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  1. #31
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    It depends on the specialty more than anything else. Surgeons are the one making the most money.

    http://www.profilesdatabase.com/reso...-salary-survey

    They do lose all that income during their 20s and tend to have pretty large loans by the end of school.
    What's your point? I'm clearly talking about non-surgeons, but you keep bringing up surgeons.

    What a doctor makes does depend on the specialty, but within the higher paying specialties there is quite a bit of variation in how much doctors will make. 80% of GIs make between $225k and $475k. That's a large variation. Getting into a GI fellowship depends on achievement, but making money as a GI depends on how many colonoscopies (needed or unneeded) you're willing to do each day.
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  2. #32
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Where does it say that? If that was a statement made in the show, I didn't hear it. There was an article referenced by Salome but I haven't seen it.
    It isn't explicitly defined that way anywhere. I just didn't need it to be in order to deduce it from the material in the OP.
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  3. #33
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    From the Why Poverty? Season

    Paul Piff, interviewed at the start of this film, published a paper earlier this year which claims that Higher social class predicts increased unethical behavior.
    The research suggests that anyone can be made unethical, simply by being made rich.
    Thoughts?
    my thoughts
    - correlation =/= causation
    - power doesn't corrupt, it reveals what's already there. more rich people will become corrupt because, unlike poor people, they have the ability to do damage. there are just as many "evil" people of any social class, it's just that they go unnoticed because it doesn't leave or significant mark or their behavior is rationalized as "desperate" or "troubled"
    - I'm more motivated than ever to make it to the top 1%
    - this documentary is not about "rich" people, it's about how lobbyist have taken control of our country.

    Edit: I didn't like the way the video framed it's points, but looking at them objectively, they were 2 fold
    - corporate-government lobbying is destroying the country
    - the education system needs more funding and massive reform
    and I agree with both of these points.
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  4. #34
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    Doctor compensation is higher (on average) in the US than elsewhere in the world, but there is massive variation in the US depending on the specialty. Some specialties (like GI) are money makers. Some (like endocrinology) are not. This is actually dictated by how insurance companies and the government (Medicare) pay out. What is most beneficial to the patient and society is often not well compensated. What is most profitable is what the patient tends to get, and that is often not what is most beneficial. As a result, the doctors who earn the most money tend to be the ones who put their own interests ahead of their patients. Of course, they'll never admit this. They've convinced themselves (mental gymnastics) they're acting in their patients' best interests.

    My point as it relates to this thread? Doctors who make a LOT of money are more likely to be "evil" than those who don't.
    Re bolded - that's a pretty strong statement and I am skeptical. Where do you get this from?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    What's your point? I'm clearly talking about non-surgeons, but you keep bringing up surgeons.

    What a doctor makes does depend on the specialty, but within the higher paying specialties there is quite a bit of variation in how much doctors will make. 80% of GIs make between $225k and $475k. That's a large variation. Getting into a GI fellowship depends on achievement, but making money as a GI depends on how many colonoscopies (needed or unneeded) you're willing to do each day.
    Ok, so non-surgeons do procedures too. What's wrong with doing a lot of colonoscopies? That's evil?

    I guess I don't get your point and/or don't buy into the logic.

    I have always imagined that supply and demand is at play. If you have skills that are in high demand and low supply and you use those skills in a productive capacity then you get more money.

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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    my thoughts
    - correlation =/= causation
    - power doesn't corrupt, it reveals what's already there. more rich people will become corrupt because, unlike poor people, they have the ability to do damage. there are just as many "evil" people of any social class, it's just that they go unnoticed because it doesn't leave or significant mark or their behavior is rationalized as "desperate" or "troubled"
    - I'm more motivated than ever to make it to the top 1%
    - this documentary is not about "rich" people, it's about how lobbyist have taken control of our country.

  6. #36
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Nature/evolution has selected individuals who are good at surviving, reproducing, and defeating competitors. Collecting resources, power, and access, having a lot of sex, and outsmarting rivals (often economically) is what you find in dominant males. A conscience gets in the way of that. On one side of the spectrum, you have the complacent, model citizen who strives for fairness. On the other side, you have the sociopath who cares about himself and is willing to hurt others to further his interests.

    It's not so much that money makes you corrupt. It's that the people who want lots of money are further along the sociopathy spectrum. They seek money and disregard others because their genes encourage them too.

    Disclaimer: I'm not endorsing sociopathy despite it being natural, just like I don't endorse murder or rape. I think people should abide by their conscience. But sociopathy makes sense.

  7. #37
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    I'm not endorsing sociopathy despite it being natural, just like I don't endorse murder or rape. I think people should abide by their conscience. But sociopathy makes sense.
    Only in a world where the vast majority are not sociopaths...
    This doesn't answer the question, anyway... Or are you suggesting that the rich are sociopaths? That sociopaths are not evil?
    Also, sociopaths effectively don't have a conscience. What then? Should we actively prevent such people from exploiting others (as we do rapists and murderers)? By applying the label "evil" we assert that this kind of exploitation is a crime. That's something we've been hesitant to do, thus far.
    It's not so much that money makes you corrupt. It's just that people who want lots of money are further along the sociopathy spectrum.
    Did you read the OP or any of the links? The Monopoly experiment (and there have been others, see the Stanford Prison experiment, for example) disproves that assumption. If profound inequality is personally corrupting and erodes social cohesion, is it something we should tolerate?
    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    I would say some of the messaging is distorted though. The top 1% as they are so called are not all living at 740 Park Avenue and the vast majority of them are most certainly not super rich. Most simply worked hard and saved their money over a number of years. Also, the fact that rich people (or any of us for that matter) operate out of self interest is not new.
    The programme focuses not on the top 1% but on the top 0.001%. The ~400 multi-billionaires who together control more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans. (Can anything justify that kind of income disparity?)
    The guys who use their almost unimaginable wealth to bribe politicians to create policies which will see them accrue yet more wealth and power and everyone else, less.
    How can that be other than unethical? It's certainly anti-democratic. It's certainly corrupt. Yet it's not a crime. Why do you tolerate a political system that is so open to corruption in this way?

    The American Dream is still alive. You can start with nothing and make something of yourself. You can raise a family that is economically more advantaged than you were. That's the way the country has always been and it's still that way. It's why people want to come to the United States - because there is opportunity.
    That's what they want you to believe. Tell it to the people living in tents. The American Dream is an illusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    I'd say that's about right. People in the US have lived a privileged life compared to many areas of the world and economic privilege is sustainable only to the extent that the economics work.
    I think you missed the sarcasm in her post. Or did you just ignore it?

    Regardless as to who runs them, the modern corporation roughly equals the personality of a sociopath:

    - no sense of responsibility
    - inability to form meaningful relationships
    - lack of moral sense
    - chronically antisocial behavior
    - no change in behavior after punishment
    - lack of guilt
    - self-centeredness

    Now there I see some evil.
    This is from Michael Moore's documentary, The Corporation. (A still more provocative/less rational film than the one in the OP).
    It's rather misleading since it tries to conflate legal entities with real people. A corporate body does not have a personality and cannot therefore, suffer a personality disorder. It cannot be accountable for "evil."

    Besides which, there are notions of corporate responsibility etc etc. I think it's less helpful to focus on faceless entities and more useful to hold those that head up these corporations to account. Hiding behind corporate identities is what they're good at. But corporations don't make decisions. CEOs do.
    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    There's that word evil. It makes me hesitant to affirm. Putting aside the word choice, I do find the concept of the study completely believable. It is something I would have assumed without seeing research.
    Simon Baron-Cohen argues (in "Zero degrees of empathy, a new theory of human cruelty") that evil can be simply defined as a lack of empathy. I think his argument is overly simplistic, but certainly a lack of empathy is the biggest enabler of evil.

    Everyone has heard that power corrupts. Well, wealth is the fundamental source of power in our current age, and being powerful corrupts because it means you don't have to be as concerned about how others relate to you. You can afford to wrong more people because they have less ability to hurt you. As human beings most of us have moral concepts which influence our behavior, but the influence is far from absolute. In the absence of a practical cost for behaving immorally, people are more likely to do so.
    I used to think that. It's not that simple though. What I think is interesting about this new research is that it suggests you can make people less empathic by making them wealthy. And this ties in (loosely) with what @whatever was saying: if you have a lot more than others, how do you justify that to yourself? You have to start thinking that you are better than others. That you deserve better treatment. You start to feel entitled. You start to argue that other people deserve to suffer/have less than you do (because they're lazy, stupid, the wrong race, the wrong gender, the wrong bloodline, whatever). That way leads narcissism (a zero-degrees of empathy state) and bigotry. So, it's not just that you stop fearing the consequences of your actions, it's that you actually start to believe in your own superiority. And we all know where that can lead.

    I'm not convinced you could make everyone behave in this way. I wouldn't want to play with an unfair advantage. It certainly wouldn't make me feel better about myself. Quite the reverse. But then I really dont believe I'd have behaved in a Milgrim-typical way either. Part-empathy, part distrust of authority, part commitment to fair-play.
    I could well believe it being more likely to happen in a narcissistic, "greed is good", "Ayn Rand is God" society, like Republican America.
    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Pretty much this.....its just more socially acceptable to exaggerate and stigmatize this tendency among the rich.
    If that is so, it has only become so recently. Most of the research I've seen points to criminal behaviour being linked to lower socioeconomic class.

    Quote Originally Posted by gasoline View Post
    i thnk i heard someone who was rich ranting on about how the rich votes should be more because they bring more to the table but poor should not have anything because they do nothing.
    Paul Ryan?

    Quote Originally Posted by reason View Post
    It's a stupid documentary full of non-sequiturs and strawmen.

    That is not to say it does not contain many important facts and fine arguments, but they're mixed with so much noxious bullshit and sloppy reasoning that it's likely to mislead rather than educate.
    Much like your post then (minus the facts and arguments).
    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    Edit: I didn't like the way the video framed it's points, but looking at them objectively, they were 2 fold
    - corporate-government lobbying is destroying the country
    - the education system needs more funding and massive reform
    and I agree with both of these points.
    Essentially, yes. These are the practical implications. I think there is a deeper/more universal message in there too.

    Edit. Someone corrected me. The Corporation was not made by Michael Moore. Moore's documentary in a similar vein is called Capitalism: A Love Story. (I should have remembered this because The Corporation trailer was on my profile page for months. )
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  8. #38
    Senior Member reason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Much like your post then (minus the facts and arguments).
    I'm glad we agree.

    I did begin writing a rather lengthy response full of clever arguments and research, but then I realised that hardly anyone was going to read it and I had better things to do. So instead I decided to just state my opinion and let others take it or leave it.
    A criticism that can be brought against everything ought not to be brought against anything.

  9. #39
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    What is rich?

    Are doctors rich? Many people would say so. They're in that top 1%. Are they unethical and is that why they make a lot of money? Or is it they are economically advantaged because they busted their ass going to school and in their residency until they were 30 years old? Maybe it's the lawyers - those evil people.
    I would argue it is having sufficient economic resources to reach stage 5

    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  10. #40
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    Only in a world where the vast majority are not sociopaths...
    This doesn't answer the question, anyway... Or are you suggesting that the rich are sociopaths? That sociopaths are not evil?
    Assuming the rich are more sociopathic (didn't watch the documentary, sorry) then there are 3 possibilities, right? Being rich is causing sociopathy, sociopathy causes richness, or they're both caused by a third variable. There are rich people who are sociopaths, and sociopaths who aren't rich, so the first two should, theoretically, be ruled out. That leaves the third option, which I think is the right one, that evolution has naturally selected these individuals.

    Are sociopaths evil? To the degree that we should discourage sociopathic behavior, yes, let's call it evil.

    Also, sociopaths effectively don't have a conscience. What then? Should we actively prevent such people from exploiting others (as we do rapists and murderers)? By applying the label "evil" we assert that this kind of exploitation is a crime. That's something we've been hesitant to do, thus far.
    My servants and I believe that all exploitation is a crime.

    Did you read the OP or any of the links? The Monopoly experiment (and there have been others, see the Stanford Prison experiment, for example) disproves that assumption. If profound inequality is personally corrupting and erodes social cohesion, is it something we should tolerate?
    I didn't watch the doc, but I know about the Stanford Prison Experiment and it certainly doesn't disprove what I said. I said that money (power) doesn't make you sociopathic. First, the Stanford people had more than just power. They also had roles thrust upon them and had their regular identities disturbed. Second, there are plenty of rich people who are altruistic (e.g., Warren Buffet, Gates). I'm not saying money can't facilitate sociopathic behavior; I'm saying I don't think it's the main factor.

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