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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Lower class people just show more empathy, more prosocial behavior, more compassion, no matter how you look at it
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lower class people just show more empathy, more prosocial behavior, more compassion, no matter how you look at it

yeah, the rich ARE different from you and me... they don't give a shit for anybody but themselves...
In an academic version of a Depression-era Frank Capra movie, Keltner and co-authors of an article called “Social Class as Culture: The Convergence of Resources and Rank in the Social Realm,” published this week in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science, argue that “upper-class rank perceptions trigger a focus away from the context toward the self….”

In other words, rich people are more likely to think about themselves. “They think that economic success and political outcomes, and personal outcomes, have to do with individual behavior, a good work ethic,” said Keltner, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.

Because the rich gloss over the ways family connections, money and education helped, they come to denigrate the role of government and vigorously oppose taxes to fund it.

“I will quote from the Tea Party hero Ayn Rand: “‘It is the morality of altruism that men have to reject,’” he said.


According to Gallup, Americans earning more than $90,000 per year continued to increase their consumer spending in July while middle- and lower-income Americans remained stalled, even as the upper classes argue that they can’t pay any more taxes. Meanwhile, the gap between the wealthiest and the rest of us continues to grow wider, with over 80 percent of the nation’s financial wealth controlled by about 20 percent of the people.

Unlike the rich, lower class people have to depend on others for survival, Keltner argued. So they learn “prosocial behaviors.” They read people better, empathize more with others, and they give more to those in need.

following the implications of keltner's article, people here in afghanistan, the vast majority of whom live in the world's most dire circumstances, should be among the most empathetic... and, despite the stereotype that pervades the shame that is u.s. media coverage of afghanistan, i find that to be true...

it only takes the simple act of a genuine smile and a sincere heart to make most afghans open up like a flower reaching for the morning sun... they are helpful, understanding, courteous and, yes, empathetic to a fault... and, yes, it will also take at least 18 months of building trust before they will tell you the real truth about ANYTHING, but, hey... can you blame 'em...? if we'd endured 40 years of struggling just to survive another day, i'm not so sure we'd be all that eager to spill our guts to anybody either...

so, to our rich elites who don't care for anybody but themselves, i say, how sad for you...

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