Saturday, November 26, 2011

And Here's Why They Will Always Be The 99%

“We are the 99%” So goes the battle cry from the “Occupy” movement, but there’s an uncomfortable reality of life that seems to be misunderstood by these folks. The equality which they seek is impossible in the modern world. If you took the total personal wealth in the United States, and distributed it equally so that every family in the nation had exactly the same net worth— within five or six years there would be a group at the very top who had accumulated hundreds of times as much as the average. The personnel makeup of this new upper tier would contain some new members (although most of them would be the same people who are at the top now) but for the most part, the winners and losers would be distributed almost exactly as they are now. Some people are simply more lucky, or more capable than others. Not necessarily better, and certainly not better in terms of their character, but simply more fortunate or more proficient in their ability to navigate the complexities of the modern economic world. Qualities like blind luck, raw intellect, common sense, self-motivation, ambition, personal discipline (this personal self-discipline is probably the most fundamental of all), and pure human likeability (sometimes called charisma)— these traits are not evenly distributed throughout the population, but these are the traits that help certain people rise to the top. And as every elementary school teacher can tell you, these traits can predict as early as fourth or fifth grade which students will go on to be the high-achievers in life.

The “Occupy” movement will die out because it’s nothing like the uprisings in the Arab Spring. Overthrowing an Arab tyrant is very different from trying to even out the economic inequalities of life.

No comments: