner reservation on the front porch of a Colonial Williamsburg restaurant when another guest, after finding out where we were from, launched into a diatribe about how awful California and Californians were.

The woman, who was from Spokane, Wash., went on and on about her dislike. My husband, a fourth-generation Californian, was genuinely baffled by her vehemence. I grew up in Washington state but had encountered this before. So, I asked in seeming innocence, where in California did you visit? The answer: Anaheim. She was basing her opinion of 37 million people and the nation's third-largest state on a single visit to a theme park.

In much the same way, many of us have opinions about the very rich, and the very poor, even though we may have personally encountered few of either. We may form our views mostly based on what our parents told us, what we see in the news media and the opinions of people we like or admire.

Research sometimes upholds our stereotypes and sometimes contradicts them:

•If you believe that the poor are lazy, for example, you might be surprised by Census Bureau statistics showing that the majority of people under the poverty line are too young, too old or too disabled to work.
•If you believe the poor are less educated, though, research seems to back you up. Households where the adults have lower levels of education tend to be in lower income brackets, and more likely to move down economically, than households where adults have higher levels of education, Census Bureau statistics show.


http://money.msn.com/family-money/why-are-rich-people-such-jerks-weston.aspx

21 replies, 3162 views

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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why are rich people such jerks? (Original post)
liberal N proud Mar 2012 OP
ChairmanAgnostic Mar 2012 #1
Booby Mar 2012 #15
Ian David Mar 2012 #16
Mopar151 Mar 2012 #2
Diclotican Mar 2012 #3
liberal N proud Mar 2012 #4
Diclotican Mar 2012 #6
Odin2005 Mar 2012 #14
JayhawkSD Mar 2012 #5
Diclotican Mar 2012 #7
Doctor_J Mar 2012 #9
TBF Apr 2012 #19
Dark n Stormy Knight Mar 6 #21
Doctor_J Mar 2012 #8
Kablooie Mar 2012 #10
Ishoutandscream2 Mar 2012 #11
varelse Mar 2012 #12
Odin2005 Mar 2012 #13
winton37 Mar 2012 #18
TBF Apr 2012 #20
DiverDave Mar 2012 #17

Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 07:31 AM

1. WRONG. Romney has no such flaws.

the fact that he has no character may contribute to his lack of character flaws, however.

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Response to ChairmanAgnostic (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 18, 2012, 05:52 PM

15. Exactly my point

 

Robots don't have flaws.

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Response to Booby (Reply #15)

Sun Mar 18, 2012, 05:53 PM

16. They also eat old people's medicine for fuel. n/t

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 09:30 AM

2. To be fair, a lot has to do with opprotunity to be a jerk

And the number of people affected by said jerkiness.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 10:08 AM

3. liberal N proud

liberal N proud

Do you belive rich pepole for the most part, get rich by beeing nice to others?.. Most of them have climbed over others, to get money.. In some cases, whole piles of others body, to get rich... We might admire the rich, and powerfull - but really, if you dear to look deep into how they get rich, you wil discover a pile of shit, for 99 percent of them...

So, I keep beeing "poor" but is reqonized as a decent person, who is helping others, and beeing kind to others, even tho I might not benefit other than feeling good when a good deed are being finished... At least I can look at myself in the mirror every morning, and be proud of what I am, rather be ashamed of what I became... And I think THAT is far more important, than manage to show off how many money I have...

Diclotican

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Response to Diclotican (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 10:30 AM

4. So you say that you have to be a jerk to get rich?

I would hope that if the opportunity for me to be rich ever came to be, I would not be a jerk. I would hope that I would remain to be my same humble self only be generous enough to share the wealth.

But then that is why I will never get the opportunity to be rich, I would share it an therefore not have it.

Oh well, I guess there are more important things.

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #4)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 11:31 AM

6. liberal N proud

liberal N proud

I don't say that you have to be a jerk to get rich, or to be rich - but it defently help if you are a jerk, to get rich... Few who is rich are making it by beeing nice to others.. That was I said, and I stand by it.. I have known a few rich in my life - and I can say that just one of them, have treated pepole around them with a kind heart. And he IS rich even by US standard... He is from "old money" so I guess he know how to handle money...

I to would be generous if I ever got the posibility to make it big!.. But I guess I never wil be that, so I am better be generous, even tho I might never be rich.. I can allways hope to win at the lottery I guess...

And, it exist far more important things to be conserned with, than money I guess...

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Response to liberal N proud (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 18, 2012, 03:06 PM

14. Non-jerks feel shame and guilt for being rich.

If you feel no shame for being rich you are probably a jerk, and maybe a sociopath.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 10:46 AM

5. Not all rich people are jerks

Some years ago I was in the landscaping business. I did landscape installations costing $200,000 and up (some were well over $1 million) for private residences. Very rarely did I have to deal with a rude homeowner.

One in particular stands out, The front yard was $250,000, the back yard was $1.2 million. The guy was considerably more wealthy than is Mitt Romney. He provided a cooler of soft drinks for the crew every day, and on Fridays he provided lunch for the crew, which his wife prepared and served. Sometimes he was out in the yard with my guys helping dig plant holes. The guys absolutely loved him.

After everything was completely done he held a party for all the contractors who had been involved in building the house and grounds. Not just the management was invited, but all of the workers as well and their wives and kids. He wanted to thank them for the work they had done and he wanted the workers' families to see "what Daddy does for a living." The party lasted all day, and he and his wife circulated, meeting wives and telling them what a nice time he had had working with their husbands.

Why are rich people such jerks? Not all of them are.

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Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 11:38 AM

7. JayhawkSD

JayhawkSD

That is absolutely true - some who are rich, is decent and nice to the workforce.. And is also using their wealth to give to others, when needed.. As in your history, also give a party for the ones who had worked on their property, to give thanks for the work THEY had beeing doing for HIM... And that is a really nice tutch to show how gratefull they was to the work beeing doing.

And it is allways nice to show a big patron been willing to work the ground, and help the groundworkers when needed too.. That is something that defently are a big plus, and why the guys also loved him..

Not everyone who are rich are jerks - but many indeed are....

Diclotican

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Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 02:19 PM

9. Most uplifting story JSD

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Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 09:16 AM

19. You're missing the point -

people are going to act in different ways depending upon what is in their interest (and sometimes it's in their interest to be "nice" while they are enjoying their money). But individual actors are not the problem. The problem is that we have an economic system, capitalism, that rewards greed and stepping on others to get ahead. It has resulted in the top 1% of this country controlling over 40% of the wealth. THAT is the problem - not whether someone buys you a Coke or not.

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Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 6, 2014, 02:20 AM

21. Not all slave-owners were bad. Some were real nice to the

darkies.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Thu Mar 15, 2012, 02:18 PM

8. that seems to be the thing that sets the US apart

Most of the rich countries have rich & poor people. The US is only place where the ones who are the most well-off bitch incessantly about how bad they have it.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Fri Mar 16, 2012, 12:11 PM

10. It seems often to depend on how you got rich.

If you became rich because your goal was to become rich you are probably a jerk.

If you became rich because you worked hard at something you love and accumulation of money was never part of the goal, you are more likely to be generous and less jerky.

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #10)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 11:52 AM

11. I think you nailed it!

Excellent post.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Sat Mar 17, 2012, 07:13 PM

12. The last 4 paragraphs of the article

are really the best.

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Sun Mar 18, 2012, 03:03 PM

13. Sociopathic jerks are more likely to get rich...

...because they don't give a damn about the consequences of their actions on other people.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #13)

Mon Mar 19, 2012, 06:44 AM

18. They're Blinded By Their Green

For the most part, we're talking about narrow and closed minded people who's only concern is getting MORE! I've often wondered how depressed and envious they must get when they go to the country club bar and see others who are wealthier than they. It must eat them alive. Forget the welfare of the 99%, the environment, our over-crowded country, the ruination of so many workingclass families, the shredding of our society and culture, and the millions of people their "bought" military machines kill and imperialize--the only thing important to them is having the green and watching it grow at the expense of the masses. My new Amazon Bestseller novel, The Last American Marty, tells all about it.

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Response to Odin2005 (Reply #13)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 09:18 AM

20. And that is what capitalism rewards. nt

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Response to liberal N proud (Original post)

Sun Mar 18, 2012, 08:37 PM

17. A friend of mine

family owned a tree spray/pruning business, and they HATED working for the wealthy.
See, either they would wait 90-180 to pay-if they paid at all.

My friend had to go to small claims court numerous times to recover the pittance
they were owed.
He told me he had a wife tell him they absolutely would not pay-ever.

He was pretty happy when the court forced them to pay up.

But working in middle class areas?
Not a problem.

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