From and article titled “How Wealth Reduces Compassion” in Scientific American Mind: “[L]uxury car drivers were more likely to cut off other motorists instead of waiting for their turn at the intersection. This was true for both men and women upper-class drivers, regardless of the time of day or the amount of traffic at the intersection. In a different study they found that luxury car drivers were also more likely to speed past a pedestrian trying to use a crosswalk, even after making eye contact with the pedestrian.”
But why would it be that having a lot of money might lead people to be less compassionate to other people?
The answer may have something to do with how wealth and abundance give us a sense of freedom and independence from others. The less we have to rely on others, the less we may care about their feelings. This leads us towards being more self-focused. Another reason has to do with our attitudes towards greed. Like Gordon Gekko, upper-class people may be more likely to endorse the idea that “greed is good.”
To be fair, many wealthy people are incredibly compassionate and, in fact, many wealthy people are prime movers behind organizations that seek the level the playing field. The big question, then, is what is going on in the minds of THOSE people that allows them to escape the corrupting influence of money?