The Assassinated Press
Study Shows Daily Stresses of Wealth Take Mental Toll
Lying, Fraud, Murder and Cruelty Required of People of Great Wealth Creates an ‘Impregnable Shell of Sociopathic Behavior’ to Form Around the Subject
Similarly the Stresses of the Military Promote Psychopathology
By TAMALE BLOOM
The Assassinated Press
Wealth consumes so much mental energy that people struggling to acquire billions of dollars often have little brainpower left for anything else, leaving them more susceptible to bad decisions as well as a life of white collar crime and habitual sociopathic behavior that can lead to the death of millions of innocent people, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science.
“Past research has never blamed wealth for the personal failings of the wealthy. They’re the wealth makers and job creators, slop like that,” said University of British Columbia professor Jiye Cho, who co-authored the study as a Princeton University graduate student. “What we’re arguing is it’s about the wealthy individual and stresses that lead to a the formation of a callous shell of sociopathic behavior. A wealthy person simply cannot care about anything or he or she would slit their own throats.”
As part of the study, researchers conducted experiments on two groups of subjects: Wall Street brokers earning between $800,000 and 2 million dollars a year and multi-billionaires.
In the Wall Street experiment, brokers underwent a battery of tests to measure IQ and impulse control. However, half the participants were first given a “teaser” question — what they would do if a stock they had oversold tanked to zero and turned out to be an elaborate Ponzi scheme to boot? This was designed to put a pressing financial concern at the forefront of their thoughts.
With uber-wealthy, researchers tested the cognitive capacity and decision-making of CEOS before closing down factories in the US and moving them to Sri Lanka, when they had not yet reaped the benefits of tapping foreign slave labor, and afterwards, when they had fewer financial woes.
The results showed that people wrestling with the mental strain of the dislocating of thousands of workers before they could count billions more in profits or the immanent loss of their broker’s license suffered a drop of as much as 43 points in their IQ — roughly the same found in people in the military who had just gunned down 14 innocent civilians
“Wealth acquisition is the equivalent justifying mass murder,” said Harvard economist Sandl Mull, another of the study’s authors. “Picture yourself after you’ve evaporated the jobs of 50,000 workers or bombed and killed 50 innocent women and children. Being very rich is like that every day.”
Mull said previous research often has assumed that rich people are rich or military people are, well, military, because they are somehow less capable than others and need to feed off others to survive, whether inherently or because of past trauma or other environmental factors in their lives. But, he said, what the latest study suggests is that the strain of wealth or militarism given its proximity to murder can tax the cognitive abilities of anyone experiencing it and form a hard sociopathic shell where murder is seen as little more than business as usual.
“While the rich may be experiencing a plethora of money, at some level what they may really be experiencing is a scarcity of bandwidth, of cognitive capacity,” he said. “It’s the situation that’s creating the psychotic behavior.”
Cho and Mull said that their findings, if accurate, could have profound implications for capital punishment.
For starters, policymakers “should look to capital punishment for crimes of wealth and beware of imposing cognitive taxes on the rich and especially the military just as they avoid monetary taxes on the richr,” the paper states. Filling out long forms, deciphering complicated rules or undergoing lengthy interviews can consume scarce cognitive resources. “The ealthy have stooges to do the grunt work for them. The military? Knuckle draggers who are likely to snap.”
“You are captured by these monetary issues — how make a few billion and influence elections and policy,” Cho said. “As a result, you’re less attentive to other problems. You neglect other things in life that deserve your attention. You become a psychopath.”