The inequality of luck
Demagogic Democrats are extremely eager to exaggerate ephemeral evidence of inequality of opportunity. Actually, it’s not privilege they should be harping on, but the inequality of luck. Fortunately, the luckless can overcome their circumstances in a colorblind meritocracy where talent, hard work, and initiative flourish, and where soul-destroying Affirmative Action policies vanish.
What contributes to success? Sure, it’s nice to have skills and talents, but most of us do, in some area or another. It turns out that chance and personality traits are big factors determining an individual’s wealth. These researchers show that “the wealthiest individuals are typically not the most talented or anywhere near it.” Their oft-repeated simulations show that luck always plays a large role in accumulating wealth.
Their findings are not aberrant; for example, others studies indicate that luck and personality traits are big predictors of success. (See this, too.) But not pure luck. One doesn’t have to rub the laughing Buddha’s belly to receive good luck—though that may help. Instead, luck can be earned by showing up and working hard. As renowned author J.K. Rowling put it, “I believe in hard work and luck, and that the first often leads to the second.”
We may have little control over pure, arbitrary luck such as “choosing one’s ancestors well,” or inheriting a vibrant business. However, exerting effort to build a business provides greater satisfaction and sense of purpose, along with a greater breadth of experience and skills. Today’s Dems are fixated on this as evidence of privilege; after all, their 2022 chief campaigner once blabbered, “if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.”
Lucky Lady by Andrea Widburg using smiling woman by diana.grytsku and clover by VecMes.
Lacking profit motive or the incentive to enjoy the fruits of their labor, luckless leftists cast aspersions on those who’ve accrued a repository of good luck resulting from their disciplined and energetic endeavors. Witness ex-labor secretary Robert Reich, who recently claimed that self-made billionaires are a myth. Indeed, a common left-wing slogan is that billionaires are policy failures who represent immorality. In reality, business leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs deserve their inequality of good luck, relative to the indolent who demand entertainment while indulging in fruit loops on the couch, or the “quiet quitters” who abuse hybrid work schedules.
Most billionaires are self-made. Furthermore, by creating new products, markets, and jobs, they generate societal wealth that far exceeds their compensation, most of which is performance-based. They are not superhuman, or hundreds of times more talented than regular workers. But they are proof that their good luck is not entirely lucky, but results from opening opportune doors in the dynamic world of business. To be in the right place at the right time, one must show up.
For the continued longevity of our Republic, in 2022, we may wish that certain billionaires were indeed myths, particularly those who undermine our democracy, foment division, and fund progressive prosecutors. Still, that’s not a reason to do away with billionaires.
Bernie Sanders stated that billionaires “should not exist.” I disagree wholeheartedly, though it might be lucky for us if George Soros existed elsewhere. We are a welcoming country, but I wonder why he’s so uncivil in seeking to divide and undermine his adopted country. If he must be a hate-filled, lousy leftist, then there are plenty of social issues in his native Hungary that he could address.
Unfortunately, Sanders is not the only one. Demented Dems regularly proselytize the politics of envy. They don’t seem to appreciate industrious individuals, preferring to incite discontent by exaggerating tired notions of privilege. However, currently, there is mostly equality under the law in America today and, we hope, that will become full equality under the law if the Supreme Court expunges Affirmative Action. To the extent inequality of income remains, that is a natural occurrence in a vibrant free market system that rewards the fruits of one’s labor.
Life is not always “fair”; nevertheless, it’s well established that “chance favors the prepared mind.” Lady Luck smiles upon those who apply themselves in business or trade and who like people. By contrast, succumbing to Democrat fearmongering leaves fewer people who can be beneficiaries of Lady Luck’s graciousness.