Wired has published the article Why Are Rich People So Mean?
Decades of “greed is good” messaging has sought to remove a sense of shame from being a beneficiary of outrageous extremes of wealth inequality. Still, the shame lingers, because the messaging runs up against one of our species’ deepest innate values. Institutions seeking to justify a fundamentally anti-human economic system constantly rebroadcast the message that winning the money game will bring satisfaction and happiness. But we’ve got around 300,000 years of ancestral experience telling us it just isn’t so. Selfishness may be essential to civilization, but that only raises the question of whether a civilization so out of step with our evolved nature makes sense for the human beings within it.
The corruption of mind is what I believe caused people like Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman to be so blind to why poor people stay poor and rich people stay rich. Rand’s books like Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead completely ignored these factors. Then there is the book Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman.
Friedman argues for economic freedom as a precondition for political freedom. He defines “liberal” in European Enlightenment terms, contrasting with an American usage that he believes has been corrupted since the Great Depression. His views are especially popular among American conservatives and libertarians.
Are the people struggling under crushing student debt really free? How about the people who lost their homes to corrupt mortgage lenders? Are they really free? Then there is the crushing medical bill debt. Does that make people free?