Fri Sep 21, 2012, 12:58 PM
sinkingfeeling (27,792 posts)
How inequality hurts Romney's happiness
Yet a new line of psychological research suggests there's another victim of inequality: the rich themselves. In fact, Romney's comments could make him the poster child for this research.
This suggests that there's something about the experience of high status that hurts our ability to connect with others emotionally. Other studies have suggested that high status makes people less compassionate, less generous and less interested in connecting with others in general .
Here's why the people at that $50,000-a-plate dinner should care about this research: The skills that seem to be impaired by elevated status are the same skills that research has strongly linked to leading a happy, meaningful life. So as the super rich in this country assume an ever-loftier status above the 47% (or the 99%), they risk depleting their own reserves of happiness.
"Being compassionate, having empathic accuracy, being trusting and cooperative -- these are keys to social connection and, in turn, happiness," says UC Berkeley post-doctoral researcher Paul Piff, the lead author of a study that found that people of higher socioeconomic status were less willing to share money with a stranger or make charitable donations. (However, when they were made to feel lower status, they became more generous; the opposite was true for people made to feel high status -- they became stingier.)
The research linking wealth and empathy certainly suggests one reason why Romney has seemed to demonstrate callousness and trouble connecting with voters on the campaign trail, with his comments about the 47% being just the latest example. In light of this research, the video of Romney carries another troubling implication: that inequality may be self-perpetuating, making the rich less likely to feel compassion for the poor, thereby increasing the economic gap between them.
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How inequality hurts Romney's happiness (Original post)
Response to sinkingfeeling (Original post)
Fri Sep 21, 2012, 03:19 PM
freshwest (31,374 posts)
1. And makes them more paranoid, insisting everyone in sight match their material status. All the way
From clothing, vehicles, jewelry, neighborhoods, yachts, etc. to the schools their children attend, membership in exclusive clubs, and how far away from the unwashed they can get. Because they are afraid of people that don't give off those same markers of wealth, as they think they're going to eat them or something.
After all, they ate their jobs, their health care and retirements. An anxiety made of, if not guilty conscience, an awareness that they might get turned on. Thus their disdain for democracy as understood by most of us to be a good thing, but they use the definition of it being rule by mobs of less-than-human beings.
This is why Romney doesn't get into the fray like Obama does, grasping the hands of people in the military and other racially and socially diverse crowds. Obama is comfortable with all kinds of people because he grew up with them, learned from them, and didn't hide. Romney, the Koch brothers and Karl Roves are all about not telling the truth and secrecy. Obama is open.
Most Americans are open about everything as they have to depend on the whole to survive, and if anyone hurts another, punishment is almost sure to follow. That's part of the price of being in human society, which those like Romney have sought to remove themselves from.