Rich people and crime – the connection

Rich people may not commit more crimes than poor people, but they certainly do it on a larger scale. Sadly, rich people steal from those who are poorer than them, often the middle class. Perhaps they do this because they have lost the ability to see how the other half live. Studies have also consistently shown that wealthy people have less compassion than poor people. They can lose touch with their own humanity.

On the other hand, the poor commit more petty crimes, and tend to target other poor people, and the rich.

Why do the rich steal at all? What is their psychology?

There was a study to assess the effect of wealth on ethical behaviour, and it pointed to the wealthy lying and cheating more than poor people. They tested people’s attitudes to fudging grades, lying on their job applications, their attitude to traffic rules and the like.

middle class india In all cases, the wealthier you were the more likely you were to behave badly…So what’s the deal — are the rich less ethical than the rest of us? Not necessarily,…But they do have a greater sense of personal entitlement. If you have money, you come to see it as your due. The affluent view wealth as a virtue, and their own wealth as proof of their own hard work and innate worth.

There is another angle to it. The rich live in a “society bubble” where they see their worth as human beings measured by the amount of money they make, and this drives them to keep up their levels of wealth. They could go to extremes to do it. Including breaking the law.  The poor and the middle classes often have a good network of family and friends to fall back on when in economic distress. The rich are more independent, and have got used to feeling that they do not need anybody. They just need the money.

But this does not mean that all the rich are like that. In America at least, the rich donate far more to charity than the poor or the middle classes. Bill Gates is an example.

One of the reasons for the criminal behaviour of the rich is that they are more likely to get away after committing the crime. The law is different for the rich and the famous, they can evade the law. These people can afford fancy lawyers, and have the money and connections to bribe their way to freedom. So they often feel immune from the law, believing that even if they are caught, they can worm their way out of trouble. And then there is another thing. The rich and the powerful often feel that laws are not meant for them; they are meant for “ordinary” people. They feel they “deserve” to do whatever they like and get away with it, because they are great people. After all, they have created wealth for the country, and jobs for the masses.

It is shocking when one hears of the large number of rich and powerful people who commit crimes, including those who are already millionaires. This is a list of disturbing crimes committed by rich people in the west. In our very own India, there is a long list of celebrities who have got away, as well as politicians, many of whom have a criminal record.

Related Reading: Poverty and Crime – the connection
Religion and Crime – the connection
Overpopulation and Crime – the connection
The real causes of Crime

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