STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
If You Are Wealthy, You Are Just Lucky
By Staff News & Analysis - April 24, 2013

How Did the World's Rich Get That Way? Luck …Why are some people so rich and others so poor? Is it from good choices or good luck? Hard work, smarts, and ability—or something else? That depends who you are comparing yourself to. If you are more successful than your friends, colleagues, and family members, surely a lot of it is because you are better at what you do, or have made better choices, or have worked harder to get where you are. Think former President Bill Clinton, compared to his somewhat less successful brother. – Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Dominant Social Theme: Luck determines wealth and we need to use government to fix this unfairness.

Free-Market Analysis: For as long as we've been analyzing elite dominant social themes we've been reading these sorts of articles and commenting on them.

The thickest, most resonant of these sorts of misleading efforts appear in predictably in the most august mainstream publications – the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist and BusinessWeek.

Of course, BusinessWeek is not so august as it once was, having gone bankrupt. But nonetheless, it is part of the larger universe of publications utilized to present globalist propaganda that seeks to downplay the ubiquitous influence of central banking.

This article is simply one more in a long line of such magical tricks. We characterize it this way because these articles are written to distract you from the engine of trickery much as a magician seeks to distract you from focusing on the actuality of his sleight of hand.

Monopoly central banking is indeed trickery in the sense that money is characterized as valuable even though a handful of people can virtually print as much as they want of it and gain disproportionate benefits as well.

Those who have organized this system and stand behind it will do virtually anything to preserve it and regularly downplay its influence and results in the mainstream publications they evidently and obviously own.

This BusinessWeek article is perhaps only notable for the novelty of its misdirection. In it, we learn that the reasons for wealth disparities have to do with "luck." Here's more:

But as the scale of comparison widens, the amount that's due to the choices you made—compared to the uterus you gestated in—drops dramatically. That suggests we are a long way from equality of opportunity and that the rich are rewarded for the same effort far more than are the poor. It's time to fix that.

The United States is an unequal society. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the top 20 percent get about half the nation's income, compared to the 5 percent of all income shared among the bottom fifth of households. The top 10 percent of the population controls about 70 percent of the wealth. Among rich countries, America's inequality is certainly extreme. But the world as a whole is an incredibly unequal place. Norway—held up as a model of equality—still sees the bottom fifth of households with incomes less than a third (PDF) those of the top fifth.

Why is there such inequality? The choices we make as individuals can put us considerably above or below our peer average in terms of income or happiness or status. But our peer average itself is set by forces beyond our control—factors such as to whom we were born. And our peer average explains our relative standing against national averages far more than our own choices.

… At any level beyond the local, differences in income due to inequality of opportunity dwarf those from inequality of effort or talent. This argues, among other things, for a tax code that is more progressive, not less. The bottom fifth of Americans pay 19 percent of their income in taxes, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, while the top 1 percent pay 33 percent of their income in taxes. In other words, the tax gap between the bottom fifth and the richest 100th is just 14 percent of income. Compare that to the daddy gap—how much your relative income is related to your parents' position in the income ranking—of around 40 percent.

And if we care about reducing inequality of opportunity—apparently a bipartisan concern—we've clearly got some work to do. We should make sure everyone gets the basics—good nutrition, health care, and good education, from pre-school on up. We should ensure that places in the best colleges and jobs in the best firms go to the most talented, not the best connected. And we should help, not hinder, willing workers to move to where the good jobs

The choices people make are certainly important when it comes to how successful they are, compared to their school friends or colleagues. But luck—not hard work—is overwhelmingly why the rich are rich while the poor are poor.

This article has every signature of misdirection. Those who seek globalism also seek maximum regulatory complexity administered by an ever-expanding government that they can control behind the scenes. The article thus argues for a progressive tax structure and for using Leviathan as a bulwark against sociopolitical and economic unfairness.

These nonsensical conclusions can only be reached if we accept that social dysfunction is simply caused by the luck that one has in life in being born in certain circumstances.

In fact, these circumstances are influenced largely by economic forces. The US in particular has been growing increasingly unequal over time as monopoly fiat central banking forces a widening of the gap between rich and poor. Nowhere is this acknowledged in this article.

If one starts with the CORRECT premise that central banking in particular (and secondarily, certain fiscal and regulatory policies) are the reason for the US's growing inequality, then one is led to what we would consider to be a more accurate conclusion.

After Thoughts

And that conclusion would be that government in the US (and throughout the Western world) needs to be radically pruned in order to encourage human action and significant wealth building. It can be done if government gets out of the way. You read that here, not in BusinessWeek.

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