I don't think it is a lack of empathy so much as it is a willful stubbornness to rationalize their own contradictions, manage unrealistic expectations, being honest about their questionable motives, and a genuine misunderstanding of economics, justice, and human behavior.
These are people who would agree that what transpired with the credit default swap crisis of '08 was without question completely unethical but not illegal. Therefore justifiable and acceptable.
These are people who think that we live in some sort of paleolithic era in which if you can't provide for yourself; food, shelter, and in today's world HC, and education than you're just weak and should die off -- if you can't get your share of charitable giving to sustain yourself.
These are the same people who can't understand the exploitive nature of capital toward labor, that labor is a commodity and like all commodities needs to be acquired for the lowest cost possible. It's the dehumanizing nature of Capitalism and liberalism for that matter. (in every possible definition of the word)
Of course, these are the same people who will give plenty to charity but would just as soon kick the bum on the street in the eye before they would give him a quarter.
So, in short, no I don't think it's a lack of empathy. Claiming that only dehumanizes them and gives them an out. They choose to be the way they are. They can choose to change.