Ever wonder why you work all the time, but never seem to have enough money to actually do anything but… work?
Apparently, you complain too much.
That’s the opinion of many wealthy Americans, those in the top ten percent who’ve managed to “work their way” into financial security. They believe the American dream is alive and well. They believe if you’re not a millionaire, or well on your way to becoming one, then it’s your fault. They think you made poor decisions, or that you’re lazy and entitled.
They think you deserve poverty.
It’s no surprise that empathy is on the decline, and has been since the 1980s. In fact, it fell by 48 percent between 1979 and 2009. As Jamil Zaki says, we find ourselves living in “a culture that feels increasingly cruel, callous, and disconnected.” This trend is perfectly illustrated in a well known experiment run at the University of California. You know, the one where psychologists watched students play Monopoly after giving some players more money and extra dice... Those players became real assholes, and they even started bragging about their “success strategies.” In one version of the study, the player who starts out with extra advantages has the audacity to start moving their opponents’ piece and taunting them.
I’ve learned a lot about what a certain slice of America truly thinks, by reading their responses to my stories on inequality and toxic individualism over the last several months. They came out of the wood works to comment on one recent story about the American dream, which referenced several books on the topic. The comments reveal a lot about what can happen to someone after they become successful.
If you’ve ever wondered who votes to maintain the status quo, or what they could possibly be thinking, this is for you.
Here we go…
You should’ve started a business.
Without fail, there’s always one older white gentlemen who reads one of my pieces and tries to slam me with his personal success story.