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View Diary: The American Dream Makes Us Selfish & Proud Of It (49 comments)

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  •  Sooooo tired of the "luck" meme. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hmi, atheistben

    So tired of it. A small % of the top 10% are family money.

    Socialism doesn't work if you complain about being "unlucky" and look at others jealously, either.

    Justified anger does not grant you unrestricted license.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 06:22:51 AM PST

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    •  Really? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Liberal Of Limeyland, EthrDemon

      How about if you look at the top 1%, the top 0.1%?  The numbers of family money versus self-earned money are dramatically different.  Moreover, if you were to weight things by percent of assets / wealth rather than by individuals, the numbers are quite brutal of luck vs. work.  

      It is not jealousy to point out that there is a healthy degree of chance involved in success.  The problem is that there is a significant portion who equate failure with a lack of hard work.  The 53% movement speaks much more to a false sense of pride stemming from a significant lack of awareness.  

      Then again, it does make the world quite a bit easier to comprehend and justify one's own selfishness if you can simply reduce it to that poor people should have just worked harder.  

      •  If we're defining "success" as what the 53% (0+ / 0-)

        have, then I completely disagree with you, though anyone posting the 53% crap is deluded about not being one bad accident away from bankruptcy anyway.

        We may just disagree on terms...I don't believe someone being "unlucky" (getting fired/laid off for no fault of their own, having a terrible disease/injury, etc) necessitates that everyone who hasn't experience that as "lucky".

        Justified anger does not grant you unrestricted license.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 06:59:29 AM PST

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        •  Most of the people in the 53% movement (0+ / 0-)

          Most of the people who claim to be int he 53% movement are actually in the 47% of Americans who don't pay INCOME taxes; its just that these people are complete idiots.
          They are the same people who oppose anything if its labeled "socialists" even if that proposal entails making every one richer, happier and better off.
          I've talked with friends and I really get disgusted when someone goes "we can't do that its socialism!" I hate idiots who are so beholden to an ideology that they refuse to look at the merits of a proposal and instead just blindly oppose it because they can label it as such

          Pencils aren't for eating. Trust me.

          by Hamtree on Sun Nov 13, 2011 at 09:49:50 AM PST

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    •  You have obviously never worked in a large (6+ / 0-)

      corporate environment. It is part luck and part pure BS.  People with big mouths and small brains are often the best other word's bully's.  The really talented people are the people that actually make the company work from day to day, the one's that invent new products.  There are very few Steve Jobs in the corporate world.....many more Rupert Murdoch's.  

      •  Well, successful shysters and crooks aren't lucky (1+ / 0-)
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        either...they work hard to get good at stealing. J/s.

        Justified anger does not grant you unrestricted license.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 07:18:53 AM PST

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        •  Most of the rich are (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          the people who are resourceful, opportunistic, and strategically minded.  Those traits, in abundance, mean way more than luck or hard work.  They mean even more than high intellect.

          I am not "rich" by my definition.  But, I am probably near the bottom of the top 2%, statistically thinking.  There are many people luckier than me.  There are many people who would outscore me on an IQ test.  And,...there are many, many people who work harder than me.  Fortunately, I am probably in the top 10% in all those areas - which you need to advance to the top 5% (unless you can shoot a basketball, or sing, or act).  But, I'll be the first to admit that I got mine through resourcefulness, opportunistic decision-making, and good strategy.

          With those traits, you stand a far better chance of getting rich than winning the birth lottery.  

          •  And I don't think you'd argue that it all "rich" (0+ / 0-)

            are rich in a good way, or through only benevolent work. That doesn't make them overtly "lucky" though, anymore than a guy who robs a bank is "lucky" to have all that money.

            Justified anger does not grant you unrestricted license.

            by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 02:41:31 PM PST

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      •  Or maybe the best paid are just people who (0+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:
        Liberal Of Limeyland

        can use apostrophes in a way that doesn't make their superiors cringe. Jesus H Christ.

        in other word's bully's.
        the one's that invent new products.
        many more Rupert Murdoch's.

        You don't need an apostrophe when you make a word plural.

        The obvious answers are wrong. That's why we aren't doing them already.

        by atheistben on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 09:25:38 AM PST

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    •  What would you call the Kochs (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LynneK, Liberal Of Limeyland

      They are lucky. My family not as lucky but luckier having two still married parents who went to college. That is the luck I'm talking about.

      Everyone works hard.

      There are too many people in this country for "Lord of the flies".

      The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

      by a2nite on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 07:06:38 AM PST

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      •  I'm not talking about the Koch's, although i think (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        they probably work very hard at being evil.

        Your parents were lucky to graduate college? Do you think they matriculated, hung out in a dorm for 4 years, and then drew straws to see who would get a diploma?

        Like I said before, if something happens to someone that is "unlucky", that doesn't auto-make someone who that didn't happen to "lucky".

        Justified anger does not grant you unrestricted license.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 07:20:38 AM PST

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        •  unearned advantage (6+ / 0-)

          I did not pick my parents, or their income, or the value they placed on education, or the timing of my birth. I could have chosen to ignore or fritter away my advantages. But I did nothing to "deserve" being born in a certain time, place, and manner.

          There is a large measure of unearned advantage in my life story. Some people call that luck.

          Just because you're not a drummer doesn't mean that you don't have to keep time. -- T. Monk

          by susanala on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 08:02:56 AM PST

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          •  I'd call it "self-hate" but w/e. nt (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Justified anger does not grant you unrestricted license.

            by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 08:06:14 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Wrong. (7+ / 0-)

              what the hell is self-hating about recognizing that you've been fortunate?  No one here is saying that being lucky is bad; just that hard work alone does not guarantee riches.

              There are plenty of people who aren't even in the 1%, but maybe in the 25%, who definitely have an advantage from birth.  A college fund, parents who invest in a business start-up, or just simply growing up in a healthy, well-off family in which you learn how to live with money.

              And then there are the hard working scrappy folks that make it; you don't think there's a little bit of luck there?  You just happen to bump into the right person at the grocery store, your main competitor suddenly has to skip town for some reason, or just starting up a business during the right economic conditions.

              And hell, look at Wall Street.  You honestly think those fucks are there because of hard work?  For them, it's a combination of luck and dishonesty.

              Hard work is no longer a formula for success.  You need to know someone, be born in a certain family, you need to be in the right place at the right time, and you might even need to be a little ruthless.  Such an austere, competitive environment does not foster good human relations and broad success.  It's dog eat dog and only a select few make it.

              "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

              by La Gitane on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 09:54:06 AM PST

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              •  Again, I disagree on terms mostly. (0+ / 0-)

                I don't think the only alternative to "unlucky" is "lucky" or "fortunate".

                I'd have to wager you don't think you've had many of those "coincidences" that you listed, because you'd realize that often you have to make those opportunities happen, or at least realize them for what they are, and utilize them successfully. I hope you don't go to job fairs and just bump into people hoping to get hired.

                Justified anger does not grant you unrestricted license.

                by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 11:07:34 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Being born to parents.... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  La Gitane, burnt out

                  ...who can care for you and assure your education and health is luck. You want to argue semantics, but how can you say that a child born today by refugees living in a tent in Sudan is not unlucky, vs. a child born today from parents with good jobs in a NYC hospital?

                  Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

                  by kimoconnor on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 12:13:12 PM PST

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                  •  I don't see how that conflicts, though. (0+ / 0-)

                    You say "how can you say that a child born today by refugees" isn't unlucky, but that's not what I'm saying. I'm just saying you're not necessarily "lucky" to be born to middle-class parents in France who don't get divorced. You're lucky if you're born to British blue bloods.

                    Justified anger does not grant you unrestricted license.

                    by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 02:37:29 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Of course not (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  But while the idea that you can "make" things happen is good from a spiritual and self-improvement perspective, it is not always the case.

                  All the marketing, advertising and networking in the world might not be enough to bring in the revenue that you need to make it big.

                  But it has been know to happen that someone who spends very little on marketing winds up meeting the right person who changes the entire direction of their business.

                  Fortunate events happen, but no amount of hard work or intention is going to make them happen.  Hard work makes things more likely to happen, but you have nothing without a little bit of luck.

                  "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

                  by La Gitane on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 01:02:09 PM PST

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                  •  Well, I never denied a little bit of luck is good. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    La Gitane

                    Maybe I misstated or you misunderstood what the original poster I responded to was implying, but I never said luck wasn't or isn't ever a factor, but the implication that life is one big roll of the dice from birth to death is ridiculous, and that attitude isn't a feasible or helpful one regardless of the economic or political structure your nation adopts.

                    Justified anger does not grant you unrestricted license.

                    by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Nov 11, 2011 at 02:39:00 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

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