218. Cree el ladrón que todos son de su condición

The title is an old, popular Spanish adage, which translates loosely as ‘The thief believes all others to be thieves’. This refers to projection, one of the many biases or shortcuts humans have developed through evolution to assist fast decisions when navigating a complex World. This bias makes it acceptable for many to, for example, cheat the tax system. At any level, whether we are talking full blown tax evasion strategy or occasional small misdemeanours, justification is often found in the non justifying and unfounded claim that others are doing it too. Even if it were true, that would be more reason to pay taxes, not evade them, as the tax system still needs the revenues when not everyone is contributing fairly. Another interesting example, from a projection bias perspective, is the Trump presidential election campaign claim that Democrats are systematically, and massively, cheating in the election. What does that tell us about the Trump campaign’s intent, at least, if not actions? 

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