the social-psychology of wealth inequality

some of you’ve seen this already, maybe –

Very interesting it gets to the point of identity assumption

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15 Replies to “the social-psychology of wealth inequality”

  1. Funny, but if I were told the study covered two groups, lawyers and everyone else, I’d believe it without hesitation. Famous quotes, “I know they’re lieing, their lips are moving”. Jesus can’t be wrong, “Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers”. So not so unbelievable.

    1. These days, lawyers may be not necessarily rich. This can be especially true if they are saddled with a load of student loan debt. Last time I checked, there was actually a bimodal distribution of wealth with most lawyers making between $40 and $70 thousand per year. A much smaller proportion earned triple digit incomes.
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      Moreover, many of those with law degrees do not practice law. Instead, as is famously the case with Mitt Romney, they use their knowledge of law to skirt legal constraints on shady business practices.
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      By the way, the income level for physicians is also about to take a hit. Just as the ABA lost control over rationing law degrees, the AMA will lose it strangle hold on the medical profession.

    1. I agree that this is very interesting. Perhaps why the Lord warns us against the pernicious effects of (seeking) wealth. Your blog, Joel, is very good.

  2. Along the same lines, parallel research found that prevarication isn’t limited to wealth. One study conducted in Canada found “that the people most likely to lie for monetary gain are the children of divorce, business majors, and – perhaps [really not all that] surprisingly – the religious.” Follow the first link below for an encapsulation.
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    http://qz.com/139753/business-majors-and-children-of-divorce-are-the-biggest-liars/
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    To purchase the full study, go to:
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    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165176513004126

    1. P.S. The classic social science experiment associated with the corrosive effects of privilege is Phillip Zimbardo’s infamous Stanford Prison Experiment. A thumbnail of the research may be found by clicking on
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      http://www.prisonexp.org/
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      An appropriately titled book describes the experiment in detail. More information is available at
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      http://lucifereffect.com/

  3. Don’t think I am interested enough to pay $35 for the study. For common sense, perhaps it should limit the study to “successful” business majors. And the “religious”… “Oh My!” Or something like that.

    1. Most people won’t spend the money. Those interested can often access these academic publications through libraries with institutional access.

  4. First thing that jumps out at me, Stanford, 1971, (I was at UCLA at the time) “What happens when you put good people in an evil place?” Should be “What happens when you put good people in an evil situation?” Vietnam.

  5. According to the time stamp on your post, you brought up Zimbardo’s experiment a few minutes before I could correct the omission in my earlier post. I am glad someone else also made the connection.
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    Another insight comes from Viktor Frankl’s widely read Man’s Search for Meaning. Contrary to Frankl’s basic premise of good and evil men in this world, Frankl’s theft of a pie left cooling on a window sill early in his marginalization experiences reveals how circumstances can prod even a moral man to commit acts he might otherwise find repulsive.
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    From a veteran’s point of view, Iraq and Afghanistan are worse than Vietnam. I frankly admit to crying over the plight of today’s young men and women returning from these theaters of war. The good news is that, unlike during Vietnam, even cowards have apparently become more conciliatory.
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    Repeated and prolonged deployments into perpetual valleys of death from which there is no respite can have much the same corrosive effect on individual morality as protracted undercover police infiltration of an nefarious underworld fueled by drugs, money, sex, and violence. As with repeated concussions, the psychological effects of combat can alter how the mind perceives life. Consequently, upon return to civilian life, seemingly innocuous noises, sights, or smells can prompt disproportionate reactions. These startle responses can have deadly consequences.

  6. I think Iraq is worse than Vietnam, for one reason, which seems counter-intuitive. The draft. I am against a draft. But when you had a whole plane load of people shipped to Vietnam against their will, and a whole bunch in school (high school or college), waiting to get shipped over against your will, you have a nice big group of potential protestors against the war. Today, the volunteers are probably in a guilt trip to not protest, since they volunteered in the first place. Although I can’t say for sure, since I can only relate to the 1971 timeframe, not today’s mindset of young people.

    1. That was true before creation of a professionalized military – the “standing armies” that the Founding Fathers so feared. There was also often a rotation in and out of country during Nam. At the same time, I met third tour Marine sergeants during the early days of Tet.
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      On the other side of the spectrum, although I volunteered before the Gulf of Tonkin incident, I am very much in favor of universal conscription for ages 18 to 36 with no exemptions for clergy, politicians, students, women, etc. I would even go so far as to question marginal medical deferments. After his infamous High Times interview, I would have been applauded issuing Ted Nugent olive drab Depends and revoking Lee Greenwood’s citizenship!
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      If nothing else, the prospects of significant war protests that bedeviled Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, as well as potentially having to personally make the supreme sacrifice, would give warhawks and Yellow Elephants cause for pause. It would constitute extracurricular checks and balances for those armchair warriors.
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      As during World War II, I would also like to see the return of a 94 percent marginal tax rate for the wealthiest Americans for the duration of any military engagement abroad. That would likewise serve to curtail frivolous military exploits at someone else’s expense!

  7. Best idea I have heard, “applauded issuing Ted Nugent olive drab…”.
    Since he likes shooting a 50 cal machine gun, drop him in Syria with plenty of ammo.

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