Rich Asshole Syndrome

“Christopher Ryan, author of Civilised to Death: The Price of Progress, says when people become wealthy, they tend to purchase “separation and isolation” (bigger houses, private travel and so on). This, he says, has the effect of reducing empathy. Those further down the pecking order do not have this option.

According to a 2017 study by scientists at the University of California and the University of Toronto, those in lower social classes are appreciably better at reading emotions in the faces of others. Michael Kraus, an associate professor of organisational behaviour at Yale School of Management, has said that those down the pecking order rely on other people to succeed and survive, which means they must read their emotions. The rich do not need to do this — they just buy help in.”

-Rhymer Rigby, “Is rich people’s bad behaviour worse than that of the less well-off?Financial Times. October 18, 2021.

First time I’ve seen it referred to as Rich Asshole Syndrome, which succinctly describes something we have all seen. Also, love the writer of this piece’s name.

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