It's been said that money is the root of all evil. But does money really make people more likely to lie, cheat and steal? New research released by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says "yes".
Seven studies using experimental and naturalistic methods, reveal that upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals. In studies 1 and 2, upper-class individuals were more likely to break the law while driving, relative to lower-class individuals. In follow-up laboratory studies, upper-class individuals were also more likely to:
Mediator and moderator data demonstrated that upper-class individuals’ unethical tendencies are accounted for, in part, by their more favorable attitudes toward greed.
- exhibit unethical decision-making tendencies (study 3),
- take valued goods from others (study 4),
- lie in a negotiation (study 5),
- cheat to increase their chances of winning a prize (study 6),
- and endorse unethical behavior at work (study 7) than were lower-class individuals.
~ from New Study: The Wealthy Are More Unethical by Bud Meyers ~
Greed goes hand-in-hand with striving, the opposite of wu wei. When enough is never sufficient, you spend the vast majority of your time and energy pursuing more. It never matters how much you are able to obtain -- you always see more on the table just waiting to be scooped up.
Because you are one of many, others are pursuing the same ends that you are. Rules and etiquette are for suckers. Waiting your turn simply puts you further behind. When greed is your god, nothing can be allowed to stand in your way. Obstacles and hurdles are to be smashed. You must get to the finish line first or else you have failed and failure, in your world, is not an option.
This post is part of a series. For an introduction, go here.