Are rich people worse than the rest of us?

“Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith,” said Alexis de Tocqueville, who also noted Americans’ particular respect for money and those who possess it.

What would the most famous non-American commentator on America have to say about today’s rich behaving badly, from Wall Street banksters voting themselves fabulous bonuses while running too-big-to-fail banks into the ground to the Koch Brothers buying governor’s mansions and statehouses nationwide?

If he were still around, I’ll bet de Tocqueville would commission an artist to do up a graphic like the one below, “Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems.” It shows that rich people really are nastier drivers, bigger tax cheats and worse mortgage deadbeats. Maybe you suspected it already? Now you know for sure.

Rich People Are Unethical
Re-posted from AccountingDegreeOnline.net.

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Comments

  1. Amoeba says

    Conspicuous consumption is bad. Many of these rich people embrace conspicuous consumption.
    In general, being rich is bad. But rich people are not inherently bad, but only a very few seem to want to do the right thing. Good rich people are a good thing, but bad rich people seem far more common.
    It seems to be a case of the scum rises to the top. And powerful scum are in a position to do really bad things – e.g. the Kochs.
    There are numerous examples of bad and antisocial behaviour among the rich.
    The rich wield power out of all proportion to their one vote. They buy politicians to weight legislation to their benefit, which often means to the detriment of the Public and natural environment.
    By exporting jobs, and closing companies they damage the economy in search for personal profit.
    By exploiting tax laws via their expensive lawyers they do not pay their fair share.
    It’s hard not to conclude that Mitt Romney is one of the filthy rich.

  2. Auntiegrav says

    I will try to keep this concise.
    de Tocqueville was wrong. Morality is determined by nature in the form of survival. True morality can ONLY be determined WITHOUT faith. To question every action, to know how nature works; only then can one understand what morality actually is, and how we can contribute (be useful) to the future of everything, not just humanistic selfishness of the marketed trademark called “God”.
    An action or thing is “good” when it contributes more to the future than it consumes in resources.
    An action or thing is “bad” when it causes fewer resources to be available for future generations of living things.
    Evil is any action taken based on unquestioned belief.
    The only natural right of living things is the right to Try to Live.
    Everything else is statutorily invented. If we are to be a moral species, then our “rights” would include the rights of future generations of all species (and people outside our socio-industrial enclave), not just present living humans (with money) and their fickle desires for more “stuff” that they wouldn’t even want if they weren’t told to want it.

    The rich are richer and more immoral because we PAY THEM TO BE THAT WAY!! Every day, billions of people go to stores and buy stuff. Prior to civilization, they would instead have had to make what they needed or wanted, or know someone who could, and trade fairly for it.
    Every type of law which is passed to “improve the economy” is a law against nature. Our economy represents our rate of destruction of our own future. If the economy is increasing, we are destroying things faster.
    The rich people are just the lucky ones who fill in the openings that are created by our desires for easy, cheap living. We have lauded them for being “efficient” or increasing “profits” and making decisions based only on numbers on a piece of paper or a computer screen.
    The hated rich are an extension of ourselves, regardless of how we vote come elections; we vote early and often when the stores open each day. One dollar, one vote: that’s our democracy. The “representative republic” only represents cash, and actual thoughtful representation is nonexistent and irrelevant as far as our media are concerned.

  3. Capitalism Kills says

    Being rich is unfathomably selfish because it entails the notion that one is entitled to buy 6 mansions or hoard $5 million in the bank instead of saving hundreds of lives with that money. I am 99.99% sure that in God’s eyes, nobody deserves to be rich while millions are starving and suffering or dying of preventable causes. For this reason, I’m willing to bet that almost all rich people (if not ALL) are undeserving of their wealth in God’s eyes, because they only “earned” it due to being born into privilege and/or simply getting lucky, at the expense of the less fortunate. There is enough food to feed the world but people still starve because of the greedy capitalist system. Furthermore, nobody works thousands of times harder than the average person, such that they should deserve thousands or millions times more money than the average person; it is simply exploitation due to fortuitous circumstances. If you had to bet your life that God disagrees with what I am saying, would you feel comfortable, or would you change your stance from the one in your post?

    BTW, am I guilty of the same sin as rich people because I have more money than I need and I spend on frivolous things instead of helping the poor? ABSOLUTELY. But just because I do it (and almost everyone else does it) DOES NOT MAKE IT RIGHT.

  4. Bytor says

    Very intersting comments by those posting. What I’d like to say is that there seems to be a clear trend that as people obtain more wealth (and freedoms) that there morals become less (obviously). Now my question is, “is this because of money or freedom?”. Although on the outside it would seem that people are simply currupt because of money, I’d like to think the truth lies closer in the idea that the persons “ability” to make change contributes to the loosining of morals (IE steeling candy, cutting people off, etc…). Without that ability, your freedoms seem less. So, if you feel more free, maybe you do more of what you want, like lying or stealing (or whatever you want to do), weather it be deemed good or bad. Bad thought I know, but I don’t think its an accident that nearly all people that obtain alot of money or resources often times turn “immoral”. Maybe another way to say immoral would be “freedom to do whatever one feels they want to do”. Once we feel like were not restrained by morals or dogmas of the past or present, I think we become less caring of those around us and more concerned about what “I” can do because now “I” have the ability to do whatever I want, to where someone with zero resourses has NO ability to make change. So, if you cant make real change in the world with money, it seems often times we go along with what the present expectations of society are in reguard to morals to stay “in line” with societies expectations (IE your morals). But, if you dont have the restrictions of being poor (no ability to make change), then as a rich man, your free to do as you like. Unfortunatly for humanity, freedom often times equates to unethical and immoral behavior because of the percieved lack of consequences, as opposed to someone who’s poor and far more concerned with consequences to there actions (cant hire good lawyer, cant pay for a cab out of a bad area, etc…). Basically, again, your options are less if you have fewer resouces. If you have more money, you have more freedom which equals more immorality it seems unfortunatly. A good example of this might be someone in a car and out of a car. In a car your protected from the outside world and can get by with flipping someone off or cutting them off with little or no consequences. In essence, your more free and protected then if you were to be walking. Same thing goes with money. You can get away with more because your more protected from the outside world. Or to put it another way, often times our desires outweigh laws that are set up in the present cultural norms/laws. Now, would everyone take advantage? No. But do like 90% take advantage of a more free situation to do as they please? Simply, yes. Not a nice thought I know, but seems to be true after thinking on it some….
    Write me back at cyclicalnaure@hushmail,com if you want to discuss.
    PS I know my spelling sucks :) Thx.

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