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The wealthy suffer from an 'empathy gap' with the poor that is feeding a rise in inequality

The wealthy suffer from an 'empathy gap' with the poor that is feeding a rise in inequality | education | Scoop.it

Our emphasis on liberty has helped to create what I call an empathy gap, which in turn has permitted the creation of a selfishness surplus, which I will explain below.

Superficial similarities

 David Hume and Adam Smith understood this phenomenon well. He argued that our moral compass comes from our ability to identify with others – our empathy. We understand intuitively that, because others are like us, they suffer similar pains and enjoy similar pleasures. So far, so good...

 

Combine the empathy gap with structural and procedural fairness and you get what I call the selfishness surplus....

 

That surplus is the excess awarded to the rich and powerful over and above what they would have gotten if the resources in our society had been distributed more fairly and if our laws had been more redistributive in terms of fairness. As I explain in detail elsewhere, this surplus is real and empirically identifiable.

Lawrence Mitchell

Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University


Via Edwin Rutsch
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Rescooped by Kuhio Kane from Empathy Magazine
Scoop.it!

The wealthy suffer from an 'empathy gap' with the poor that is feeding a rise in inequality

The wealthy suffer from an 'empathy gap' with the poor that is feeding a rise in inequality | education | Scoop.it

Our emphasis on liberty has helped to create what I call an empathy gap, which in turn has permitted the creation of a selfishness surplus, which I will explain below.

Superficial similarities

 David Hume and Adam Smith understood this phenomenon well. He argued that our moral compass comes from our ability to identify with others – our empathy. We understand intuitively that, because others are like us, they suffer similar pains and enjoy similar pleasures. So far, so good...

 

Combine the empathy gap with structural and procedural fairness and you get what I call the selfishness surplus....

 

That surplus is the excess awarded to the rich and powerful over and above what they would have gotten if the resources in our society had been distributed more fairly and if our laws had been more redistributive in terms of fairness. As I explain in detail elsewhere, this surplus is real and empirically identifiable.

Lawrence Mitchell

Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University


Via Edwin Rutsch
more...
No comment yet.