em·pa·thy n.1. Identification with and understanding of another's situation, feelings, and motives. See Synonyms at pity.
2. The attribution of one's own feelings to an object.
[en- + -pathy (translation of German Einfühlung)].The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Empathy is over-rated. Some of the rottenest, self-absorbed, manipulative and tight with a buck people I know are appointed hogs with snouts in the public trough and each one is empathetic. These ladies and gents have made careers at tax-payer expense spouting high-minded policies that will ensure their snot-lockers a place in the public bucket for years to come. The human heart can only be measured by the spike in taxes imposed on the public and they can be heard to shout, "Keep Your Rosaries off my Ovaries."
The empathetic public lungs bellow for or against these policy initiatives:
- Living wage -- An artificially high wage that minimally benefits some individuals and creates unemployment for the rest
- The Common Good -- A phrase used by a small group ruling in the name of the majority in order to enact laws that abrogate an individual's rights
- Gun control -- Confiscation of legal firearms from law abiding citizens
- Universal health care -- Access to affordable health insurance
- Public assistance programs -- Government programs
- Plight of the homeless -- People who are victims of their own poor choices with the exception of the mentally incompetent
- Entitlement programs -- Taxpayer funded appropriations
- Taxes -- Legal plunder
- Social Security -- The largest Ponzi (pyramid) scheme in history.
- Tax cuts for the rich -- Tax cuts for the economy or A proven economic stimulus plan that produces 65% of all new jobs.
- The rich need to pay their fair share of taxes – Legal plunder where the top 10% of taxpayers pay 70% of all income taxes and the bottom 50% pay 3%.
- "Do you want to get rid of Social Security?" -- "Do you want to continue unchanged the largest Ponzi (pyramid) scheme in history which is going broke? The same scheme that sent Bernie Madoff to jail?"
- It's free money (federal grant/stimulus money) -- Funds that are actually paid by taxpayers or are put on our children's credit card and have a limited life so whatever is started will have to be paid for in a few years by local and/or state taxes.
- Unions are for the workers -- Unions are for unions. Just like corporations are for corporations and politicians are for politicians. The goal is to increase the union's power not the worker's power.
- Unions and the Government have increased the standard of living -- Businesses that invest in capital equipment increase the productivity of workers which lowers the price of their products and increases the standard of living.
- Social Justice – The revocation of Natural Rights so government can use legal plunder to steal property and give it to those who have not earned it.
- Fairness – using legal plunder to steal property from individuals who have earned it in order to give it to individuals who have not earned it.
- Spread the Wealth – using legal plunder to steal property from individuals who have earned it in order to give it to individuals who have not earned it.
- Shared Sacrifice – using legal plunder to steal property from individuals who have earned it in order to give it to individuals who have not earned it.
- It’s Free Money (Federal grants or stimulus money) – Funds that are actually paid by taxpayers or are put on our children's credit card and have a limited life so whatever is started will have to be paid for in a few years by local and/or state taxes.
- Price Gouging – Simple supply and demand in a scarce marketplace which results in the fairest distribution of goods and services.
Wealth may give you a better brain. It may make you a more strategic thinker, a savvier planner. (Research has shown that the more a person is able to imagine himself in the future, the more cash he is likely to have in his savings account.) And the cognitive benefits of affluence may accrue incrementally, speculates Dovidio, so that very rich people have better brain functioning than moderately rich people. These hypotheses are at the untested frontier of the new science: “I think in ten years we’ll have a compelling story on this,” says Dacher Keltner, the psychologist who oversees the work of Piff and his colleagues. But already the outline is becoming clear. Princeton University psychologist Eldar Shafir has shown that in environments of abundance, people make better financial decisions—it’s not that rich people tend to be better educated and can afford better advice, but that people living paycheck to paycheck don’t have the mental space to make the smartest long-term moves. The efficiencies of the affluent brain may trigger the shutting down of what the researchers call “pro-social” impulses and lead people toward the kinds of behaviors that a hedge-fund manager I spoke to characterized as “ruthless.” “They’re more willing to hurt others in their quest for money,” he said. “When you look at people who’ve done exceptionally well, it tends to be the difficult people.”. . . (Research shows that the rich tend to blame individuals for their own failure and likewise credit themselves for their own success, whereas those in the lower classes find explanations for inequality in circumstances and events outside their control.) But the truth is much more nuanced. Every American, rich and poor, bounces back and forth between these two ideals of self, calibrating ambitions and adjusting behaviors accordingly. Nearly half of Americans between 18 and 29 believe that it’s “likely” they’ll get rich, according to Gallup—in spite of all evidence to the contrary. Those who have already gotten wealthy wrestle openly and with real anguish over how to raise children who are productive, community-minded, and hardworking. Jamie Johnson, an heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, made a documentary in 2003 called Born Richand, since then, has become a kind of confessor to the anxious wealthy. “Everyone says, ‘I don’t want my kids to turn out to be the next Paris Hilton,’ ” says Johnson, “It’s weird. You know they want their kids to be superior. They want their kids’ lives to reflect the wealth and the position they have in society. But they don’t want their kids to be elitist and arrogant.”