So basicly, programmers are basicly living by the same values as the rest of mainstream society. The same values exhibited by both politicians and celebrities, and just about all people looked up to as role models.
People don't spend $50k on college to be the next Richard Stallman, a man who's altruism is a relic of the past. They spend it to be the next Bill Gates, or Steve Jobs, people who made billions exploiting the masses.
Name one cancer researcher off the top of your head. I can't. But we sure know who bill gates and steve jobs are. The rest of society holds them in far higher regard, and they have far more leyway in personal options. And if they ever get questioned on their contributions to society, they can tote how much money they poured into charity, and how much money they spend on curing diseases.
We all know Bill and Melinda Gates spent billions on fighting malaria in africa, by donating vaccines. No one ever lionizes the name of any of the people who did any of the research, manufacture, or phyiscal distribution of said vaccines.
Now, you went to a prestigious university, which aren't cheap by the way. Which person do you want to be in life? The scientist, or the millionare?