Rich Man, Poor Man

This article is actually more than a little disturbing.

The author appears to be advancing the thesis that manning up and taking responsibility for your situation in life is the key to success, while the unsuccessful are inclined towards superstition and voodoo.

But there’s an unpleasant reality hiding underneath the condescending pep-talk:  you might just as easily, or more easily, come to the conclusion from reading the article that the rich are self-satisfied, oblivious to how fortunate they have been, and prone to blaming the poor for their poverty.

Are there people who are entirely self-made millionaires, who have made their fortunes with no breaks, no help along the way from anyone?

No.  A little humility is called for, not that you’d glean that from the article.

Are there, on the other hand, people who are impoverished entirely without error in either act or omission?  A pure victim of circumstance, as Curly used to say?

This one is a little easier for me to believe in this or that case, just based on anecdotal observation.  But for the most part, I’d say the answer to this question is “no” as well.

The disturbing thing is that on the moral, and maybe psychological level, the rich and the poor are exactly the same:  both are entirely ego driven.  The rich indulge their egos by imagining they have arrived at prosperity solely because of merit; the poor spare their egos by ascribing their poverty to the cruelty of fate, or the fates if you prefer.

Neither is anywhere near to being correct.

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13 Comments

Filed under financial crisis, Media incompetence/bias

13 responses to “Rich Man, Poor Man

  1. Having not read the article, I’m both a little perplexed and disturbed at the commentary. As one who had earned $3.7 million in 2001 (after 25 years of building up to that point) and having it yanked away (after being a welfare kid, foster kid etc) –

    I’m a little miffed at your declarations against both extremes;
    on the issue that your conclusions are ALL inclusive.

    Now – I’ve got to take precious time out;
    and go read the item your discussing.

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    • Laser: don’t take it personally. I realize fortunes are often made through years of effort and sacrifice. And often they aren’t. My problem with the article is the implicit contention that the wealthy are all meritorious and the poor are all entirely responsible for their poverty. Just isn’t so.

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  2. Okay; now I’ve read the item in question (a purported scientific analysis of rich and poor on the issue of fateful). Many confuse fate with destiny (which seems to “possibly” be occurring here).

    In your case – your fate of resignation from NY Bar – was a choice;
    but the circumstances left little else (for good men).

    As for mine (turning down a bribe to become Romney’s partner) – it too – was a choice. Am I at fault for the fact that “they” (the bandito’s) decided to go on a tear to destroy me – resultant of my refusal (as you did) to become one of the “good ole boys”?

    Life is not fair!

    If there’s no G-d (and I, for one, believe there are many more entities superior to U.S.); then, the natural order of things, is the strong abuse the weak.

    Lions don’t eat lions; they devour the less brutal!

    And – if you believe in good v evil (Heaven v Hell) – then you are accepting the premise that (even in the superior spiritual – eternal – realm) there’s battles of weak against strong, of right and wrongs – Universal.

    A sun goes super nova – all in its pathway lose light and/or are blown away!

    Your stand against tyranny, cronyism and corruption is awe inspiring. This remark comes from one who has experienced the same and tried (as feebly as any sole person can) to say no to the evil strong abusing any weak.

    That is why we have laws – to compel “civility”.

    Unless, of course, you believe that the law is a design by rulers to keep everyone else obtuse to the fact that the ruling class is continuously ruling (running) over them.

    Now – would that be fate – or destiny?

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    • One thing to ponder: I didn’t go looking for a stand to make, and from the sound of things neither did you. I often say that I just encountered a terrible situation in the ordinary course of practicing my profession and have dealt with it the only way I know how. I’m wary of crusades and crusaders. In younger men it’s more forgivable. In older men it’s a red flag – not always something to steer clear of, but often enough.

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      • I tend to refrain from absolutes. Trying to keep an open mind on all issues.

        We each have our battles. If my desire to get involved in more than just my own makes me a crusader ( in other ppls opine), then such be the thoughts.

        All i know is that corruption is the norm, rather than the e xception and such is intolerable.

        The historical remark holds true that

        Evul will prevail; when good men do nothing

        Its a pity that fate (or what have you) picked this wrong side of the tracks guy to battle a RICO boss powerful enough (chirfly via fed venality) to become President of the United States.

        The task belongs to someone more noble than I.

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  3. Min

    The question of the differences between rich and poor in the US is hardly one that has not been the subject of a lot of research. Corley spent five years interviewing people, which is fine, but apparently did not place his findings in the context of previous research. He also apparently confuses cause and effect. It has long been known that the poor in the US are more fatalistic than the rich, but that does not mean that fatalism is the cause of poverty (or vice versa). Looking at a couple of reviews tells me that Corley tells stories in his book. Fine. That’s good for a popular book. But how many of those stories feature rich people who believe in fate, and, more tellingly perhaps, feature poor people who do not believe in fate? A good researcher would tell those stories, too.

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    • What struck me was that however different rich and poor seemed to be in this respect on the surface, underneath both opinions lend themselves to self-justification. Many in each camp may be quite justified, I make no comment about that. It was just interesting to me that in the respect I pointed out, the apparent difference turns out to be a deeper similarity.

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      • That is apropos to our banter above.

        Min on, along with you and I, appear to be of like mind that it is cause and effect (I,d argue more towards probability n outcome not being the same thing).

        My issue is that i know (now) of many victims/cases. Having worked on Cameron todd Willingham, Troy Davis, Traficant, Senator Stevens, Sonny Bono, Kelly Thomas and Rick Conertino,s case (And hundreds more). All those evil successes are granted solace due to imeptitude of the opposing forces.

        Your case and mine struggle for just; because evil reigns by unity of bad faith parties and entrenched corrupted networks.

        Until we care (collectively) about standing together against the reigning autocrats and their networks; then they have no reason to cease their bad faith programs and designs

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        • We broadcasted tbe facts on Pitten,s ; which exposed his lies and helped stop him in 2012.

          If hes not exposed, in full, for all his Robber Baron (RICO) ways, prior to 2016 – then he wont fail his quest.

          They will make what GWB n Cheney did to U.S. look.like child,s play.

          Because he already knows how corruption works (and is emboldened by the fact that they can do it openly).

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          • Chances are they will (by corruption) continue to succeed.

            They can never risk going to trial in my case. Thus, if the 9th grants a panel hearing day; chances are I will wind up like Marty Lackner AND/OR Jack Wheeler.

            But standing by idle for fear of the worse, isnr an option.

            Hiw do i help you, so that you will consideer joining with others?

            So that we Can make a difference!

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    • I posted a concur with Min on,s comment; but it failed to post.

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  4. Beyond the sad state of affairs today and the great loss of talent. The judge who put Governor Seigelman away by corruption; was arrested for wife beating.

    Like

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