Saturday, August 23, 2014

Empathy, policy, and income & wealth inequality

(WPA workers in Brunswick, Maryland, 1937. New Deal policymakers had empathy towards their fellow citizens, so they created work opportunities for the unemployed. The situation is quite different today, as the nation embraces plutocracy more and more every year. Photo courtesy of the University of Maryland College Park Archives.)
"As inequality grows, the rich become more powerful than the rest of the population, enabling them to veto any policy that impedes their one-sided enrichment. They also become less empathetic toward the rest of the population, whose lives seem less similar to their own with each passing year."

--Anthony W. Orlando, lecturer at California State University, "Income inequality trap still dominates country," August 22, 2014.

(Also see the study "Democracy and the Policy Preferences of Wealthy Americans" by researchers at Northwestern and Vanderbilt Universities, and the article, "A Study in Plutocracy: Rich Americans Wield Political Influence, the Rest of Us Don’t.")

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