It is human nature to want a rich-poor divide: People like the class system because they believe in a ‘just world’ where those with a higher income are more deserving

 

  • The rich-poor divide exists because it is human nature, a study has found
  • We are usually in favour of redistributing wealth from the rich to give to the poor
  • But if that threatens to upset the hierarchy, by making the rich poor and the poor rich, we are much less likely to support it

By Victoria Allen Science Correspondent For The Daily Mail

PUBLISHED: 12:33 EDT, 10 July 2017 | UPDATED: 12:33 EDT, 10 July 2017

Looking at a rich banker on a yacht, most people could be forgiven a stab of resentment.

But the rich-poor divide exists because it is human nature, a study has found.

A series of experiments have found we are usually in favour of redistributing wealth from the rich to give to the poor.

But if that threatens to upset the hierarchy, by making the rich poor and the poor rich, we are much less likely to support it.

It appears ordinary people are in favour of the class system, because they believe in a ‘just world’ where those with a higher income are more deserving. 

The findings, from a study published in the journal Nature, emerged from a game in which people redistributed cash rewards to other players.

Yet even Tibetan herders, cut off from the modern world, refuse to overturn the rich-poor divide.

Another possible explanation, according to co-author Dr Benjamin Ho, associate professor of behavioural economics at Vassar College in New York, is that our caveman past taught us that hierarchy makes sense.

He said: ‘Attempts to take from the rich and give to the poor could lead to violence that makes everybody worse off.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4682578/Study-finds-humans-don-t-like-sharing-wealth.html#ixzz4mRxfSM3e
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook