Psychologists: “The Idea Of Nobless Oblige Or Trickle-Down Economics … Is Bull. Our Data Say You Cannot Rely On The Wealthy To Give Back. The ‘Thousand Points of Light’—This Rise of Compassion In The Wealthy To Fix All The Problems of Society—Is Improbable, Psychologically”


Raw Story notes that a study by psychologists from University of California Berkeley and UCSF – published in Current Directions in Psychological Science – shows that the wealthy are less empathic than people who are less well off.

As Raw Story notes:

The authors of the study said the findings have important, but overlooked, implications for public policy.

“Americans, although this is shifting a bit, kind of think class is irrelevant,” said Dacher Keltner of the University of California-Berkeley, who cowrote the article with Michael W. Kraus of UC-San Francisco and Paul K. Piff of UC-Berkeley.

“I think our studies are saying the opposite: This is a profound part of who we are.”


“One clear policy implication is, the idea of nobless oblige or trickle-down economics, certain versions of it, is bull,” Keltner added. “Our data say you cannot rely on the wealthy to give back. The ‘thousand points of light’—this rise of compassion in the wealthy to fix all the problems of society—is improbable, psychologically.”

(Remember that even Ronald Reagan’s Assistant Secretary of Treasury – who has impeccable conservative credentials, and who is widely credited with being the “father of supply-side economics” – maintains that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy make no economic sense.)

Given that many in Congress and top government posts are multi-millionaires, the study might help explain why politicians seem only to work to make themselves wealthier and to help their wealthy buddies:

(And see this.)

And experts tell us that many politicians have the sociopath’s ability to pretend they care about other people.

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