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Stealing candy from children

University of California’s Paul Piff led a series of experiments that delved into the behavior associated with inequality in the United States.

 In one experiment, Piff placed an individual in a room with a bowl of candy on the table. He said the candy was intended for a study being done with children later, but they were welcome to have a few pieces, but not very much. Wealthier participants took two times as much candy from children as the poorer participants.

Piff then tested honesty in reporting dice rolls, when a cash prize was on the line.  They found that people in the upper income brackets, that were making $150,000-$200,000 were four times more likely to cheat than people in lower income brackets just to win credits for a $50 cash prize.

Piff led another experiment where he simply made people feel rich in the office.  He did this through a simple game of monopoly, played with two people. One person begins the game more well off.  They get $2,000 to the poorer person’s $1,0…

The Scottish Capitalist Class get 58% Richer

This year’s Sunday Times UK rich list, which includes a total of 78 people from Scotland in its top 1,000, the most to feature in a decade. There are now six billionaires from north of the Border on the list, one more than in 2012. £21bn of wealth has been accrued by the top 100 millionaires.


Scotland’s rich are getting richer as the rest of Scots continues to struggle economically. The most affluent Scots saw their personal wealth soar by up to 58 per cent.

Highland Spring owner Mahdi al-Tajir is still Scotland’s richest man, and the 44th wealthiest in the UK, now boasting a fortune of £1,656 million up £56 million on 2012.

Banffshire distiller William Grant remain in second place on the list with family wealth totalling £1,400 million.

Sir Ian Wood’s, former chairman of Aberdeen-based Wood group, personal wealth now stands at £1,200m.

Ian Coxon, the rich list editor, said: “The 2013 rich list shows that business is booming in Scotland from Aberdeen to Ayr.”

Yup, capitalism is okay …

The greedy thieving lying cheats

Four Psychology professors from the University of California at Berkeley and a Business professor from the University of Toronto—conducted two “naturalistic” field studies to determine if the rich were more likely to break the law while driving, and five laboratory studies gauging upper-class attitudes and propensities toward unethical decision-making. In all seven studies, the rich subjects behaved more unethically and harbored positive opinions of greed that helped justify their selfishness.

The results were that the rich are more likely to break traffic laws, to exhibit unethical decision-making tendencies, to take things of value from others, to lie in a negotiation, to cheat to win a game, and to endorse unethical behavior at work, than were lower-class individuals. Moreover, the data showed that a positive attitude toward greed was the main driver for the wealthy’s tolerance of and participation in unethical conduct.

The Poor Rich

Europe's richest families are suffering, the poor wee souls. Having had returns on investments of 8 percent in 2011 and nearly 12 percent in 2010 the annual return dropped to 3.6 percent. They could have performed better if they hadn't held so much low-performing cash, or real estate, because some stock markets and asset classes such as government bonds moved ahead strongly. Rather than speculate in shares, the rich have hoarded in the safety of bank deposits and land.

trumped by the capitalist

Donald Trump opened his new £100m golf course. Trump had flown into Aberdeen on a private jet emblazoned in gold with the Trump brand.

The course is built across a stretch of stunning land overlooking the North Sea, some of which had been designated a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) because of the way the dunes moved northwards over time. Trump claims to have stabilised the land to create the "greatest golf course in the world". The Golf Environment Organisation, which vets courses and is backed by the European Tour, complained of the course's "considerable negative impact on what was one of the UK's most valuable mobile sand dune systems".

Trump denying there were any protesters, declaring after the first nine holes: "The environmentalists love what I have done." A second question about the environmental impact saw the billionaire shepherded by an aide away from the media and towards the VIP refreshment tent.

Later Trump said "Not…

Room with a view - £7 million

Scotland’s most expensive flat, yours for £7m. The penthouse is priced at offers of more than £6.3m or a fixed price of £7.3m to take it off the market immediately – smashing the previous record for a Scottish apartment, thought to be Whittingehame House in East Lothian, priced at £2.5m which sold in 2010. Selling prices in Edinburgh for whole houses have nudged £5m, while rural estates can go for far more.

It is no surprise that the newly-refurbished Hamilton Grand in St Andrews is the most expensive apartments in Scotland. The former hotel towers looks across the Royal and Ancient Golf Club and therefore has a legitimate claim to “the best view in golf”. It was bought in 2009 by US billionaire Herb Kohler’s company, which is creating 26 apartments, with prices starting from £2.2m and ranging in size from 1,133 to 2,780 square feet. Owners will share a roof garden with sweeping vistas over the golf course and coast, and the penthouse will have its own private terrace along two sides …

The Red Capitalists

For much of the last decade, while Bo Xilai, Communist Party chief in the city of Chongqing, a large metropolis with province status, and a member of the Politburo, was busy moving up the ranks of the Communist Party, and even striking populist themes aimed at improving the lot of the poor, his relatives were quietly amassing a fortune estimated at more than $160 million. His elder brother accumulated millions of dollars’ worth of shares in one of the country’s biggest state-owned conglomerates. His sister-in-law owns a significant stake in a printing company she started that was recently valued at $400 million. And even Mr. Bo’s 24-year-old son, now studying at Harvard, got into business in 2010, registering a technology company with $320,000 in start-up capital.

Just a few weeks before his fall from power, Bo Xilai wrote an inscription in calligraphy, praising the Chongqing Water Assets Management Company, and urging support for its operations. What he did not say was that a foundat…

It's odds on you'll stay poor

The Sunday Times Rich List reveals there are five billionaires living in Scotland.

The richest man in Scotland with £1.6billion remains Mahdi al-Tajir, who owns mineral water firm Highland Spring. His wealth has risen by £50million in the last year,

In second place is the Grant and Gordon family who own the William Grant and Sons whisky distillery. Their wealth increased by £450million to £1.4billion.

At third, Alastair Salvesen, of the  Glasgow plant hire firm Aggreko. His fortune is £1.3billion, up £460million from last year.

Oil tycoon Sir Ian Wood’s with £1.2billion is in 4th position

Engineering magnate Jim McColl, has assets of £1billion.

While ordinary people struggle to make ends meet, the total number of Scots on the list of the UK’s 1000 wealthiest people has risen from 70 to 74.

Of course, it could have been you. Largs couple Colin and Chris Weir after their £161million EuroMillions win are the 23rd richest people in Scotland - at odds of over 116 million to one.

Weir the people

The board of Weir Group has rewarded chief executive Keith Cochrane with a near-£1 million bonus and double-digit pay rise.

Cochrane received a £625,000 salary and £975,000 bonus as part of a £1.62m package, up from £1.26m the previous year.

Finance director Jon Stanton will receive a 5 per cent rise to £420,000 from next month. For last year Stanton received a £392,500 salary and £400,000 bonus as part of an £806,957 package, up from £732,573.

Legal and commercial director Alan Mitchelson, who is standing down at the forthcoming AGM, received a £344,127 salary and £350,000 bonus as part of a £708,584 package, up from £665,887.

Gone Fishin'

A mile long stretch of river with an average catch is 135 fish a year, plus one wooden hut, and a £1 million pound price.

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/world-famous-salmon-beat-could-be-yours-for-1m-1.1133005

"...It is great owning your own stretch of water and being able to bring your family and friends for a day’s fishing.” - William Jackson, the agent

Who owns Scotland

The book "Scotland: Land and Power (The Agenda for Land Reform)" by Andy Wightman explains that 1252 landowners own two-thirds of the 16 million-plus acres of private rural land in Scotland.

It is a legacy of the universal process behind the rise of capitalism: the war on common ownership and the separation of people from land, by sword and by fraud (The Clearances).

Once enough people were denied the autonomy that access to land provided, a class of exploitable wage workers was produced and the rest, as they say, is history.

Oily capitalists

Ian Suttie is currently ranked at 13th on Scotland's Rich List with an estimated fortune of £340 million. But the Aberdeen-based tycoon might overtake both metals magnate Mahdi al Tajir, worth about £1.55bn, and Sir Ian Wood, head of the Wood Group and worth £1.119bn, as a result of his company's stake in a significant oil find. Suttie is head of First Oil & Gas, an independent company which has a 30 per cent stake in the Kraken Field discovery. His firm's potential share is estimated at about £3.2bn. Even after development and tax costs, First Oil and Mr Suttie stand to gain more than £1bn once the field begins producing oil in 2015.

Suttie, a director of 40 companies, has had a chequered career since he started out as a chartered accountant. Nine years ago, he took over the Richards textile factory in Aberdeen after the Broadford plant, once one of the city's leading employers, went bust, leaving hundreds of workers without a pension. As part of the d…

Rich Scotland

Scotland's million-pound-plus property market is bucking the trend as wealthy foreign buyers snap up prime residential homes across the country. Georgian townhouses in Edinburgh, properties within putting distance of a golf course in St Andrews and Highland sporting estates are particularly in demand by international buyers.

Figures released by the selling agents Savills yesterday show the top end of the property market performing well, with 146 high-value homes costing £1 million or more selling in 2010, compared with 106 in 2009. Sales at £1 million and more during the first six months of this year were up by a third on last year, from 50 to almost 70.


sharing the pain?

In 2006 Andy Hornby was appointed chief executive of HBOS. One analyst wrote in a City circular: "Andy Hornby is a superstar." He was said to have been devastated by the collapse of HBOS in 2008. But within nine months he was back with Alliance Boots. He was the highest paid member of the Alliance Boots' board, with a pay package of £2.4 million which included £750,000 of bonuses, plus bene-fits and pension supplements. But he quit Boots after less than two years in charge, stating that he needed to step back from corporate life. Executive chairman Stefano Pessina said that Hornby was stressed and required a break. At the time the company said he would not receive a pay-off but the annual report revealed he received a £450,000 cheque to stop him joining a rival healthcare group.

Hornby is back in another top job - the head of the bookmaker chain Coral. He joined Gala Coral Group as chief executive with the job of reviving the bookmaking arm of the gambling company. H…

all at sea

How the other half live and more accurately how the 0.00002 per cent live. CRN Spa, builders of mega-yachts, estimates that there are just 1,500 people in the world wealthy enough to consider buying a boat from them. ( there is also, of course, the "ultra-mega yachts" of the type recently purchased by the Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, the world's biggest, featuring two helipads and a submersible escape submarine.)

"I know the names of all our clients," says the boatyard's chairman, "They're not famous people. You won't have heard of them." But, chances are, in one way or another, money that was once in your bank account is now in theirs'.

A few years ago an American client arrived and had signed a contract to buy a 43-metre yacht within two hours, with a price tag of €25m (£21.6m). He had never owned a boat before. "He told us: 'The interiors, the colours, the finishes, I don't care. The only thing I care about is the saf…

The Russians are coming !!

Thanks to big-spending wealthy Russians visitors Scotland's tourism industry is withstanding the economic downturn.

Hotel bills of around £20,000 for a 10-day stay for two are said to be commonplace while some small family groups are reported to have spent £100,000.

The Scotsman has learned of guests hiring a castle for £7,000 a night and shopping sprees lasting just half an hour have notched up the same bill. Two Russian guests were said to have hired out the Royal Yacht Britannia, in Leith.

Moscow is home to the world's second-largest concentration of billionaires after New York.

Denise Hill, head of international marketing of VisitScotland, said:"We are getting a lot of oligarchs visiting, for whom money is no object, as well as growing numbers on incentive trips through their businesses. Some groups will spend £20,000 on whiskies in a hotel without even thinking about it."

David Tobin, founder of Dream Escape, which provides tailor-made luxury holiday packages in Scot…

funemployment

The Guardian columnist describes what is called "funemployment"

Workshy, embracing unemployment as a lifestyle choice, sometimes one inherited from the parents, and spending money scrounged off others on booze and drugs. No, not the feckless "chav" caricatures who regularly feature in tabloid horror stories, used to justify further attacks on Britain's besieged welfare state. It's a new generation of young, wealthy freeloaders - the "funemployed".

It might seem perverse to associate fun with the trauma of unemployment. Around 2.5 million Britons are officially without work; youth unemployment is currently running at over 20%. But in a society where Jobseekers Allowance is just £67.50 – among the lowest of comparable western European nations – it's a right that only a small elite can meaningfully exercise. While most Britons are suffering the biggest squeeze on living standards for nearly a century, there is plenty of money around for the uber-…

The Scottish Rich

Scotland's richest have increased their fortunes. The Sunday Times Rich List found Highland Spring and Park Hotels owner Mahdi al-Tajir is still the wealthiest Scot, with a fortune of £1,550 million, up £50m in a year. Sir Ian Wood and his family remain at number two, with an increase of £157m from their oil services and fishing business.

With a combined fortune of £18.257 billion, many of Scotland's richest 100 men and women have seen their fortunes increase in the past year. The top multi-millionaires added a combined £60.2bn to their £395.8bn wealth.

The Daily Record provided lesson on capitalist economics - the rich get richer while the poor get poorer .

This is how it comes about. On a simple level, if you have money, you're earning interest. If you have loans, you're paying interest. The result is that the rich are always moving forwards while the poor are always going backwards - and bear in mind that there are different speeds involved. If the rich are earning f…

one law for the rich ...

The millionaire owner of the House of Bruar retail complex escaped a driving ban and was allowed to stay on the road despite now having 14 points on his licence after persuading a court it would cause him exceptional hardship. Birkbeck claimed he would be forced to sack staff at the shopping complex if he was banned from the road as no-one else in the company was capable of buying the goods on display at the upmarket shopping centre. He was fined £300.

Birkbeck was driving a £70,000, 3.6 litre Range Rover Vogue TDV8 when he was detected by police speeding at 90mph on the M90 motorway.

“If he is disqualified for six months there will be a large number of redundancies at House of Bruar...He would have no option but to let people go – breadwinners who live in the local area." Solicitor David McKie, defending, said.

Actually, to Socialist Courier, that sounds very much like blackmail.