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Worse, when cheaters prosper, market forces become perverse because of the “Gresham’s dynamic" in which bad ethics drives good ethics out of the markets and professions. George Akerlof explained this in his most famous article on “Lemons” in 1970.
“[D]ishonest dealings tend to drive honest dealings out of the market. The cost of dishonesty, therefore, lies not only in the amount by which the purchaser is cheated; the cost also must include the loss incurred from driving legitimate business out of existence.”
within ONE week of going back to school after break, my 15 yr old came home with an ipod! It was an awesome ipod, but it was "last year's" model. When I questioned my son he said, "Oh, I traded my phone for it. Look at what it can do..." and he showed me the app store and the media and the pics etc. I felt completely deflated!! And it's not the first time he did that, these kids are bartering, trading and conning other kids in order to "upgrade" their belongings.
I can remember in school the great lengths people would go to in order to "cheat". Sometimes it seemed these people spent more time/energy figuring out NSA/CIA-style techniques. Some of my favorites:
- writing answers on the inside of gum wrappers
- writing answers on the inside label of a soda bottle
-creating a program on a graphing calculator
-using an earbud with the cord ran up a long sleeve to listen to "notes"
-writing answers on the desk with the eraser
Americans are some of the best cheaters in the world. In fact, I would venture to say that people that are really, really good at cheating are almost looked upon favorably. We Americans seem to glorify people that can figure out ways to exploit any system put into place.
A prerequisite to empathy is simply paying attention to the person in pain. In 2008, social psychologists from the University of Amsterdam and the University of California, Berkeley, studied pairs of strangers telling one another about difficulties they had been through, like a divorce or death of a loved one. The researchers found that the differential expressed itself in the playing down of suffering. The more powerful were less compassionate toward the hardships described by the less powerful.
Our system is only as good as it people. America idolizes cheats and thieves. Here's an old video talking about it.