Thursday, April 24, 2014

Income Disparity: Don’t Monkey With It!

Numerous studies have shown that social disgruntlement is more associated with relative wealth inequality rather than its absolute level. Citizens of poor countries are generally happy so long as all people are relatively poor. It’s when thine neighbor becomes better off than thou that serious and chronic grumblings set in.
No video demonstrates this phenomenon better than the one above, starring two capuchin monkeys. To us humans, the difference between cucumbers and grapes may be trivial, but to this pair, the delta feels like that between a Mercedes and a Hyundai. Magnify that amplitude to that of corporate pay disparity in the modern world, and substitute pitchforks and Molotov cocktails for cucumber bits, and one can imagine consequences being more troubling than cute. Hey 1%, beware of flying vegetables.

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