2014 Jan 10

written by Sherri Joubert


Monopoly Banker

Photo Credit: Photobucket

Fifty years ago this week, President Lyndon Johnson gave his famous speech declaring the war on poverty. The only class of people who became significantly and continuously better off were people 65 years of age and older; those on Social Security and Medicare.

Poverty among the elderly stays fairly steady at just under 10%. All other demographics remained as poor as they were, or became poorer. We still have a long way to go on eliminating poverty in the U.S. We have to start by reversing the downward spiral of the middle class into poverty.

I ran across the following TED Talk (TEDxMarin), and found it amazingly timely in our current economy. The larger the economic inequality between the haves and have-nots, the worse the outcome is for everyone in several areas, rich and poor alike.

Paul Piff shared his studies on the science of greed (17 min.):

How do the banksters and all their shills look at themselves in the mirror? How do our elected officials sleep at night knowing how many poor, hungry and homeless people live in the U.S.? Why aren’t they trying harder to fix these problems?

If you find yourself thinking and believing regularly that anyone is less deserving because of their socioeconomic status than your are, it’s time for an empathy and compassion check on your values and behaviors.

Have you witnessed such behavior from someone around you and intervened?

Please discuss your thoughts in the comments below.

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7 Responses to “Having money can make you cruel, and how to fix it”

  1. Corinne Edwards Says:

    Dear Sherri –

    This presentation really hit home.

    I had a very wealthy friend who was always unhappy. She was truly a “poor little rich girl.”

    I would never get into a cab with her unless I insisted on paying.

    She would neve leave a tip.

    So, the driver would scream at as as we walked down the street. It was so embarassing.

    Her explanation was

    “They charge too much anyway.”

    Everything was her own self interest.

    A lot of truth in this.
    Corinne Edwards´s last blog post ..GREAT BOOK IDEA – but you need help?

  2. Andrew@Business Blogging Says:


    It’s the ‘banksters’ that get me angry. They really don’t seem to care and also feel they deserve their large income and bonuses…even when they mess things up!

    The governments should step in and stop such behaviour.


  3. Naomi@Leavethe9-5 Says:

    Hi Sherri,

    I believe governments give the ‘war of poverty’ speech just to keep the masses happy and tell us what we want to hear. Even though most of them have never been in touch with real (everyday) hard working people.

    As for the banksters and governments sleeping at night? I’m sure the sleep like babies!

    My theory is the majority of the rich people born into money cannot relate to the average person who works to buy a home or has 3 jobs just to feed a family.

    I don’t expect people to feel compassion for the poor when they don’t understand what poverty is.

    Money can turn you cruel if you let it. I think the best prevention is being thankful, reminding yourself how lucky you are and helping others who haven’t been as fortunate as you.

    Great video


  4. Debbie Says:

    Hi Sherri,
    Yes, there is a lot of truth in what he is saying. What I have found in many that have the wealth, the more they have the more they want. I really have to feel bad for them, because they have forgotten what happiness is. And money can not by it.

    I had to laugh when he was showing the cars at cross walks. I have found when it comes to the high prices vehicles you have to be more aware of them. When you turn your signal light on to change lanes and person with a high end car will step on the gas so you can’t get over. Where another person will let you move over. Some even act like they are the owners of the road.
    very interesting post.

  5. Joel Says:

    A very interesting video Sherri!

    Some of the richest people I know are the cheapest and complain the loudest. But other wealthy people are the most generous and kind. I think it’s just personality. Rich or poor you can still be a jerk or a superhero.

    Maybe money amplifies your innate tendencies though.

  6. Sherri Joubert Says:

    Andrew, At this point, the banksters get me the most angry, too. They’re taking my house after all.

    I can’t believe it when politicians, who are pretty well off, say the poor feel entitled to government assistance. They have it backwards, but don’t care what the large and growing number of studies show.

    The more well off you are, the more entitled and deserving you’re likely to feel, unless you stay grounded.

    The average person has no clue just how much tax money is used for corporate and wealth welfare.

  7. Anne @confidence building blog Says:

    As Andrew said, it’s the bankers that really rub me up the wrong way. They don’t seem to care what anyone thinks of them either. They’re just interested in making as much money for themselves as possible.

    That said, I don’t think that a generalisation is fair to a lot of rich people. Quite a few of them are very good at giving away their money. I think also that the more I’m blessed financially, the more I give.
    Anne @confidence building blog´s last blog post ..Find Out If You Think Like A Loser

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