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-   -   University of Berkeley : Rich people have a greater tendency towards greed (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=18605)

Alrik Fassbauer November 10th, 2012 19:52

University of Berkeley : Rich people have a greater tendency towards greed
 
Hello, everyone,

Now, that's not really news, isn't it ?

Now I even have scientific proof !

http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2012/02/27/greed/

My personal theory is quite the opposite, in fact :

The more greed a person lives, the more likely he or she becomes rich.

Because greed - in my opinion - is resulting in amassing riches, not vice versa.

This would mean that the few percent "rich top" at the top of our economy and society consist of people who got to these positions because of their greed.

Not vice versa, in my personal theory.

But, on the other hand … "richness" could become a kind of "feedback" thing, like a self-fulfilling prophecy ?

"I am rich, so I can allow myself to be unethical" ?

In the end, I guess, it'll be both things happening one after the other :

Bottom -> greed -> top
Top -> Richness -> greed

And this is why rich people never actually want to stop becoming richer and richer. Because the greed in them is just too strong.

50 Millions salary per month - that's enough, a practical man would say.

But not, it's not enough, greed dictates : It must be more … always more … This is like an illness.

And they probably never learned to say "stop", after having reached a certain plateau of earnings. These people have perhaps never learned to enure greed. Like an alcoholic must learn to say "no" after getting a bottle of wine placed before his or her eyes.

I'm not surprised. And the most greedy people sit where riches are more easily obtainable : In the Banks.

Because they know that in these places it is fairly easy to get it.

Alrik

rossrjensen November 10th, 2012 22:07

The term "greed" is grossly misused on a regular basis.

DArtagnan November 11th, 2012 21:20

All people are greedy. It's the object of desire that differs.

Zloth November 17th, 2012 21:00

Quote:

To investigate how class relates to ethical conduct, the researchers surveyed the ethical tendencies of more than 1,000 individuals of lower-, middle- and upper-class backgrounds. Volunteers reported their social class using the MacArthur Scale of Subjective Socioeconomic Status and filled out surveys revealing their attitudes about unprincipled behaviors and greed. They also took part in tasks designed to measure their actual unethical behavior.
Wait, what?? The volunteers reported this themselves then they test to see how often they lie, cheat, and act selfishly?? Were the answers on the surveys verified in some way? If not, they might have just established that people who are selfish tend to overstate how rich they are. Kinda hard to tell without having the actual paper.

JemyM November 18th, 2012 11:18

I do not use the word greed anymore, rather I use something like "material need".

Most needs can be seen as a curve going from "too little", "just about enough" and "too much", where the first and last are problematic.

Usually we have diagnosises that describe these "too little" and "too much" and it's usually the case that "too much" is more problematic than "too little".

For "material need" I tend to use the word "hoarder". A hoarder accumulate have an obsessive-compulsive disorder where the perceived importance of the hoarded items exceeds their true value. A person who collects more money than they need to live a qualitive life, or made the collection of money into it's own cause, is to me a hoarder.

In times a personal trait that can actually be qualified as a dysfunctional disorder have been promoted as good or moral. We normally do not call an excess need for money as irrational or sick even if it's both deviant, dysfunctional and causes distress to both the host and those close to the host, even if hoarding may even cause physical or psychological harm. This tells us something about this culture of ours.

Another example of a dysfunctional disorder becoming mainstream and perceived as "normal" is sexual neurosis, the fear and anxiousness for sex and sexual expressions, that is also both deviant, dysfunctional and distressful both to the host and those close to the host, even though this may cause physical or psychological harm it's perceived as "normal".

More interestingly, the people who need "too little" are often the first to challenge those who need "too much" and it's those who engage in political competition while the rest are fine with just about enough.

Alrik Fassbauer November 18th, 2012 14:35

Yesterday I thought this : "Companies are ALWAYS tending to grow - because the bigger the firm gets, the bigger the top-tier salaries/wages are … And greed ALWAYS demands to get the highest possible amount of something .."

And I have also come to the thought of Greed being something one must learn to withstand. It's like … lying. Or stealing, robbery. Practically nothing restrains me from stealing and robbing, onl the inner education makes me refrain from i.
I assume in this "theory", that the fact that robbers do exist (as do performers of other crimes, too) despite of punishment posibilities, is or at least might be proof to the fact that some people go robbing other people because of greed.

Another thought I had had these days is that I think that I have found the reason why "Reaganomics" just cannot work :

The "trickle-down effect" ONLY comes into place if rich people are actuall WILLING to GIVE AWAY from their riches to invest into something !

And this is to me a sign of … altruism. I mean, I have 2 possibilities : Keep m money or give it away.

Holding on to it is imho an act of selfishness, giving it away an act of altruism.

The only other possibility I can imagine right now is that the prospect of getting even more money (greed, once again) - through return of investment - overrides the selfishness /the selfish act to not give anything away.

And even if so - giving away mones because you can have even more money if your investment works out - the actual [i]return[/] of that money reduces the amount of freely circulating money by the amount of invested money + returned money.

Or at least so I thought.

DArtagnan November 19th, 2012 12:35

The biggest problem with money is that it has no inherent value that's tangible. People accumulate wealth, because it's hard to quantify how much is enough - and what you could potentially do with it. It's a very basic psychological barrier that has proven extremely harmful to the world society.

A primary reason to get rid of the concept of money altogether.

Zloth November 20th, 2012 03:15

That could have one or two troublesome, unforseen side effects DArtagnan. Also a whole bunch of really huge, extremely forseen side effects. ;)

badmofo November 20th, 2012 03:50

Time is money at the end of the day. Regardless of whether it's done honestly or not, it takes time to make money. And if you're spending all you're time making money above and beyond the amount you need to live in safety and comfort, then you're wasting your time IMO.

But of course everyone has a different idea of what living in comfort means. For me it's "if my car breaks down then I have enough savings to fix it". Others would consider that to be the brink of financial ruin.

DArtagnan November 20th, 2012 09:56

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zloth (Post 1061171743)
That could have one or two troublesome, unforseen side effects DArtagnan. Also a whole bunch of really huge, extremely forseen side effects. ;)

Do you really think I would suggest that without having thought about it? It's basically something I've been thinking about for 20 years. Getting rid of money is just a single step in a very long walk :)

Zaleukos November 20th, 2012 17:51

Money simply fulfill the role of being a trading interface, a universal barter unit.

Scrap it and you'd need a similar concept or you'd need to go back to a barter economy.

Bartering is useless because you'd need to find someone who both wants the goods you have at hand and who has the goods that you want. Good luck with that.

DArtagnan November 20th, 2012 18:49

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zaleukos (Post 1061171865)
Money simply fulfill the role of being a trading interface, a universal barter unit.

Scrap it and you'd need a similar concept or you'd need to go back to a barter economy.

Bartering is useless because you'd need to find someone who both wants the goods you have at hand and who has the goods that you want. Good luck with that.

There would be no need for bartering. Simply a distribution of available resources, based on need first and luxuries second. No one would need to barter anything, but they could if they wanted to.

A monetary system would be ok in that case, because accumulation by the few would not harm the many. But it's still a needlessly intangible system - and it wouldn't make any sense in the world I'm talking about.

badmofo November 20th, 2012 22:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by DArtagnan (Post 1061171882)
A monetary system would be ok in that case, because accumulation by the few would not harm the many. But it's still a needlessly intangible system - and it wouldn't make any sense in the world I'm talking about.

The world you're talking about couldn't include any humans, we're simply not capable of the sort of collective morality and fairness required for a system based on "need first and luxuries second".

Sad but true.

Corwin November 20th, 2012 22:53

That world is called 'Cloudcuckooland' but if you don't want your money, then please send it to me!! :)

DArtagnan November 21st, 2012 09:44

Quote:

Originally Posted by badmofo (Post 1061171944)
The world you're talking about couldn't include any humans, we're simply not capable of the sort of collective morality and fairness required for a system based on "need first and luxuries second".

Sad but true.

You're talking about our cultural history and the boundaries we've placed on ourselves. We're fully capable of change - but we're not living in a world society that would make it feasible, and we've never really had that option after the world grew small. That's why we have to create a separate world society - that starts out working together with the current one. This new society would be open to those interested in supporting a new way of doing things - and it would be completely voluntary.

It's not about morality - because morality is not an objective thing, no matter how much we try to make it into one. Morality - as we understand it - is based on the conditions under which we're raised and what experiences we have, particularly in our youth.

When you change those conditions and you change the kind of experiences we're likely to have - the "morality" will change along with that. It's about making a utilitarian society a natural assumption - rather than an extreme change. I will promise you that there WILL be people who're both willing and capable of taking the initial step, even if it's just a tiny, tiny minority. That's all it takes, really.

All they're waiting for is the opportunity to make it happen.

badmofo November 21st, 2012 10:34

Individuals and small groups of people have been dropping out and attempting to create an alternative to their given society since forever. It's not a new idea, and it's not a bad idea, but it's just never going to be more than a small group of like-minded individuals working their arses off to maintain the dream.

But it takes a lot more than a tiny tiny minority to change the world, particularly if that minority doesn't have any money.

DArtagnan November 21st, 2012 10:45

Quote:

Originally Posted by badmofo (Post 1061172080)
Individuals and small groups of people have been dropping out and attempting to create an alternative to their given society since forever. It's not a new idea, and it's not a bad idea, but it's just never going to be more than a small group of like-minded individuals working their arses off to maintain the dream.

No one has done anything even remotely like what I'm talking about. It's not about breaking free of society and going your own way. It's about creating a workable and unifying alternate society with a close relationship to the existing world society.

It wouldn't be a society for people going: "Oh, everything has been done before - nothing can ever change - and nothing ever will."

Obviously, it will take a different kind of people to start out.

Quote:

But it takes a lot more than a tiny tiny minority to change the world, particularly if that minority doesn't have any money.
Most of the significant changes in this world has happened because of individuals - and it has absolutely nothing to do with money. Money is a symbol of value - and it has no value unless we agree that it does.

By creating a society based on resources - we won't need money for anything. We can start out by trading resources for resources - something which the current society would be more than willing to do, if the resources were desirable.

But, this could never happen unless the current world society agreed to give up something for the potential of the future. It wouldn't be a rebellion against the world - it would be a mutually beneficial experiment created by the civilised parts of the modern world. It would take many, many years of preparation, planning and research.

badmofo November 21st, 2012 12:39

Quote:

Originally Posted by DArtagnan (Post 1061172086)
It wouldn't be a society for people going: "Oh, everything has been done before - nothing can ever change - and nothing ever will."

Obviously, it will take a different kind of people to start out.

Total bummer, so I'm out already?

When this alternative reality - woops sorry, I mean society - gets off the ground then please let me know. I'll be watching with interest :)

DArtagnan November 21st, 2012 12:47

Quote:

Originally Posted by badmofo (Post 1061172104)
Total bummer, so I'm out already?

When this alternative reality - woops sorry, I mean society - gets off the ground then please let me know. I'll be watching with interest :)

No one is out, but change is always much harder for people who don't believe in it.

I can't say I have much faith in this ever happening, but I'm actually trying to write a book about the concept. The concept is sound, if I do say so myself - but it's naturally just a bunch of ideas based on my own understanding of the world - each of which could be improved a thousand times, I'm sure.

If I ever get done writing it (not very likely) - and if it ever inspires someone to actually DO something (even more unlikely) - I'll be sure to mention it in various places :)

CrazyIrish November 21st, 2012 16:08

The loftier the societal goals a person states are possible the less in touch with "common" people they tend to be.


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