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Excessive wealth accumulation

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Excessive wealth accumulation
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Aught3ModeratorUser avatarPosts: 4290Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:36 amLocation: New Zealand Gender: Male

Post Excessive wealth accumulation

A couple of pieces in the NYT looking at potential reasons for excessive wealth accumulation.

The first is a study involving chocolate (the best kind of study).

On average, people in the high-earner group predicted that they could consume 3.75 chocolates.
But when it came time to “earn” chocolates, they accumulated well beyond their estimate. On average, they listened to enough white noise to earn 10.74 chocolates. Then they actually ate less than half of that amount.

In other words, they subjected themselves to harsh noise to earn more than they could consume, or predicted they could consume.

“We introduce the concept of ‘mindless accumulation,’ ” said one of the paper’s authors, Christopher Hsee, a professor of behavioral science and marketing at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. “It’s a waste of effort,” he added, “But once people are in action, they can’t stop.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/05/business/you-cant-take-it-with-you-but-you-still-want-more.html?_r=0

The second is an opinion talking about wealth 'addiction'.

From that moment on, I started to see Wall Street with new eyes. I noticed the vitriol that traders directed at the government for limiting bonuses after the crash. I heard the fury in their voices at the mention of higher taxes. These traders despised anything or anyone that threatened their bonuses. Ever see what a drug addict is like when he’s used up his junk? He’ll do anything — walk 20 miles in the snow, rob a grandma — to get a fix. Wall Street was like that. In the months before bonuses were handed out, the trading floor started to feel like a neighborhood in “The Wire” when the heroin runs out.
Wanderer, there is no path, the path is made by walking.
Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:09 am
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InfernoContributorUser avatarPosts: 2298Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 7:36 pmLocation: Vienna, Austria Gender: Cake

Post Re: Excessive wealth accumulation

That being said, accumulating loads of wealth, as opposed to chocolate, can make sense: I'd like to fund a new space shuttle to fly us to Mars, so that'll take... oh, 30€ billion? Add to that a new super collider and we're at 40€ billion at the very least.

Or you want to have a "pillow" in case you lose some.

In any case, what the study is really proposing is greed, plain and simple.
"Sometimes people don't want to hear the truth because they don't want their illusions destroyed." ― Friedrich Nietzsche

"I shall achieve my objectives through the power... of Science!" --LessWrong
Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:59 am
bluejatheistPosts: 525Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2011 7:28 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Excessive wealth accumulation

I admit I do enjoy accumulating money and then spending some of it on stuff I like.
Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:37 pm
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