The Rich Are (Still) Different Than You And Me

Posted by | May 14, 2012 18:22 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

I hate re-using blog post titles but this column by William Deresiewicz screamed out for a repeat. First, Deresiewicz skewers the denizens of Wall Street:

A recent study found that 10 percent of people who work on Wall Street are “clinical psychopaths,” exhibiting a lack of interest in and empathy for others and an “unparalleled capacity for lying, fabrication, and manipulation.” (The proportion at large is 1 percent.) Another study concluded that the rich are more likely to lie, cheat and break the law.

Then he makes several other great points.

To expect morality in the market is to commit a category error. Capitalist values are antithetical to Christian ones. (How the loudest Christians in our public life can also be the most bellicose proponents of an unbridled free market is a matter for their own consciences.) Capitalist values are also antithetical to democratic ones. Like Christian ethics, the principles of republican government require us to consider the interests of others. Capitalism, which entails the single-minded pursuit of profit, would have us believe that it’s every man for himself.

For a generation now, social conservatives and Wall Street have had a political marriage in the GOP.  It’s been an abusive relationship with Wall Street tycoons playing the role of abuser.  I keep expecting a divorce but I might get old waiting.

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Copyright 2012 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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