A Rising Empathy Gap Hurts the Poor—But Also the Economy

Discussion is growing of an empathy gap rooted in our society’s dramatic increase in inequality. As David Madland argues in Democracy,…


Other research has confirmed this empathy gap. Last year, Paul Piff caused quite a stir when he published his finding that upper class individuals were, more likely to break driving laws, take goods from others, lie in a negotiation, cheat and endorse unethical behaviour (this, of course, stands at odd with Charles Murray’s rather naive belief that the rich are rich because of their superior moral scruples). Piff summarizes his conclusions,


While having money doesn’t necessarily make anybody anything, the rich are way more likely to prioritize their own self-interests above the interests of other people. It makes them more likely to exhibit characteristics that we would stereotypically associate with, say, assholes.



Posted by Sean McElwee