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08:32 PM on 12/28/2011
This makes perfect sense. Studies have shown the rich are more often Liberals. Studies have also shown that Liberals give far less to charity. It isn't much of a stretch to be able to show that they give less because they are blind to true suffering.
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Talossa
Liberal. Pro-Israel. Recovering atheist.
12:51 AM on 12/29/2011
Care to cite any of these "studies"?
06:29 AM on 12/29/2011
HP ran articles earlier this fall detailing the studies do a little research and you'll find it right quick.
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Xysea
08:32 AM on 12/29/2011
Boy, you really have reality turned on its head there. Nice try! Ding! Thanks for playing. You have won the top prize for making the most nonsensical, backwards and completely opposite to reality statement I have seen in a long time.
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Dale Ruff
09:33 PM on 02/16/2012
part 2:

Thirty-six percent of children born to parents in the lowest economic quintile remain in the lowest quintile as adults.
Eleven percent of children born in the top quintile move down to the lowest quintile as adults.
Only 7 percent of children born into the bottom wealth quintile make it into the top quintile as adults.
Children born to parents in the middle of the wealth distribution have an equal likelihood of moving up or moving down in the distribution
3 years ago"

So 89% of those born in the top quintile remain there, while only 7% born in the lowest group rise to the top. This evidence seems to refute your claim that most top earners were not born on top. The research was done by Tom Herz of , American University
For the Center for American Progress.
05:02 PM on 12/28/2011
This is a perfect example of the sad state of science journalism. There's an important fact that completely changes the narrative: Most of the top income earners did not grow up in a top income earning household. That simple fact means that, according to the standards of this study, most of the wealthiest are possessed of said empathy.
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OhConservatives
Stooping to their level so you don't have to.
07:26 PM on 12/28/2011
I'd like to see the study you use to come to the conclusion that top income earners weren't born into wealth. Because I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist since the vast majority of credibly studies point out you are more likely to be born into the A Guillotine Will Cure This Problem class than you are to work your way into it.
08:41 PM on 12/28/2011
A perfect example of scientific and mathematical illiteracy. A higher, even much higher, individual chance for those born into money does not preclude the upper classes being comprised in the majority of the upwardly mobile. Also, you need to account for population growth and the wealthiest, best-educated individuals producing children at less than replacement rate, both of which resulting in new blood enter the top segment even absent a substantive degree of economic mobility.
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srheard
Life is full of a number of things.
08:18 PM on 12/28/2011
The study concluded, and I quote, "people who grew up in economically comfortable circumstances are less attuned to the suffering of other people." They are talking about the top 20 or so percent, not the top 1%.
03:58 PM on 12/28/2011
Not only are rich people not attuned to suffering of others, scientific studies have shown that with more power (and money is usually directly coorelated to power) people are more hypocritical. So rich and powerful excuse their own moral failings but are quite critical of less powerful people's shortcomings. The opposite is true also, people with little power are more forgiving of others and harder on themselves. So as the gulf between rich and poor increases, the more you have a few elites with little understanding and tolerance for other regular folks.

I think this evidenced in our politics, because even if a small portion poorer people were as critical and uncompassionate as rich and powerful people are to them, there would be all sorts of populist programs tearing down rich. Instead there are likely more rich people actively working against the rest of the population than there are regular folks actively working against the rich.

Even in the worst econominc times in 80 years, even the motivated OWS protestors are careful to say they are not anti-rich while elite folks wage war against taxes, blame poor people (suprmie borrowers) for financial crisis, and look down on people getting social safety net help from the government.

Perhaps when people reach a tipping point, when they really turn out in masses and start to feel powerful, that's when populist things are implemented, because the formerly lowly ones are now feeling powerful and turn critical of the elites.
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booyahcah29
10:58 AM on 12/29/2011
Sounds like all the rich cats in Congress. Especially that tax cut types. Norquist also comes to mind. These dudes have absolutely no idea what its like to struggle. They dont have any clue what its like to be a minority.
03:52 PM on 12/28/2011
I have found that those with the least have been the most compasionate to me, even though they have more burdens and stresses, and so, I would assume, have less leftover ability to aid others. Those with most seem the most intolerant and unconcerned about other's feelings, which in the end makes them unhappy. Sort of like divas or spoiled brats, even though they have it all, rich elites are so often angry as the slightest thing that does not go their way, sets them off.
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Sue Bryant
03:27 PM on 12/28/2011
Not sure about all rich people, but this does sound exactly like my very wealthy sister-in-law.
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DanaRuns
6' blonde liberal lesbian lawyer with a brain.
03:27 PM on 12/28/2011
Funny. I find I have little sympathy or empathy for the plight of the poor, poor rich people in this country.

I don't know what this article considers "rich." Perhaps by its silent standards, I might be one of the rich. I do live in a very upscale gated community, drive a sports car, have a six-figure income, blah-blah-blah. So maybe I'm supposed to be one who has little empathy for poor folk. If so, then I think the article is bogus to the extent that it suggests a causal link between income level and empathy. Perhaps the larger issue is upbringing, which the article suggests. It's a sloppy article, and assumes that the wealthy generally have a wealthy upbringing, which I don't think is true for most rich Americans.
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booyahcah29
11:06 AM on 12/29/2011
Sorry, but many people have six figure incomes...you could consider those upper class yes, but rich no. I look at the millionaires who lay people off left and right, then collect bonuses. Who do those people care about? They are making money of of other peoples' backs. Do they care? You are also wrong about the wealthy upbringing comment. I guarantee you many rich people have had a wealthy upbringing and most likely had opportunities that others have not. Guys like Donald Trump and George Bush come to mind. Btw, almost 50 percent of this country is considered poor in this economy. What about the guy who worked for many years only to be laid off and not have a job. That person could have worked harder than you. No sympathy for them huh? You are out of touch.
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DanaRuns
6' blonde liberal lesbian lawyer with a brain.
03:40 PM on 12/29/2011
" What about the guy who worked for many years only to be laid off and not have a job. That person could have worked harder than you. No sympathy for them huh? You are out of touch."

I think you misunderstood my post. Please read it again. If you do, you'll see that I say I don't have empathy for the rich people. The "poor, poor rich people," because, you know, they think they have it so hard what with all the supposed "class warfare" going on.

Also, I'll see your Donald Trump and George Bush, and raise you Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Oprah Winfrey, Sheldon Adison, Roman Abramovich, Leonardo Del Vecchio, Micky Jagtiani, Guy Lalibert, J.K. Rowling, Jay-Z, John Paul DeJoria, Howard Schultz, Steve Jobs, and multitudes more...and these are just some of the super-rich, not your garden variety rich people, many of whom were born poor and made their millions or billions themselves. And think of all the rich celebs, people who got rich from the IT boom, or gaming, or a dozen other waves that have washed over the county. I think some of those people have a very different (and more empathetic) view of American society than do the Bushes and Kochs of the world. I think the article is flawed.
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JusticiaParaTodos
02:19 PM on 12/28/2011
The fact is that the wealthy do carry malice against the working class and poor. Other wise why do they continue attacking labor unions, social services, equal education, civil rights?
To suggest that the rich are "not as adept at recognizing cues and signals" is just another apologist excuse for the viciousness of American capitalists!
History shows us that the rich and powerful will stop at absolutely nothing to acquire more wealth and power! Wars have been initiated against nations whose natural resources the wealthy in the U.S. covet. Iraq and Libya are classic examples as is Afghanistan. If that isn't malice, please define the word for me.
02:01 PM on 12/28/2011
I am watching this develop in my young children. I come from a mid- to lower- middle class heritage, while my ex husband comes from a family of great wealth. I am watching as my chilrend are provided with a great deal of material things to provide comfort and as a way to avoid all kinds of anxiety & discomfort. In that family system, there is no capacity to use *relationship* as the means of easing distress, anxiety or fear. So what I am witnessing and working hard to counter as their mother, is the development of a powerful sense of entitlement without much awareness of the consequences or appreciation of genuine value both for material possessions and for the relationships around them. Fortunately, my children are still young and I have many years to continue this work of counteracting the destructive influence of blind privilege, but damn, I wish it wasn't necessary....
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reading2009
Down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass
02:32 PM on 12/28/2011
Help them learn these important skills! Perhaps your family could volunteer somewhere? Just a thought to encourage you!
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kmc528
I ALWAYS have an opinion....
11:50 AM on 12/28/2011
A friend who recently fell on hard times was advised by a wealthy friend to "dip into your savings and retirement accounts". It was incomprehensible to her friend that someone might have earned so little that she didn't have much to set aside for the future because day-to-day feeding and housing herself and her children ate up her whole paycheck. (Yes, she was supposed to get child support, but deadbeat dads abound.) Well, then borrow from your mother!, was the next advice. Except that her mother's paycheck was eaten up by medical expenses for a disabled child.

Her rich friend never did get her head around it that some people don't have the same options as those born with a silver spoon in their mouths.
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Michael Valentine
Retired SEIU Member
11:37 AM on 12/28/2011
Gee the rich are self-centered greedy pigs who lack empathy. You needed a study to find that out?
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reading2009
Down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass
02:33 PM on 12/28/2011
Well, it would have been class warfare then. Now we can say it's science! Because it is.
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07:11 PM on 12/27/2011
There are lots of rich people in the US more than you think! I would say tax the pants of them but the government just pisses away the money as fast as they can go. It is almost 2012 so the end is near!!!
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LynnW49
"A great democracy must be progressive." TR
02:26 PM on 12/27/2011
It isn't always "inexperience":

"[Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd] Blankfein is the son of a Brooklyn postal worker and that [BP CEO Tony] Hayward—despite his U.S. caricature as an upper-class English twit—got his start at BP as a rig geologist in the North Sea. They are both, in other words, working-class boys made good. And while you might imagine that such backgrounds would make plutocrats especially sympathetic to those who are struggling, the opposite is often true. For the super-elite, a sense of meritocratic achievement can inspire high self-regard, and that self-regard—especially when compounded by their isolation among like-minded peers—can lead to obliviousness and indifference to the suffering of others."
"The Rise of the New Global Elite", The Atlantic Jan/Feb 2011
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/01/the-rise-of-the-new-global-elite/8343/
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BravoFour
01:36 PM on 12/27/2011
Let them eat cake
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MDhome
lets make it a crime to lie while campaigning for
12:11 PM on 12/27/2011
And this was ever questioned? That has been so clear to anyone open to the possibility, there may be exceptions, BUT they are the exception!
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chamberwindow
Socialism or barbarism.
10:53 AM on 12/27/2011
It's not that they are cold hearted, it's just that they can't feel what others are feeling, and are completely unaffected by other people's suffering.