Is money the root of all evil or is it all to with Attitude?
April sees in the financial new year; this time of fiscal focus is a good time to look at our ongoing sources of concern, with regard to the handling of the Economy.
Maria Miller, our Minister of Culture has been forced to resign this week due to the outcry over her expenses, the recent Benefit Street T.V. documentary series fuelled a divisive debate over a ‘something for nothing’ culture, the smouldering distrust of bankers continues, and there is growing anxiety over the widening gap between the ‘super-rich’ and the rest of us, not to mention the poorest.
Money on the Mind
Funny, but bad news!
The above video reports the results of extensive studies carried out by social psychologists at Berkeley, University of California, which caused a storm because the results clearly suggested that participants who feel wealthier (even in role play) were more likely to act unethically, display a willingness to cheat, lie, even steal, and demonstrate an attitude of entitlement.
The Three E’s: Entitlement, Exploitation, Evasion.
To my mind, the attitude of Entitlement is the key and not money in itself. If the value of money is seen only in terms of how it can serve oneself, and its acquisition seen purely in terms of personal achievement, without a sense of gratitude, responsibility to contribute and serve others, then it is narcissistic, which ultimately has a negative impact on us all. I believe this applies however it manifests; whether it is the wealthy “self-serving tax evaders” recently reproved by Pope Francis, the lap dancer who was claiming Disability Allowance, the bonus-grabbing bankers who mess with our money, the fraudsters who profit from false claims, the corporates who refuse to pay a living wage, the drug-dealers, the con-artists and common thieves, the pimps, the Government ministers who claim expenses they are not entitled to etc. etc. Aren’t they all different sides of the same coin?
The Three C’s: Cooperation, Community, Compassion
Here’s the good news.
Paul Piff, the social psychologist who led the above studies, gave a TED talk shown in the video below explaining the nature and outcomes of the research. However, he concludes on an optimistic note, showing how awareness of attitudes and a commitment to contributing to society, through helping others, can be encouraged by reminding the more wealthy of their values.
Emphasising the importance of our values in our approach to money is just as important across all society. Isn’t it the less well-off who depend on our welfare system to support them, in the way it was designed to, who suffer more at the hands of the ‘self-servers’, whether Benefit-Frauds, Cheapskate Companies or Tax Dodgers?
The Fourth C: Contribution – I’m adding this to the list of values which I think would make the world go round a lot more fairly and happily.