Schadenfreude is the inverse of envy. Envy is being sad at other people's good fortune, while schadenfreude is being happy at other people's bad fortune. Envy is covered in the Ten Commandments, but schadenfreude isn't as well spelled out.
"So how does Wade put his looks together? With the help of his stylist, Calyann Barnett. Barnett's star client loves getting dressed but hates shopping—he can't exactly roll up to the Miami Bloomingdale's—so she sends photos to his iPad and fills up his new 800-square-foot closet."
I've had apartments not much bigger than that closet. Yet, it's his money. Envy isn't healthy, you know.
Eugene Robinson raised my blood pressure a few points just now for a nice case of bearing false witness against the political right-
The hard-right conservatives who dominate the Republican Party claim to despise the redistribution of wealth, but secretly they love it -- as long as the process involves depriving the poor and middle class to benefit the rich, not the other way around.
Few people want to see poor people suffer. There is no joy in other people's poverty or suffering. Mind you, there are likely a few that don't have much compassion for the poor, but they don't look to change government policy in order to deliberately screw with the poor.
We have a mix of government helping the needy and a market economy providing the lion share of the jobs and productivity. If the economy is working properly, there is a smaller amount of help needed from government; folks on the right argue for a bit less safety net and more room for private-sector productivity to meet people's needs without needing a handout or handup from Uncle Sam.
Yes, we've seen income inequality rise. Part of that rise is the growth of information technology that has allowed intellectual human capital to be leveraged more than it has leveraged physical human capital; thinkers are making more than stuff-makers. Another part is a flattened tax code that lets people keep more of their money than in years past.
What needs to be done is to not deal with income inequality but the struggles of the people at the bottom of the ladder. It doesn't help the poor to bash the rich. Taking away D-Wade's drive-in closet doesn't make me any better off. Greasing the upper rungs of the ladder doesn't help the people on the lower rungs to climb; in fact, it makes it harder, since the people falling off from the top can take others down with them.
We can help the needy by bribing companies to employ them with subsidies, or send them to school to try and upgrade their skills. We can also try to do so by letting business have a lower cost of capital, so they can hire the workers to run expanding businesses. A blend of government help that doesn't slow the private sector to a crawl isn't designed to be sadistic to the poor; it's designed to make everyone less poor on the whole.
We do need a good hunk of government help to the needy. I've been on the receiving end of subsidized COBRA health coverage and unemployment insurance checks after getting let go from my teaching job almost two years ago, so I'm far from the 1% the Occupiers rail against. That being said, I'd be better off in a thriving economy where I wouldn't need the help, and bigger government, while doing some good with the money, tends to slow up the private sector with higher taxes and regulations.