Unlike cartoons, and movies it can be a little more difficult to identify an “evil villain” or “bad guy” in real life. They don’t wear condescending capes, live in creepy castles on hills surrounded by perpetual rain and laugh menacingly as lightning strikes (at least most of them don’t.)
So if you have suspicions someone might actually be evil, follow these easy steps to put your uncertainty to rest!
As an example I will apply the steps to Jonathan Gruber– an economist highly invested in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare.”
Step One- Power
We all know villains are power hungry. In most cases the villain’s power lies in his resources; he may have a highly trained army at his command, or magical power. But in the real world you should look for one key thing: influence.
Influence is central to being a villain. PhotoCreds: Disney
For example Jonathan Gruber is a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the the director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is an associate editor of both the Journal of Public Economics and the Journal of Health Economics.
Sounds like he has a pretty decent amount of influence to me.
Step Two- Money
Whether they’re trying to get it, or already seem to have boatloads of it, villains are almost always connected to money in some way.
Gruber created a model, that was designed to statistically verify the changes in health care spending in relation to public and private health care costs, based on changes in heath insurance benefit design, public program eligibility criteria, and tax policy.
He called the model the Gruber Microsimulation Model, and in 2009 earned nearly $95,000 in the first 4 months after contracting with the Department of Health and Human Services, and another $297,600 when he renewed his contract for another 8 months.
In 1 year Gruber made nearly $400,000 dollars off the Model.
Which seems to be the running price for his model. This is just a small sample of his what he has been paid:
OH YEAH! Not to mention in the last 7 years Gruber has made over $ 2 million assessing the choices made by the elderly in Medicare’s prescription-drug plan.
I think its fair to say Gruber definitely has money!
Steps 1 and 2 are not enough to determine if someone is evil, though: these steps simply help you see if they have the means and resources.
Step Three- Exploitation
Villains are often egotistical (which is often their downfall). They consider themselves better in almost every way and try to use this to take advantage of the common person so they are able to carry out their ultimate plan.
In this video Gruber suggests that the “stupidity of the American voter” helped Obamacare pass:
…And here he details the exploitation of the American voter:
“It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.” – Jonathan Gruber, at the Honors Colloquium 2012 at the University of Rhode Island.
Once you’ve established a that a persons is influential, and has a great deal of money, the next step is to determine whether or not they are using their power and money to exploit a group of people.
And if the shoe fits…
Americans should be outraged by Gruber’s blatant disregard for the voter. They should be furious he feels that he has the right and ability to take advantage of the very people he is pretending to be helping… and getting paid to do so.
By Kyra Azzato