Rich people are more narcissistic and less ethical.


Time Magazine published several articles citing studies showing that the wealthy are more narcissistic and less ethical than average folks.

Wealthy Selfies:  How Being Rich Increases Narcissism

Why The Rich Are Less Ethical:  They See Greed as Good

The Rich are Different: More Money, Less Empathy

Contrary to popular belief, the rich give less of their income to charity than even poor people, by percentage of income.   The poor are more, not less, likely to be grateful and less, not more, likely to feel entitled than the rich.

I think these articles explain a lot about our current government, which is full of narcissistic, unethical, even criminal billionaires, their wealthy donors (The Koch Brothers, the Mercers, Russian oligarchs, and others) and the apparently unlimited power they wield.   Great wealth, insatiable greed and a sense of entitlement is what has allowed these people to take control of all three branches of government and gerrymander state elections.  Sure, both parties are corrupt and there are rich donors on the left too (the alt-right loves to scream about George Soros), but they haven’t had nearly the influence the donors on the GOP side have had, and at least their donations are transparent — they don’t hide behind front organizations the way the Kochs or the Mercers do.   We must get the money out of politics now.

10 thoughts on “Rich people are more narcissistic and less ethical.

  1. I just read the three Times magazine articles that you posted the links to. Very interesting.

    This may explain why my maternal grandparents were so cold hearted toward me, when I was a teenage girl in desperate need of help, and they couldn’t be bothered. They had the resources to help me, but they had zero empathy. At the time, my grandparents lived in the huge warden’s mansion on the grounds of Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary, with servants to wait on them hand and foot. My grandfather was the associate warden of the prison in the 1960s, and he made a very good salary. All I needed was a home, a bed to sleep in, a little food to eat, and a little love. But they could not be bothered!

    Snooty, entitled, better than everybody else — that was my grandparents. They had doted on me as their firstborn grandchild, until I had the bad grace to have a post-traumatic breakdown at the age of 14. After my breakdown, they treated me like I wasn’t good enough to be their granddaughter. I was an embarrassment to them, a “bad seed.” And yet my behavior was never out of control, never threatening or even really very weird, not even during the time when I had my breakdown. And I was never anything but respectful, polite, subservient, and obedient to my grandparents.

    On the opposite extreme, my husband and I have been so poor that, before we finally won the fight for his veteran’s disability a few years ago, we sold our furniture and even sold our blood plasma just to buy food, pay the rent, and keep the lights on. Our finances are still very messed up from all those years of never having enough. And yet we have gone into debt to help out our adult children and several of our grandchildren. We have also sent money and food to my disabled brother. And for eleven months, my husband’s disabled sister lived with us, rent free. In fact, since we were married 13 years ago, we have taken a total of 6 relatives into our home, and we have offered our home to 4 other struggling relatives, who did not take us up on the offer. And in every case, we did not charge any rent.

    During the early years of our marriage, when we were selling our blood plasma to survive, I have seen my husband give more than half of the money that he had just gotten from selling his plasma, to a homeless person. (I made him stop doing that!)

    My husband and I aren’t saints — far from it!! It’s just that we have both hit rock bottom in our lives, from our respective PTSD, and so we know what it’s like to have no one and nothing, no hope, and nowhere to turn. We know how lucky we are now, to have each other, to have our faith, and to have the little that we have today, which isn’t a lot, but it is enough. We can’t NOT help, when we see people in need and have the ability to help them. It’s who we are, now.

    If it took the two of us going through all that hell in order to learn how to have empathy, to care, and to share, then I am grateful for all the hell we have gone through. Because it really is better to give than to receive.

    (I wanted to reblog this and post these comments on my blog. But I don’t want to look like I am bragging. So I decided just to share it here, because I think you will understand where I am coming from, Lauren. After all the hell that I have gone through, things, money, and prestige just don’t mean that much to me. Loving the Lord and loving people is what matters.)

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  2. “Being rich… increases narcissism.” :

    Perhaps this is what Acton (power corrupts…) meant? As in “the more power a person has (over others) the more and worse it is likely to affect them (in totality)?” As in ‘power-induced *corruption* often looks a lot like NPD?’

    On a more-sour note: perhaps this explains why the presence of power-differentials tends to be dangerous, re the book ‘call from the cave’, (jon huer)

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