Researching the Money-Empathy Gap

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

Bible, Mark 10:25

CamelFrom Class Warfare?

New research suggests that more money makes people act less human. Or at least less humane.

Psychologists at the University of California at Berkeley have found that “upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals.” They also discovered that “Putting someone in a role where they’re more privileged and have more power in a game makes them behave like people who actually do have more power, more money, and more status”.

Check out their experiments on the Money-Empathy Gap in the video below:

These experiments also demonstrated that while a poor man playing in a ‘rich world’ becomes more self-centred, a rich man playing in a ‘poor’ world becomes more compassionate to others. That can potentially help people understand their subconscious biases and relate better to others.

Prince Pauper“As long as the King lived he was fond of telling the story of his adventures, all through, from the hour that the sentinel cuffed him away from the palace gate till the final midnight when he deftly mixed himself into a gang of hurrying workmen and so slipped into the Abbey and climbed up and hid himself in the Confessor’s tomb, and then slept so long, next day, that he came within one of missing the Coronation altogether. He said that the frequent rehearsing of the precious lesson kept him strong in his purpose to make its teachings yield benefits to his people; and so, whilst his life was spared he should continue to tell the story, and thus keep its sorrowful spectacles fresh in his memory and the springs of pity replenished in his heart.”

From “The Prince and The Pauper” by Mark Twain

THE END

The most romantic love story…

 Romantic love grandma granddad

According to the “Happy ever after” romantic myths and fairy tales one only has to find a special partner and everything will be happy ever after. Supported by novels, songs, movies, television & magazines, this “Happy ever after” meme became one of the most pervasive viruses  of the mind in the 20th century. Although romantic love like this is mother nature’s way of attracting men and women to each other, love alone is not anywhere near enough for a life-long stable relationship. What else is required for a healthy long-term relationship?

Dr. Stephanie Sarkis suggests the following 7 keys to a healthy and happy relationship:

1. Mutual Respect
If you don’t have this – well, it’s going to be a tough road. This doesn’t mean you agree with everything your partner says or does. It does mean that you have admiration for each other, and steady undercurrent of love and trust throughout your relationship. You also have each other’s back. Abuse, whether it is physical, verbal, or emotional, defies mutual respect in every way, shape and form.  You have to have mutual respect to have a healthy relationship.

2. Arguing, not fighting
I’ve never seen a healthy couple that doesn’t argue. They never fight, however.  If a couple comes into my office and tells me they’ve never argued, something isn’t quite right. You can argue without fighting.  Arguing is non-combative – you and your partner state your points of view without name-calling or raising your voice.  Sometimes you agree to disagree – and that’s okay.

3. Agreement on Sex
You’re both okay with how often you have sex, how you have sex, where you have sex…and there’s mutual participation.  Sex is not withheld as a punishment.  And if you or your partner are not comfortable with any aspect of your sex life, you can talk about it openly, without criticism.

4. Agreement on Parenting
If the two of you don’t agree on a parenting style, you need to talk. You may have each grown up with different parenting styles – and we each tend to parent the same way we were parented.  If you don’t have kids yet but are thinking about it, you must, must, must have this conversation with your partner.

5. Equality with Money
Money is one of the major causes of frustration in marriage and family relationships therefore the skill of financial harmony is essential for healthy long-term relationship. Understanding and respecting the value that each partner places on money as well as open communication are important for developing financial harmony. Even if one of you makes more money than the other, you both have an equal say about where your money goes. There are no “hidden accounts”, and you decide together before you make large purchases.

6. Common Goals and Values
Couples with very different interests can have healthy relationships – what counts is that they share common goals and values.  Couples of different religions (or non-religion) and cultural backgrounds can have healthy relationships – what makes a healthy relationship is sharing core beliefs.  You may both share the belief that giving back to your community is important. You may both share the belief that extended family members are welcome to live with you at any time. Values and beliefs differ for everyone.

Common goals include intangibles like raising happy and healthy children, and tangibles like saving up for a house.  You can work together on setting one-year, five-year, even ten- and twenty-year goals.  Working towards something together strengthens your bond.

7. Fun
“Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that’s a real treat.” – Joanne Woodward. Enough said. Make time to have fun.  Life gets too serious without receiving regular doses of humour. 🙂

love-old-coupleFrom Love Never Fades

Resources:

Related posts:

THE END

By sowing frugality we reap liberty…

“By sowing frugality we reap liberty, a golden harvest.”

Agesilaus

From the Frugal-Wise blog

* * *

“Twenty years ago we began studying how people become wealthy… In time, we discovered something odd. Many people who live in expensive homes and drive luxury cars do not actually have much wealth. Then, we discovered something even odder: Many people who have a great deal of wealth do not even live in upscale neighborhoods.

Most people have it all wrong about wealth in America. Wealth is not the same as income. If you make a good income each year and spend it all, you are not getting wealthier. You are just living high. Wealth is what you accumulate, not what you spend.

How do you become wealthy? Here, too, most people have it wrong. Is it seldom luck or inheritance or advanced degree or even intelligence that enables people to amass fortunes. Wealth is more often the result of a lifestyle of hard work, perseverance, planning, and, most of all, self-discipline.

There has never been more personal wealth in America than there is today (over $22 trillion in 1996). Yet most Americans are not wealthy. Nearly one-half of our wealth is owned by 3.5 percent of our households. Most of the other households don’t even come close…

More than twenty-five million households in the United States have annual incomes in excess of $50,000; more than seven million have annual incomes over $100,000. But in spite of being “good income” earners, too many of these people have small levels of accumulated wealth. Many live from paycheck to paycheck…

How long could the average American household survive economically without a monthly check from an employer? Perhaps a month or two in most cases…

“This people cannot be millionaires! They don’t look like millionaires, they don’t’ dress like millionaires, they don’t’ eat like millionaires, they don’t act like millionaires – they don’t even have millionaire names. Where are the millionaires who look like millionaires?” The person who said this was a vice president of a trust department. He made these comments following a focus group interview and dinner that we hosted for ten first-generation millionaires. His view of millionaires is shared by most people who are not wealthy. They think millionaires own expensive clothes, watches, and other status artifacts. We have found this is not the case… Looks can be deceiving.”

(From “The millionaire next door:
t
he surprising secrets of America’s wealthy”
by Thomans Stanley and William Danko)

From Startups: 7 Tips on Being Frugal From Millionaire Entrepreneurs

Do Not Give the Needy Money…

“Do Not Give the Needy Money: Build Them Industries Instead”

J.W.Smith

(From Transparency for Development)

* * *

“With the record of corruption within impoverished countries, people will question giving them money. That can be handled by giving them the industry directly, not the money. …. When provided the industry, as opposed to the money to build industry, those people will have physical capital. The only profits to be made then are in production; there is no development money to intercept and send to a Swiss bank account.”

(from J.W. Smith, Economic Democracy: The Political Struggle for the 21st Century)

* * *

Eritrea, 1990s

“So while we toiled away building our factory, the entire population was trying to rebuild their country. There was compulsory military service still, and those called up were put to work building roads and bridges. They did it with a lot of smarts – if you drove down the main highway into the bowels of the country there was a new 100m-wide trench of a road that had been cleared and would be a motorway eventually. On either side, palm trees were being planted and you saw an Eritrean who might be in her seventies, coming down a green slope carrying a bucket of water and tending to a palm tree. Everybody was doing something…

We eventually finished the construction of the building to international standards, and the team from Australia arrived to set up the manufacturing equipment. I watched with dismay as the first lenses were produced. It was painfully clear that the lathe and most of the equipment Fred had bought were not capable of producing usable lenses.

This was another test of character, because I had done what I promised Fred and could have simply moved on, letting the Fred Hollows Foundation sort out the mess. But by this stage the Eritreans had put their trust in me, so I sourced some generic lens-making equipment and started to put in place a plan to make world-class lenses at a fraction of the price of those distributed by multinational companies…

I wanted the Eritreans to be able to sell their lenses around the world so that they could make decent money out of this. I didn’t just want to produce lenses for eye camps in the villages. That meant the lenses had to meet international standards or no one would buy them…

It was important to me that the lenses we made were of equal or better quality than those from the multinational lens manufacturers. So I sent samples of our lenses for independent evaluation to the world expert on intraocular lens manufacture, Professor David Apple at the Medical University of South Carolina Storm Eye Institute.

“You have chosen a design which we think is an absolute state of the art in terms of surface finish and general Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) appearance,” he said in his report. “I’ve never seen better lens manufacture.”…

We had succeeded in doing something that was theoretically impossible: manufacturing world-class intraocular lenses in one of the poorest, most technically compromised countries in the world.

The other result of the new process was that the price of generic lenses plummeted globally. Ours cost three dollars to make, a fraction of what they had been produced for previously. We could get them onto the market for less than ten dollars, making quality cataract surgery accessible to the poorest of the poor.

This was also a perfect example of 100 per cent technology transfer to the local people. I don’t have to do anything at those labs and haven’t since 2003. We did the job, got in and got out, and they are expanding their operations and product ranges themselves.

Now the lenses are exported to about eighty countries and, by 2020, thirty million people will have had their sight restored due to the innovative lens-manufacturing technology.”

(from ‘Rebel with a cause’ by Ray Avery)

* * *

Nepal

“Building our next lens-manufacturing plant, in Nepal, was a lot easier, because of all the lessons we had learnt in Eritrea…

When we designed the lathes, instead of a whole lot of complicated circuit boards with lots of things that could go wrong, ours was broken into smaller units with little lights, and you could quickly isolate and identify a problem when one came up. These were named BRTs – Big Round Things – and if there was something wrong, a BRT’s light wouldn’t be shining and you just replaced that unit…

We enjoyed training local people. The Nepalese have always had a tradition of moving to other countries to live. Many of our protégés now work overseas, but they trained people to take their place before they left because we taught them that was what you had to do when you have been given a skill. You passed it on. And as they move around the world, the general level of skills will rise as they take knowledge with them.”

(from ‘Rebel with a cause’ by Ray Avery)

A Beautiful Woman

From ‘The Rocking Horse Winner’ by DH Lawrence

There was a woman who was beautiful, who started with all the advantages, yet she had no luck.  She married for love, and the love turned to dust.  She had bonny children, yet she felt they had been thrust upon her, and she could not love them. They looked at her coldly, as if they were finding fault with her.   And hurriedly she felt she must cover up some fault in herself. Yet what it was that she must cover up she never knew. Nevertheless, when her children were present, she always felt the centre of her heart go hard. This troubled her, and in her manner she was all the more gentle and anxious for her children, as if she loved them very much.  Only she herself knew that at the centre of her heart was a hard little place that could not feel love, no, not for anybody.  Everybody else said of her: “She is such a good mother. She adores her children.”  Only she herself, and her children themselves, knew it was not so.  They read it in each other’s eyes.

There were a boy and two little girls. They lived in a pleasant house, with a garden, and they had discreet servants, and felt themselves superior to anyone in the neighbourhood.

Although they lived in style, they felt always an anxiety in the house.  There was never enough money.  The mother had a small income, and the father had a small income, but not nearly enough for the social position which they had to keep up.   The father went in to town to some office.  But though he had good prospects, these prospects never materialized. There was always the grinding sense of the shortage of money, though the style was always kept up.

At last the mother said:  “I will see if I can’t make something.” But she did not know where to begin.  She racked her brains, and tried this thing and the other, but could not find anything successful.   The failure made deep lines come into her face.  Her children were growing up, they would have to go to school.  There must be more money, there must be more money. The father, who was always very handsome and expensive in his tastes, seemed as if he never would be able to do anything worth doing.  And the mother, who had a great belief in herself, did not succeed any better, and her tastes were just as expensive.

And so the house came to be haunted by the unspoken phrase: There must be more money !   There must be more money !   The children could hear it at Christmas, when the expensive and splendid toys filled the nursery.  Behind the shining modern rocking-horse, behind the smart doll’s-house, a voice would start whispering:  “There must be more money !   There must be more money !

It came whispering from the springs of the still-swaying rocking-horse, and even the horse, bending his wooden, champing head, heard it. The big doll, sitting so pink and smirking in her new pram, could hear it quite plainly, and seemed to be smirking all the more self-consciously because of it. The foolish puppy, too, that took the place of the teddy-bear, he was looking so extraordinarily foolish for no other reason but that he heard the secret whisper all over the house:  “There must be more money !

By Sou

THE END

* * *

Some boys kiss me, some boys hug me
I think they’re O.K.
If they don’t give me proper credit
I just walk away

They can beg and they can plead
But they can’t see the light, that’s right
‘Cause the boy with the cold hard cash
Is always Mister Right, ’cause we are

[Chorus:]

Living in a material world
And I am a material girl
You know that we are living in a material world
And I am a material girl

Some boys romance, some boys slow dance
That’s all right with me
If they can’t raise my interest then I
Have to let them be

Some boys try and some boys lie but
I don’t let them play
Only boys who save their pennies
Make my rainy day, ’cause they are

[chorus]

Living in a material world (material)
Living in a material world
[repeat]

Boys may come and boys may go
And that’s all right you see
Experience has made me rich
And now they’re after me, ’cause everybody’s

[chorus]

A material, a material, a material, a material world

Living in a material world (material)
Living in a material world