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Forum nameOkay Activist Archives
Topic subjectMy Thoughts
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=25270&mesg_id=25271
25271, My Thoughts
Posted by M2, Sat Apr-07-01 05:23 PM
-Liberals often present success as the result of Good Luck and being "less fortunate" as the result of Bad Luck.

-Conservatives present success as being an achiever and being "less fortunate" as the result of Bad Choices.

Both perspectives are not entirely correct. To be successful you do need to work hard, you also need a "little" luck. Furthermore, you may/may not need a little help.

Can I honestly say that the success I've had in life to this point isn't the result of how my parents raised me? The lessons they taught me? My father having me read the Wall St. Journal since I was 5? How about the computers? The subscriptions to Business Week and Popular Science? How about college? All I had to do was get in, while other kids had to worry about coming up with the money.

As someone who considers themselves an "achiever" I feel I can say that I've gotten to where I am through my own determination and hard work. BUT, I had help along the way that put in a position to achieve in the first place.

The vast majority of poor people were born poor, therefore they're just following in the foot steps of their parents. They may make a few bad decisions, but all in all they're just imitating their parents. Some may escape, but as you said Expertise...they're the exception to the norm.

Looking at my friends who are doing well right now, they almost all came from families who were doing well. (High School & College) Same thing when I'm talking to my colleagues about their backgrounds. The couple that are poor can pretty much always point to someone who helped them along the way: A Wealtheir relative, a pastor, a teacher,

The point is that it's very rare for middle class children to go backwards and end up poor, furthermore it's not quite as rare but let's say it happens in less then 15% of all cases for Poor people to end up Middle Class or Rich.

This means that where you come from has a real bearing on your success, it may not be the utltimate determinate, but it has some affect. The people around you, your environment, family, etc...all real factors.

It's no wonder my friends who came from 6 figure income households, are heading in that direction or already there....and the ones that didn't...see that as almost impossible...while to my other friends...it's just normal.

This means that poor people aren't entirely the result of bad choices and that successful ones aren't entirely the result of making good ones. It's very rare for a person to be successful, or unsuccesful just based on their smarts or lack thereoff.

Neither the conservative or liberal stance towards success or failure recognizes this. The truth of the matter is somewhere in between both stance(s).


Too often, people look at the Welfare recepient with a TV and claim that they're not poor or not as poor as others may think. I think that this is a load of CRAP, TV and VCRs are not luxuries in America. The amount of money that Welfare recepients get is a pittance, with which they can barely feed themselves on....so what if they have a VCR...they ain't got isht besides that. $300 worth of electronics are their most valuable possessions.

To me, a poor person is someone for whom their current financial situation presents them buying a home. (You only need to make 25k/year to buy a house) A poor person can't buy a decent car....I'm not talkin about a Benz either...you can lease a Honda Civic for nothing down and $199/month. New clothes? No.....vacations? No......savings? No.....

To me, poor people are those who financial situation will prevent them from every owning any property, saving any money or building up any significant assets, regardless of how they earn their money. E.g. You make $20,000/yr...you can't buy a house...you can barely get a used car....you have to support a family...you can barely pay bills.....that person is poor. SO what if they have a TV? If the most valuable thing you have cost $300.......you're for damn sure poor.....

Rich.....well that just means you have money that works for you. So what if you make $350k/year.....you can build a net worth of 1 million pretty easily. (you could with a 1/3 of that...but that's another story :) ) I think being rich means that you can use your money to build up rather significant assets, and fairly easily. Poor means you have no chance of doing that..and Middle Class...means you can build some assets....but not as well as a rich person...

I'm out