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Dreams are for the wealthy
Posted: 07 December 2013 01:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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macgyver - 06 December 2013 07:03 AM

Read this Wikipedia entry on Bill Gates. Yes mom and dad had upper middle class jobs but nobody handed him anything and there is no mention of special connections in his rise to success. In fact what you get from a reading of his early life is that this guy was brilliant, had some good ideas,incredible drive, and a was willing to take risk ( dropped out of Harvard, made some bold claims but then backed them up with action).  Those are the things that make people successful. Yes it can be helpful to be backed by powerful or wealthy parents or to have connections but the lack of them does not preclude success and there is no evidence that either played a role in Bill Gates success or Paul Allen.

blank stare

You should check out Gates’ biography for an in depth view into the role his background played in his extreme success.

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Posted: 07 December 2013 01:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Lausten - 06 December 2013 09:42 AM

Surprised to see so many Oprah fans here. Duh, you have to work hard to get anywhere, and duh, social accumulated advantages matter.

When I first heard of Bill Gates, I heard how he rode his bike to the computer lab to learn how to program. When his biography came out, I found out his mother started lab, AT THEIR COUNTRY CLUB!!! Which of those is more important? That he studied instead of played, or that his mommy helped him? The answer does not actually matter. It will be different for each individual millionaire.

What does matter is that most of the stories of rags to riches in the tech industry have those details about who their parents were or what advantages they were given, left out. This leaves a false impression that it ONLY takes guts and determination. This leads to people not caring about the disadvantaged and claiming they should ride their bikes to the library. Never mind their are drug dealers between them and the library and they don’t have a bike.

+ 1.

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Posted: 07 December 2013 06:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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CuthbertJ - 05 December 2013 11:30 AM

Nowadays it’s all money and degrees and luck.  Or am I all scrooged?

How about this?

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/nov/21/graphene-condom-safe-sex-bill-gates

So, graphene, who’s heard of it? I’ll admit that I hadn’t until this morning, when it was revealed that the Nobel prize-winning “wonder” substance is being hailed as the solution to the timeless problem of men who say they don’t like wearing condoms. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a £62,000 grant to the scientists at Manchester University who believe the material, which is a form of carbon that is one atom thick, can be combined with latex to create a super-strong, super-stretchy, supercondom. This is excellent news, since I am a five-year-old and find condoms hilarious. Our prime minister looks like one, and he is a constant source of mirth to me.

More pleasurable?

What’s more, the supercondom is apparently going to be “more pleasurable”. They’re not saying than what, but I’m assuming they mean “more pleasurable than the closest brand name competitor”, not, “more pleasurable than unprotected sex”, because that’s another thing that goes unacknowledged during sex education lessons: lots of people don’t like using them.

LOL

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Posted: 07 December 2013 09:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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You have as about as much chance of becoming a wealthy “business entrepreneur as you do of making a major pro sport all star team.

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All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 07 December 2013 09:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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I think you guys are getting side tracked. This isn’t about one person. I gave you several other examples. Yes everyone does not come into this word with the same advantages but lots of people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth and do nothing with it and many others come from very humble beginnings and accomplish big things. You could go through the history of every successful person and say “well he had a supportive mother, or she met the right person and made the right connections, or he just happened to have the right idea at the right time”. The fact is that there is and always has been a certain level of luck involved in success but success relies far more on the abilities of the person and what they did with their opportunities.

For every individual who was in the right place at the right time there were probably hundreds if not thousands who were in the exact same position and walked on by not knowing what to do with it or even recognizing that the opportunity was there. I always tell my kids that its very difficult to change the world and far easier to change yourself. If something isn’t working look around at the things you have the power to change. Complaining that you are powerless changes nothing. You have to work with what you have. Most successful people did just that. Its not always going to work. In fact most successful people have far more failures than successes on their real resume. Its what you do with your failures that makes the difference. if you let them defeat you then you become the failure. If you learn something from them then failures can become the rungs on a ladder to success. No one ever succeeded by giving up or complaining about the advantages they didn’t have. Would it be better in the end to look back on our lives and see a mediocre life punctuated by long hours commiserating with friends about how unfair the world is, or would it be better to see an honest existence marked by someone who gave it everything they had and could be proud of what they had done whether it got them to the top or not? We can do absolutely everything right and still fail but if we don’t keep trying we will certainly fail.

I hate to sound trite but there is a lot of truth there.

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Posted: 07 December 2013 01:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Macgyver you have no data on what leads to success. That data would be impossible to collect. You can’t do it without experimenting on human lives. There are too many factors to create a control group, and creating one would mean artificially giving or taking away opportunities from that group. It can’t be done.

What drives me up the wall is when someone says something like, “I made it on my own, I went into the military, then used the GI bill and for a few months once I was on food stamps, but no one ever GAVE me anything.” Your statement about how nobody handed Bill Gates is the same. We all contributed to him having a decent school. We all followed most of the laws and paid most of our taxes and created the border line healthy society that he was born into.

Everyone is handed something. Some people are handed more things than others. It is ludicrous to say that people who come from worse school districts and are raised on less nutritious diets have an equal chance to Bill Gates. The only way you have any credibility in what you say is that there are people who have overcome adversity. Most of those people are decent enough to acknowledge the help they got. They will also tell you how much harder they had to work to get where they are, compared to someone who had the advantages we’re talking about.

The middle class did not create itself. It was fought for and government policies helped build it. Those policies have changed drastically in the last few decades because a few people think it is more important to be super rich than to maintain a world where more people have the opportunity to live past 30.

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Posted: 07 December 2013 08:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Everyone is handed something. Some people are handed more things than others. It is ludicrous to say that people who come from worse school districts and are raised on less nutritious diets have an equal chance to Bill Gates. The only way you have any credibility in what you say is that there are people who have overcome adversity. Most of those people are decent enough to acknowledge the help they got. They will also tell you how much harder they had to work to get where they are, compared to someone who had the advantages we’re talking about.

The middle class did not create itself. It was fought for and government policies helped build it. Those policies have changed drastically in the last few decades because a few people think it is more important to be super rich than to maintain a world where more people have the opportunity to live past 30.

Of course we are. Everyone needs a helping hand at some point, even the rich, and theirs comes from inherited wealth. Ours has to come from other sources, especially the lower and middle classes even those who claim to be “self made”. At some point in their careers they received encouragement or financial assistance, e.g. Many of us who weren’t in the military had to use guaranteed student loans to complete our educations. they’re still available BTW to anyone interested in HE. the key is to make this Ladder to the poor and lower class earners more accessible. They may never be a Bill Gates (that’s why it’s called “Fortune 500 not 5 million), but they may have the chance at a job that would make them more financially secure and fulfill their own version of the American Dream. That was my original point. The Edison’s, Fords, Carneigies, and Rockefellers made it via hard work, planning and as you stated, during a time when flash fortunes could be made by any entrepreneur with a few bucks in his pocket. It’s a hellova lot harder to accomplish that now but not impossible to become financially stable. Education is still the key. That and job opportunities on the local and state level. And if you have a beef with the super rich then vote out those that grant them power, or hold political office yourself and make changes. Back unionization of the lower class and middle class workers, tell your congressman to support raising the minimum wage and improve schools in the areas hardest hit by poverty. If we can accomplish this then maybe we can level the playing field just a little more. And you’re right about the middle class. It had to fight hard to exist; maybe it’s time to do battle again.
You know what ticks me off? Complacency. Whining apathetically complacent fistpumpers who decry their fate yet in the end do nothing but complain. People forget that the super rich lost the last election by a landslide, so even their power has limits. just for kicks and giggles I looked up POTUS’s plan. I agree with most of it:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/15/fact-sheet-president-s-plan-ensure-hard-work-leads-decent-living


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 08 December 2013 01:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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CuthbertJ - 05 December 2013 11:30 AM

You can’t get a crappy job without a degree these days yet alone a good one.

I missed this comment.

There have been several threads bordering on this subject, but this is not really accurate. Decent jobs are out there, that don’t require any degree - e.g. the trades, first responder careers, truck driving, etc. I think one problem is that many young people feel these jobs are beneath them.  IMO, in this case, dreams may be an impediment.

FWIW, I’m a young adult who has never attended college, and I have a fairly good job.

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Posted: 08 December 2013 06:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Lausten - 07 December 2013 01:33 PM

Macgyver you have no data on what leads to success. That data would be impossible to collect. You can’t do it without experimenting on human lives. There are too many factors to create a control group, and creating one would mean artificially giving or taking away opportunities from that group. It can’t be done.

I agree I dont have data but neither was any data presented to support the claims that started this post that in the old days all it took was a dream and hard work to become successful and today that wouldn’t be enough.. What I am offering is a different point of view and some examples to support that.

Lausten - 07 December 2013 01:33 PM

Everyone is handed something. Some people are handed more things than others. It is ludicrous to say that people who come from worse school districts and are raised on less nutritious diets have an equal chance to Bill Gates. The only way you have any credibility in what you say is that there are people who have overcome adversity. Most of those people are decent enough to acknowledge the help they got. They will also tell you how much harder they had to work to get where they are, compared to someone who had the advantages we’re talking about.

I never said that things were fair. In fact I said in my last post that some people had advantages others did not have. The point I was making is that there are plenty of examples of people who are successful who didn’t have a successful corporation or a life path set out for them who fit the image of the Loeb brothers Cuthbert refers to in our society today. I’m not saying it isnt easier to succeed if you have advantages. All I am saying is that you can’t do anything about whether you have an advantage or not. That’s life. If you are just going to sit around and complain about what you dont have you wont get anywhere. You have to take what you have and do the best you can with it.

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Posted: 08 December 2013 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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macgyver - 08 December 2013 06:06 AM

I’m not saying it isnt easier to succeed if you have advantages. All I am saying is that you can’t do anything about whether you have an advantage or not. That’s life. If you are just going to sit around and complain about what you dont have you wont get anywhere. You have to take what you have and do the best you can with it.

What I don’t like about your posts on this topic is they are dichotomous. Either you make your way despite the odds or you are whining about it. Stating that the system is not fair is the first step to working towards changing the system. Some people, maybe even most people, don’t have the time to do the organizing to make the changes. In fact part of destroying the middle class is done by spreading misinformation and messing with the educational system so people don’t understand that it’s even happening, let alone what to do about it. I’m not going to provide the history lessons that show how that has happened.

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Posted: 12 December 2013 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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I forgot I had this article. It’s about a study of how, as cutting costs and playing political games like reducing regulations has become the norm, management is valuing psychopathic personalities. Kinda explains a lot.

http://www.monbiot.com/2011/11/07/the-self-attribution-fallacy/

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Posted: 12 December 2013 04:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Lausten - 08 December 2013 03:08 PM

Stating that the system is not fair is the first step to working towards changing the system. Some people, maybe even most people, don’t have the time to do the organizing to make the changes

So what is step two? You see that’s the problem. The same people who complain the system isn’t fair are only willing to do the easy part, the complaining. If they actually moved on to step two and tried to make constructive changes they would have some credibility but they never get that far.

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Posted: 12 December 2013 05:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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macgyver - 12 December 2013 04:16 PM

So what is step two? You see that’s the problem. The same people who complain the system isn’t fair are only willing to do the easy part, the complaining. If they actually moved on to step two and tried to make constructive changes they would have some credibility but they never get that far.

Okay, now I understand, you don’t have any sense of the history of worker’s rights. So I guess it was just big government that stepped in and made all those safety laws and made it illegal to work children to death. Since you obviously don’t read history books, maybe you should watch a movie before commenting on this topic further,
North Country, Norma Rae, Bread and Roses, The Milagro Beanfield War.

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Posted: 12 December 2013 07:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Maybe I should have been more clear. My comments weren’t directed at the sort of people you are alluding to who actually did more than complain, they took action. My comments were meant for the vast majority who complain at the corner bar or on forums like this and do nothing else.

You are correct that not everyone has the know how or the skill to change how the world works, hence my earlier comment that it is far easier to change yourself than to change the world. I am not saying we shouldn’t try to change the world but complaining is not trying. Its just complaining.

And I don’t buy the argument that some people don’t have the time to do anything more. If they have the time to complain they have the time to do something more constructive. Complaining is the lazy thing to do. Changing the world or even just yourself actually requires one to make an effort at something.

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Posted: 12 December 2013 07:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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You just made yourself less clear.

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