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THE DRIVE TO ACQUIRE (D1)

It comes with us from the womb and never leaves us 'til we go into the grave.

—ADAM SMITH

Two landmark studies of the health of British civil servants starkly reveal the impact of the oldest and most basic human drive—the drive to acquire. The work has come to be known as the Whitehall studies, named after the district in London where many government offices are located.1

What makes the British Civil Service such a remarkable example of bureaucracy is that almost everything depends on your rank and position. What you earn, the perks you enjoy, the quality of the teacups you drink from, all are strictly ordered according to a hierarchy of employment grades. There is little variance within grade, and sharp distinctions, ...

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