Sometimes getting rich is just luck…

I know people here won’t believe me, but I have been actively involved in our capitalistic system for about 25 years…working in the trenches as a sales person.  I even started a company that at on time employed 17 people (down to about 8, but that is another story).

I say this because I want people to understand that I know what the “real world” is all about in terms of how to make money and certainly about paying taxes.  And often times the conservative virtues of “hard work” and “free markets” just don’t pay off.  Hell, it’s all about taking risks and most of the time risks fail to pay off (it wouldn’t be risky if it always paid off, would it?).

That’s why I’m a proud FDR Democrat, the President who saved our market system from itself.  Despite the rhetoric here, liberals are not communists, we just understand that Capitalism has some rough edges that government has to smooth over for the majority of people who don’t get rich in this system…like fighting to give every citizen basic health care in the richest country on earth. 

But my post is not about that.  No it’s to point out that sometimes hard work has very little to do with upward economic mobility… 

…sometimes it’s all about luck.

About Festus Garvey

  • Vote3rdpartynow

    You draw the correlation between healthcare and the wealth of the United States – so I assume you are suggesting we should have singlepayer or government backed healthcare.  If I am wrong please correct me.

    That being said – if because our country is wealthy then you could justify not only healthcare, but college education, reasonable transportation, well tailored clothing, a two week annual vacation, and on and on.  You open a Pandora’s box very quickly.

    I think you are also hinting that only rich people can afford healthcare, which would be wrong.  I am not rich and I can afford healthcare through my employer.  Most people in America who want healthcare can have healthcare.  The 45 million estimated who do not have healthcare don’t have it for a very good reason – the are illegal immigrants (12 – 20 million), they chose not to have it at their job (5 – 10 million), and yes, some can not afford it.  The people that can not afford it currently get assistance from their state for healthcare.

    Healthcare IS expensive, but we have bastardized the healthcare system in such a way as to make it expensive.  We have middlemen dictating what doctors we can go to and what to pay for each examination or treatment.  We cover illegal immigrants that are not paying into the system and therefore are draining it as an expense.  People are too dependent on doctors for the simplest of healthcare – common cold and flu.  Too many Americans are lazy and overwieght and therefore suffer all the problems that go with obesity.  Too many medical procedures are now covered even though they are elective procedures such as abortion under the new Romney healthcare plan in Massachusetts.  Liability insurance is going through the roof because we allow Lawyers to file suit for anything and everything.  I know you have seen them advertising during the Jerry Springer show…

    What we need to fix the heralthcare problem is a good old fashioned dose of the free market system.  Throw out the silly restrictions, regulations and twists and turns that have now been built into the system.  Get government, Lawyers and Lobbyists out of my doctor’s office and let him and I maintain my health.

    All this focus on healthcare is killing me…..

  • since I’m a member of the “people here” and my thoughts were assumed….I don’t believe you.  You know nothing of capitalism, the free market, or anything else you care to talk about with a “people here won’t believe me, but….” intro.

    That said……..”getting rich” is quite a vague notion and needs either a # or something to compare it to.

    Limiting the discussion to the way it’s worked out with you won’t work with the vast majority of people out there as most people that need to get “upward income mobility” that will fall into the “work hard and succeed model” are just not in your category…..they’re just not going to “take a risk” and “start a business”.  They’re gonna find a job that HAS upward mobility built in or they’re gonna find some way to go to school and then find a job with a higher starting salary.

    …they are working for those in the same category as you.

    The tenet of “working hard to generate upward financial mobility” is more for the rest of us that are not in your category of “risk-filled small business starters that fail/succeed”.

    They are more like me, who come from nothing and bust our asses to get that “upward financial mobility”.  Guys like me that busted my ass from the start…busted my ass in the military…busted my ass working full-time while schooling full-time….and currently bust my ass post education so that I will move up due to my hard work.

    ANYONE can do the same thing I did and make themselves a better life and it will work nearly every time IF the effort is put in.

    ANYONE can go in the military for an enlistment, if even just to garner the benefits.
    ANYONE can go to a state school to get a marketable skill while working full-time.
    ANYONE can go to grad school to further their marketable skill.

    It takes hard work and sacrifice.

    ….and I’m enjoying the fruits of my hard labor…well…..the fruits after working almost half the year for nothing.

    Just about everything is about how hard you choose to work. Problem is, it involves “work”….it involves CHOOSING to work…. and it involves choosing to do YEARS of “work”…not just “I tried and failed” short-lived attempts…and certainly not “why won’t the gubmint help me???  Poor me….I need a monthly check.”

    “Often times” (and I’d say most times) hard work DOES pan out in the free market…..but you’ve gotta have a marketable skill….or you’ve gotta get one.

    “No it’s to point out that sometimes hard work has very little to do with upward economic mobility”

    Well….some people ARE retarded, so it won’t work for them.

    New premise:

    MOST OF THE TIME hard work has everything to do with upward economic mibility.

  • demolisher

    Yes, some people work hard and strike out.  That sucks but bad luck and/or stupidity and/or the down side of risk can be a bitch.  At least they made their choices freely.

    Yes, some people get really rich on pure luck or get it handed to them or otherwise do not really work very hard for it.  These people tend to believe that wealth is random, and as I understand it also tend to be Democrats.

    But mostly I think you’ll find a very strong correlation with hard work and wealth, as well as a correlation with intelligence and wealth, and some other handy attributes such as practicality, congeniality and ability to compromise.

    Random success and failure are the exception, not the rule. 

    (And we didn’t even mention wealth accumuation via corrupt or illegal means!)

    I could not disagree with you any more strongly about FDR saving capitalism from itself.  FDR probably prolonged the depression and created massive permanent entitlements which strike at the heart of our freedom.  The cause and solution to the depression was adherence to the gold standard+constrained money supply and abandonment or the gold standard+expanded money supply.  Its too bad we learned the wrong lessons and embarked upon nearly a century of wealth redistribution and massive social program boondoggles.  (Most of which have been thankfully put out of their misery by now)

  • wavey

    “Sometimes it’s just luck.”

    So what? Is that an endorsement of lottery tickets?

    I have a friend who is an inveterate pothead, took 8 tries to pass the Bar, smokes dope with his cornflakes and is a complete degenerate. But one day a friend of his got hit head-on by a very wealthy person and went to him. He referred the case to someone who knew what he was doing, and a year later, he received a check for $1.2 million as his “referral fee.”

    Sometimes it’s just luck. So what?

  • geo999

    “Luck” usually favors those who are prepared to capitalize on opportunities that are available to all.

    Calling people who have achieved success “lucky” seems to denigrate their efforts.

    I, personally, have let a couple of lifes opportunities slip past me. Whose fault is that?

    My 25 year old son, on the other hand. has been doing six figures in an exciting job since he was less than 22 years old, with no college education.

    It really pisses me off to hear (jealous) friends, whose well sheepskinned offspring haven’t achieved that level of success, call my son “lucky”.
    He capitalized on contacts and skills that he’d been cultivating since he was 15 years old.

    Beware of people who attribute financial success with “luck”.
    They also usually favor a highly progressive tax system.