The extremely rich have “psychiatric issues” and it affects day-to-day Americans, populist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said recently. Research shows that he’s on to something.
“We all know people who are addicted to alcohol or drugs. These people are addicted to money,” Sanders said earlier this year, according to MSNBC. The result? A “philosophical war being waged against the middle-class and working families.”
Sanders wants to revive a time in American history where “one person could work 40 hours a week and make enough to take care for the entire family.”
That will take a political revolution, he said, and again he could be right.
Last August, Maria Fernandes became the poster child for the new American economy, in which the cost of living has far surpassed the minimum wage and political inaction has let it fester.
Fernandes, a 32-year-old from New Jersey, worked four part-time, low wage jobs to make a living. She died in her car while she was napping between shifts, accidentally inhaling carbon monoxide, according to the New York Daily News.
According to the Pacific Standard, we tend to look at the lifestyles and patterns of average and low-income people with critical detail, even though it’s the elite class that has the most power and incentive to influence government policies that impact our day-to-day lives.
Research cited by the magazine shows ultra-rich people are happier — but only because wealth affords stability and allows them to have more control over their own lives. They’re more likely to say winning respect and appreciation from others and reaching their personal potential is a key to happiness. And while average people are more likely to identify with their own communities, the very rich instead identify with a global elite class.
Interestingly, the research shows wealthy people are less empathetic and tend to think of themselves and others in terms of fixed traits, instead of attributing a person’s emotional state to context and surroundings. And the rich tend to think of income inequality — from which they benefit — as the just result of meritocracy rather than a system rigged in their favor.
In addition, research by University of California at Irvine psychologist Paul Piff suggests the ultra-rich and the influence they wield, along with certain psychological traits that stem from extreme wealth, pose a problem. The extremely wealthy are more likely to behave selfishly with little regard for others, according to study results published in Scientific American.
Very wealthy people are also more likely to behave unethically, less likely to give to charities and displayed higher levels of narcissism and entitlement than average, according to Matrix, a UC Berkeley social science publication.
The problem isn’t just limited to the bubble of wealth. It’s effects are far reaching and we may feel them even if we don’t realize the source. Matrix concludes:
These psychological factors may have the dangerous effect of compounding the growth of economic inequality. The rate at which economic inequality accelerates over time depends deeply on the very institutions and policies over which the upper class has a disproportionate level of control. Thus, if increasing economic inequality gives rise to an upper class with an even greater sense of entitlement, leading them, as Piff’s research would suggest, to support policies that favor the growth of economic inequality, this may exacerbate a vicious cycle of stratification.
Watch Sanders discuss wealth and income inequality via The Daily Conversation’s YouTube page here:
‘Seriously?’ Melania Trump ripped for honoring ‘Substance Abuse Prevention’ as president and Don Jr mock Hunter Biden
Melania Trump marked National Substance Use Prevention Month with a video message, but other social media users noted the statement came as her husband and stepson publicly mock a recovering addict.
The first lady posted the video Thursday morning on her Twitter account, after President Donald Trump interrupted Joe Biden to attack his son's struggles with substance abuse and Donald Trump Jr. called Hunter Biden a "crackhead."
This October I am honoring National Substance Use Prevention Month by joining @ONDCP to highlight the dedicated efforts of our Nation's youth to encourage healthy drug-free lives. Share how you are helping your community using #BeDrugFree - we look forward to hearing from you! pic.twitter.com/DiMTCsk9Si
‘Discrimination exists’: Rep. Al Green fires back after C-SPAN caller lectures about ‘pimps and gangbangers’
Texas Congressman Al Green (D) on Thursday responded to a man from North Carolina who lectured him about the threat of "pimps and gangbangers."
During a discussion about systemic racism on C-SPAN's Washington Journal program, a Republican named Terry called in from North Carolina.
"You're the person I really want to talk [to] about this," Terry said. "I want to use my city of Asheville, NC as a starting block. It's not racism that the children here in Lee-Walker Heights have to get up every morning and walk out to the school bus and step across dirty hypodermics and used condoms. It's not racism that the children in Hill Crest that get up and go out this morning that have to deal with the winos, the crackheads and the heroin dealers. It's not racism that the children that get up and walk to school have to deal with the hookers, the pimps and the gangbangers."
Trump ad baselessly fear-mongers if Biden is elected refugees will bring COVID into US
President Donald Trump doesn't want to talk about COVID-19 – but he's happy to use Americans' fear of the deadly virus to baselessly attack his opponent, Joe Biden.
The Trump campaign ran a vile, fear-mongering ad claiming if Joe Biden is elected president he will bring refugees from Syria, Somalia, and Yemen into the U.S., increasing exposure to Americans from the coronavirus.
"ATTENTION: Joe Biden is DANGEROUS for America" is the ad's title. It was seen hundreds of thousands of times, The Daily Beast reports, until Facebook finally killed it for violating its policies.