I have read few less toxic examples in recent memory that demonstrate perfectly the idea that has the world in its grip, as the Chair would say, than this piece.

"The Wealthy's Compassion Defecit" By David Wolpe:

September 8, 2013

"We know that wealth does not always make people happy, but does it make them kinder? Studies suggest exactly the opposite. Instead of being more magnanimous, the rich are more likely to lie, cheat, steal and in general display less compassion than the poor. And this finding remains consistent even after controlling for gender, ethnicity and spiritual beliefs.

…As a rabbi, I see a spiritual explanation as well. We all know, deep
down, that most of what we have is a product of good fortune. No matter
how hard we work, we did not earn our functioning brains or the families
into which we were born. We didn't choose being born into an era, or a
nation, that allowed our talents to develop. We ride in cars and live in
homes we did not build, are warmed by heating and cooled by air
conditioning we did not invent, live in cities others created for us
organized by a government and protected by a military shaped by our
predecessors. Yet we still point to our accomplishments and proudly
proclaim, "I did this!"

No one likes to feel that what they have
achieved stems more from luck than merit. So the well-off salve their
consciences by assuring themselves that it is hard work and merit that
brought them success, which also leads them to conclude that it is a
lack of merit that keeps others from succeeding.

And so on.

This in particular sounds like the Rabbi is channeling Barry's "You didn't earn this" rant. I wonder if he is a supporter.





Speak your mind

2 Comments so far

  1. R. King on September 9, 2013 4:21 pm

    In the same spirit is this recent widely-circulated Slate piece,

    If You Send Your Kid to Private School, You Are a Bad Person
    A manifesto.

  2. linh tu on September 9, 2013 7:50 pm

    Bill Gates and Paul Allen are perfect examples of fortune and luck. When Ballmer recently announced his stepping down, too much blaming about the sorry current state of Microsoft was placed on his shoulders. It was Gates as CTO who has missed the internet, search engines and the mobile market. As for Paul Allen , as far as I know, all his wealth is still derived from Microsoft. Nothing he created or touched since leaving , has been successful.
    That said, I admired Gates for his donation and creation of Gates Foundation. It is Allen who would best fit the example of the rabbi’s opinion.


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