Interesting article from RawStory.com…
This supports observations I’ve made during my life as I’ve moved around and been around different people in different places in different socio-economic positions…
I think the American Class System is in danger of becoming as entrenched as the British Class System. It’s just occurring so quietly people aren’t realizing doors are closing and ceilings are lowering…
People from different economic classes have fundamentally different ways of thinking about the world, according to research recently published in Current Directions in Psychological Science.
The authors of the study said the findings have important, but overlooked, implications for public policy.
“Americans, although this is shifting a bit, kind of think class is irrelevant,” said Dacher Keltner of the University of California-Berkeley, who cowrote the article with Michael W. Kraus of UC-San Francisco and Paul K. Piff of UC-Berkeley.
“I think our studies are saying the opposite: This is a profound part of who we are.”
A study published in Psychological Science in November, for instance, found that people of upper-class status have trouble recognizing the emotions other people are feeling. People of lower-class status do a much better job.
“What I think is really interesting about that is, it kind of shows there’s all this strength to the lower class identity: greater empathy, more altruism, and finer attunement to other people,” Keltner said.
“One clear policy implication is, the idea of nobless oblige or trickle-down economics, certain versions of it, is bull,” Keltner added. “Our data say you cannot rely on the wealthy to give back. The ‘thousand points of light’—this rise of compassion in the wealthy to fix all the problems of society—is improbable, psychologically.”
Those in the upper-class tend to hoard resources and be less generous than they could be.
But the differences between people of upper and lower-classes seems to be the product of the cultural environment, not ingrained traits. Studies have found that as people rise in the classes, they become less empathetic.
Keltner speculates that people of lower-classes are more empathetic because they need to rely on others more often to be successful. Those who can’t afford daycare service for their children, for example, turn to neighbors or relatives to watch the kids.
“If you don’t have resources and education, you really adapt to the environment, which is more threatening, by turning to other people,” he explained. “People who grow up in lower-class neighborhoods, as I did, will say,’ There’s always someone there who will take you somewhere, or watch your kid. You’ve just got to lean on people.’”
via Upper-class people less empathetic than lower-class people: study | The Raw Story.
My Thoughts: Why Politics Matter
I’m tired of people saying Politics doesn’t matter and tuning out of the Political process. Not only is this an abdication of responsibility, it’s stupid.
Politics does matter and the votes taken in various elected bodies do impact everyone’s life.
In fact, Political decisions impact almost every aspect of day-to-day life. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
These are just a few impacts off the top of my head. So when I hear people say they aren’t voting or that one side is as bad as the other, or that it just doesn’t matter, it pisses me off.
Admittedly, I am passionate about this…I used to work in Politics and spent a good deal of time in Washington and Richmond. I have been “behind the curtain.” I’ve smoked cigarettes over cocktails at the Congressional Club with now Speaker John Boehner and ridden the back roads of Virginia with Senator John Warner. I know neither side is perfect and I well know how the “other side”-for whom I used to work- manipulates the process and puts out false information. I’ve seen the decline in civility by both sides and made my well-known choice.
I came to the conclusion that the Republicans look backwards with fear while the Democrats look forward with hope. I’ve also reached the conclusion the Republicans cater to the wealthy and Corporate elite- as do the Democrats to a lesser degree. This is an informed, fact-based decision I made as part of my personal journey. You can disagree with me, but you can’t call me uniformed or accuse me of not thoroughly examining the issues to reach my decisions.
I also think we have a moral obligation in America to ensure our elected officials don’t forget the poor, the sick, the hungry, the elderly, college students hungry for learning but limited in funds and the homeless. I think one of the main purposes of government is to ensure we have safe, reliable transportations– by road, by air and most urgently by train. I think the government should level the playing field by allowing those who are born to less have the same opportunities as those who are born with more. I think the government should ensure our food supply is safe, but not over burden local growers. I think a lot of things…
I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but I do expect them to be involved and to make fact-based decisions. I can respect that…
I can’t respect people who tune out facts or don’t do their own due diligence.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
For Democracy to work, you must have an informed, active electorate. I hope people are paying attention to what is going on in Washington, the State Houses and the Supreme Court. These decisions do matter and do impact your lives.
The Elites count on people being confused, misinformed and lazy when-and if- they vote. It’s up to us to prove them wrong. We haven’t done a great job the last year or so…
I may be dreaming, but here are a few things that I think would help rectify the situation:
We need to encourage people to pay attention by restoring trust in the media and elected officials who represent the Public Trust.
This is not a game.
It is not a reality TV show.
Bottom Line: Get serious, people!
Discuss among yourselves….
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