Thursday, October 13, 2011

The Horatio Alger Myth

needs to be thrown into the garbage can where it belongs.

It is probably the most destructive of all myths because it denies the reality that people get rich in one of only three ways: winning through a lottery, inheriting/marrying into wealth, or being at the right place at the right time.

The last one is extremely important because many millions of people believe if you have "talent" or "work hard" you will be rich, but it doesn't work that way. Somebody can be like the late Steve Jobs and have a talent for marketing quality products, but if the demand had not been there, he'd have been like everybody else living in glorious anonymity. Timing is all important in the business world, in show business, and so on. It literally is the luck of the draw, like winning the lottery.

As I have said and Elizabeth Warren agrees, the "self-made man" is a myth.

Since people overstate their "wealth," it is small wonder many aspire to be like the real economic elites because they think they will be part of that class one day. Never mind it is in the elites' best interests, or so they think, they remain in an exclusive class.

No comments: