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Money on the Mind September 30, 2013

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Capitalism.

In a series of startling studies, psychologists at the University of California at Berkeley have found that “upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals.” Ongoing research is trying to find out what it is about wealth — or lack of it — that makes people behave they way they do.


1. FergusD - September 30, 2013

What a surprise – NOT!!


2. CMK - September 30, 2013

This was an interesting read about how the polarisation of incomes between the high-tech workers and entrepreneurs and the ‘rest’ is remaking San Franscisco. Another interesting point was the clear caste divisions that are implicit in a society which priorities and lionizes high-tech entrepreneurship. Given that the latter is the explicit objective of the Irish government, with the education system being re-made to facilitate that objective, it’s worth pondering the dark side of this focus.



3. doctorfive - September 30, 2013

Would be a bit sceptical as so much of the ‘poor people are more likely to behave ….” is usually bullshit but there is no doubt about the sense of entitlement that comes with wealth. The incredulous reaction from hosts here was priceless though


Interestingly when this study was first reported on Bloomberg the headline read

“Wealthy More Likely To Lie or Cheat: Researchers”

but was mysteriously changed to

“Self-Interest Spurs Society’s ‘Elite’ To Lie, Cheat, Study Finds”

Kate Losse (who writes some great things http://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/feminisms-tipping-point-who-wins-from-leaning-in) shows how this objectivist current has filtered down

View at Medium.com

In Silicon Valley they start them young, as we learn from 16-year-old Midas in his bright-eyed Medium essay about learning about startups at Stanford summer camp. In his “Investigations in Business and Entrepreneurship” class, he is taught the startup motto “don’t ask for permission, ask for forgiveness,”

I was thinking of this from bell hooks during the show RTÉ had about private schools earlier in the month

As someone who’s moved from teaching at very fancy private predominantly white schools to teaching at an urban, predominantly non-white campus in Harlem. The first thing I noticed was that my students were equally brilliant in the Harlem setting as they were when I taught at Yale or Oberlin but their senses of what the meaning of that brilliance was and what they could do with it, their sense of agency was profoundly different.

You know when students came to Yale, they came there knowing that they are the best and the brightest and they think that they have a certain kind of future ahead or them and they in a sense are opened to embracing that future. It has nothing to do with the level of knowledge. It has more to do with their sense of entitlement about having a future and when I see among my really brilliant students in Harlem, many of whom have very difficult lives, they work, they have children, is that they don’t have that sense of entitlement, they don’t have that imagination into a future of agency and as such, I think many professors do not try to give them the gift of critical thinking.

In a certain kind of patronizing way education just says, all these people need is tools for survival, basic survival tools, like their degree so they can get a job and not, in fact, that we enhance their lives in the same way we’ve enhanced our lives by engaging in a certain kind of critical process


BB - September 30, 2013

+ 1


Enya Rand - September 30, 2013

The Kate Losse article is well worth a read.

I’ve instinctively hated much of Silicon Valley culture and Facebook in particular since it’s inception, and the corporate version of feminism presented there is I guess the logical absolute zero of a feminism that became ‘realistic’.

I’d like to believe that new forms of utopian feminism demanding the devaluing of the bullshit paid work that so many of us do to earn a crust will result from these critical times.


WorldbyStorm - September 30, 2013

+1 re your last paragraph. Something that radical (and yet is it radical or just plain sense?) is absolutely essential.


4. Brian Hanley - September 30, 2013

Just look at the tone of the commentary about the results of the survey on emigration last week. It’s all about a ‘brain-drain’ and how having all these ‘talented’ ‘qualified’ ‘educated’ people leaving will damage the economy. Was mass emigration in the 1950s not also a ‘brain-drain’? Just because the emigrants were largely unskilled doesn’t make them any less of a loss. Similarly listen to Varaker today complaining about high-taxes allegedly driving out ‘lawyers, doctors, business people etc’…what they mean is that people who they consider less-educated or less skilled would not be that much of a loss.


5. Joe - September 30, 2013

“Society is about to be divided into Big Earners and Big Losers.”

Oh sweet Jesus, I read this yesterday.
I recommend it to you all because I want you to share my pain.



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