June 02, 2008

HONESTY

John Hawkins found a study about honesty among liberals and conservatives. Excerpt:

When the World Values Survey asked a similar question, the results were largely the same: Those who were very liberal were much more likely to say it was all right to get welfare benefits you didn't deserve.

The World Values Survey found that those on the left were also much more likely to say it is OK to buy goods that you know are stolen. Studies have also found that those on the left were more likely to say it was OK to drink a can of soda in a store without paying for it and to avoid the truth while negotiating the price of a car.

This reminded me of someone from my past. My husband and I were friends with a guy in college who is a staunch Democrat. He got a job at Walmart while we were in school, and he routinely stole from the store while working there. He said it was OK to steal from corporations but not from mom-and-pop stores. He took all kinds of things while working there, from a winter hat to a beautiful pipe. It was pretty appalling.

The fact that he made a distinction -- that stealing from Walmart specifically was OK -- makes me think that his stealing was related to his worldview and political affiliation. I found the whole thing shocking and toyed with the idea of calling his boss and reporting him. Luckily, he quit the job before I had to make that hard decision.

UPDATE:

CaliValleyGirl writes about her opposite experience.

For the record, I agree with John Hawkins that it's a slippery slope to saying that all liberals are less honest. But in this one situation with the person I knew, he really thought it was OK to steal from Walmart because they were a big corporation. That's a messed up relativistic attitude: the act of "stealing" doesn't change depending on who you're stealing from.

Posted by: Sarah at 10:30 AM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
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