Friday, December 19, 2008

Human need to idolize success

Paul Krugman warns of the Ponzi scheme mentality that permeates our economy. He goes on to explain that we all tend to lend credibility to people like Alan Greenspan because:

I believe, is that there’s an innate tendency on the part of even the elite to idolize men who are making a lot of money, and assume that they know what they’re doing.

This has led millions of Americans to be vulnerable not only to scams but to making poor investments and placing themselves in a dangerous financial situations.

Many of them are educated and would be expected to make better choices, but this instinct to idolize the success of others and assume that they have some secret knowledge is a powerful condition.

It takes not only the courage to stand relatively alone, but to overcome the fear that you'll be left out of something great. That combined with an incessant greed that must always be harnessed is one of the dangers in our great society.

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