It should be "smart work," not "hard work." Hard implies it's all just the transfer of energy--what seems to excite MBAs--when all that should matter is delivering results. Isn't that what capitalism is supposed to be?
Because if you manage to finish the tasks early and leave at 2, they'll make sure you have enough tasks so that this doesn't happen again.
Yes. I've had managers get offended at the idea of taking a break when tasks are complete because you should be jumping on the next thing.
From what I've noticed, though, jumping on that next task doesn't help your career at Big Corp in any way and usually doesn't significantly lead to more personal accomplishment.
Taking some time to reflect can have a big impact on what you accomplish, though.
1. make sure you have "cover" as high up the chain as possible. Someone that signs your praises, defends you in the right meetings. Usually not your front line boss at larger corps.
Shipping and solving problems is harder
This book is pretty great! https://www.amazon.com/100-Tricks-Appear-Smart-Meetings/dp/1...
I don't think that is limited to the USA and IMHO the "ass-in-seats" mentality is as bad or worse in most other countries.
Moreover, the thing about the "results-only" approach is that it can lead to precarious employment where you get vicious "rank-and-yank" style management. The complaint in the article is that people are feeling that they can't get ahead even if they work hard.
Perhaps this isn't even really about "ass-in-seat" vs "results-only"? I think its about opportunities getting snubbed.
Earlier in the country's history it was "Go west, young man" -- the frontier served a similar social function of giving just about everybody willing to put in the effort demanded the ability to move up a notch economically -- maybe several notches.
Now we've reached a point where many ordinary people no longer have that sort of opportunity. It's tearing our society apart. We need to figure out how to fix it.
I've heard a lot of HN'ers talk about how "Detroit deserved to be disrupted since American cars weren't innovative." OK, maybe true, but the guy screwing bolts on cars now has to go work at McDonald's for a third of the wage and no benefits. He had approximately zero influence on how cars were designed, and now he's struggling to support his family. What was once a shining city in the industrial heartland of America is now a bandit-infested ruin.
"Go work for a startup" is also (understandably) a common sentiment on HN. OK, that works for people like us, but we all know there are a lot fewer decent programmers out there than people who can screw bolts on cars. We need something that can be done by most people, not only the 1%'ers of the intellectual food chain.
This country's made of ordinary folks who just want a comfortable middle class lifestyle. Our society used to be able to provide paths to achieve that, accessible to all, and that was the key to our success. Now we've lost the ability to do so, despite our technological advancements.
America's a broken system. How can we fix it?
it's not nearly as complicated or intractable as everyone makes it out to be. the basic problem in the system is concentration of wealth at the top and wage stagnation at the middle and bottom.
the solution is progressively distributed pay raises in private sector employment, concentrating on raising the wages of those on the bottom and in the middle of the economy. this will massively stimulate demand in the economy and produce an economic growth spurt.
the reason this doesn't happen is because the ideology of shareholder capitalism is completely sociopathic and has caused business managers to behave like sociopaths in the pursuit of short term gains.
so the situation is not that we have no idea what needs to be done to fix the problem, it's that we have no idea what needs to be done to remove the deeply entrenched causes of the problem.
but honestly, a lot of these people with their broken pathological ideology, well, they gotta go. they are unfit to lead.
I really favor this type of solution because it solves the alienation problem without throwing out the baby with the bathwater. This is a business structure that appropriately distributes the profits of labor, and I think that is the only thing that will get us out of our current predicament. The current American system of funneling profits to the 0.0001% while locking the working population into lifelong wage slavery is not sustainable and I fear for the future if things go on like this for much longer.
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mondragon_Corporation
Complicated? No. Intractable? Definitely.
A (poor) idea I have is to train people to do start-ups as a 'day job' with a vast social safety net to pick people up that fail at them. Just like HS is today meant for factory workers, you could change HS to make it meant for start-ups and the like. Its not a good idea, I know.
The only other idea I have is to pay people to read books all day, or learn in some other way. Basically endless schooling.
Anyone got anything else? Because these aren't gonna work well, but I think they will work in some little way.
Sounds like UBI with unnecessary complexity. If we provide a basic level of support, many may/would attempt a start-up or take other risks. As it stands now, many/most of us are just fighting to keep the remaining scraps that are left and have no room for big risks.
Most of the people I've met who don't believe in "hard work pays off" are the type that want something for nothing.
Most of the people that I've seen hard work pay off for are those who were self-motivated to do good work, and it eventually worked out for them.
But you also have to stop working for companies that abuse you and find one that appreciates its employees. Many people don't even believe those companies exist and won't try to find a better company. Even getting people to look for a new job is nearly impossible. They come up with a ton of excuses and just never do it.
You're talking about a group of people who are marginally skilled for the jobs they have in industries that are racing to replace them with automation. You say they won't even _try_ to find a better company? Could it be because they're afraid that even by looking, they're going to be fired? Or maybe it's that they're working 12-14 hours a day at their current job, and can't run off to interviews to move out or up? And this is assuming they've even ever seen an example of a person moving upward due to hard work! If all you ever saw around you were poor people struggling all their life to scrape by, what would motivate you?
Have you been doing software engineering all your life? It would serve you to try doing other things less charmed before you assume the nature of other peoples' plights.
Which for software development usually means how many people jobs can you replace with automation.
majority black (mainly Carribean) neighborhood. > 90% of the buildings in the neighborhood are owned by absentee landlords, who are typically either Hasidic Jews in South Brooklyn or faceless development corporations based out of Manhattan. most of the businesses in the neighborhood, besides the requisite black barber shops and hair braiding shops and bodegas on the corner, are either corporate chains owned by a national conglomerate, or they are owned by white entrepeneur transplants that just moved in to the neighborhood a few years ago.
Firstly, you mention some magical words like "good work", which mean nothing. Secondly, you wrongfully label a large group of people as wanting "something for nothing".
This holds, of course, if we agree that "paying off" means more than managing to survive, which is the only thing most people get for "working hard".
And there's plenty more research to go along with this. Please stop spreading this lie, even if it's just a joke.
First of all, for the rich work is optional, which means they get to choose the work they do. That's why rich people tend to be actors and artists. Maybe at times they do work hard, but it's for their vanity and mental health not of necessity. Their hard work isn't why they're rich, they were born rich.
Rarely do you find rich people cleaning old-peoples arses in hospitals.
Most hard-working normal people earn just enough to get by and most rich people were born that way.
I'm consistently shocked at how they choose to watch TV, do drugs, and quick to blame other people.
I try to help people and share opportunities that seem in line with their experience and skills... yet they do not leave their damn couch. Anectodal, yes
We really shouls just put a good UBC plan together and call it a day.
Medical bills get out of hand but blue collar workers often find themselves out of work, fired because they couldn't make it to work through no fault of their own.
Our society punishes people for being poor and it's disgusting that it's so hard to even get people to acknowledge this, much less try to fix it.
Many of them are genuinely lovely people.
Much of this was mentioned in Hillbilly Elegy as well (he also brought sources). As well as a much higher rate of domestic problems which can affect kids and hinder their chances of escaping poverty.
There is no direct correlation between being poor and being lazy. Laziness is evenly distributed across all wealth classes, it's not concentrated to just poor people.
I guess my point is, if not for hard work, I'm certain I'd still be in that same area where each day is a struggle.
Our society is set up such that we massively protect unearned wealth and afford incredible privileges and powers to those who possess that wealth.
Focusing on the wealthy is just envy and envy is never a useful emotion. Focusing on what you can do to improve your own situation is a much better use of time and that includes doing hard work and taking the chance that it will pay off.
My concern is for how power and privilege is wielded in our society. I want to live in a society that protects those who have very little, because those are the people that need the protection. Instead, our society protects those who have very much. That is unjust. My concern is for justice.
Did that seriously not occur to you? Now who's the one having an emotional reaction.
Of course, it's largely luck whether a person even goes to college. If you're born upper middle income or higher, college is basically a certainty. If you're born low income, it's much less likely.
I lived in a tent and got food stamps so I could afford to attend a community college. I studied whatever interested me, and I didn't decide on a specific track until I was about 120 units deep. I nearly lived in the library because I couldn't afford to buy textbooks. That isn't luck, that's determination.
After college, I took several positions that paid shit, on the condition that they gave me a lot of free time, exposure to interesting new science and technology, and latitude in how I did my work. I used that free time to read scientific journal articles and practice my programming. That wasn't luck, it was an investment.
Now I'm in the position of having almost total control over my work. I choose what I work on, how I contribute, and my work schedule. Beyond that, I'm nearly debt free - I had to take a 10 year mortgage to finance my house, but I'm going to pay that off several years early.
Unfortunately, most people blindly trust the social narrative. As a result, rather than step back and question their direction, they proceed in an unproductive manner. When things don't work out, rather than admit their chosen path was poor, they blame circumstances.
On the plus side, being so marginalized, I had absolutely no respect for the established order. I knew I was never going to win the game according to other people's rules, so I just followed my heart. It turns out that strategy works really well if commit to it fully and you stick with it long enough.
aka - many, many hours of very hard work
I'm not talking about the more entrepreneurial types or people who feel like trying to take a level of change jobs or start a business of their own is beyond their taste for risk, which are people I could see as part of 'hard work will pay off' not really ringing true.
That sort of condescension is exactly why recent elections have turned out the way they have. Shocking as it may sound, it would seem the public isn't remotely persuaded that their interests are what you say they are.
Check where trump had overwhelming support: it was mostly in areas with lots of unemployment or underemployment. The people there don't want free stuff, they want to work.
I hear this, if you'll forgive me, rather tone-deaf refrain a lot from people who are highly educated. Practically speaking, 1) The older you are, the harder it is to retrain and then restart your career and 2) a lot of people just plain aren't education-oriented in the first place, to put it politely, and won't benefit much from retraining no matter how hard you try.
Education might be a partial solution for future generations but it will do nothing for the people who are suffering right now. And they know it.
1. How are farm subsidies different from welfare payments at worse or at best the Earned Income Tax Credit?
2. How is imposing tariffs so that some people pay more than they would pay based on free market prices not "redistributive"?
3. How can the same people who say "the government doesn't create jobs", jibe with the civilian government forcing weapons and military bases that the military says it doesn't need, but it creates jobs in the US using taxpayer money?
These are the same people who don't like ObamaCare but like the ACA.....
- Bring back the public interest requirements for broadcast licenses to shut down the right wing crazy on the airwaves.
- Restrict ownership of media outlets.
- Require that election districts overlap with contiguous existing geographically defined areas. Assign designation of districts to an independent commission and make it a crime for a political official to interfere with the commission.
Of course a business will replace me if I do badly enough or they stop having enough money to pay me. And if it has an exit my gain from it will be less than the people above me. But those are all rare events. After 20 years I've never been fired or laid off. I've done well and it feels like it makes sense to acknowledge that my efforts have paid off rather than complain about being a victim of an unfair system.
Convincing employees that it will pay off for them is basic marketing 101.
Also, the definition in the article of 'pay off' is vague, but seems to allude that getting into a higher income quantile is the goal. If this is the big 'pay off' Americans are looking for, it's a little sad to me.
So, it is easy to conclude from personal observations and some basic first-order logic that hard work per se doesn't always pay off, to say the least.
However, figuring out things that better correlate with success, filtering out non-actionables (I can't have richer parents), turning the rest into a life strategy and executing it usually requires more advanced reasoning.
I felt the same way. I use to say that I graduated from an unknown state college with a horrible CS degree over 20 years ago (debt free) and within three years, I was making as much as people who graduated from well known schools who had debt. If I could do it, anyone could.
But looking back, I realized that I did have a few advantages. Many of my classmates took jobs working in the defense industry working on mainframes and other not so cutting edge systems. But they came out of college, moved to small towns, making enough to support themselves.
That's not the life I wanted. I was offered a job, based on an internship the prior year as a computer operator in a larger, more expensive metro area, making much less than my classmates, but I knew it was a better long term opportunity. I told my parents my rational for wanting to take the job and I knew I couldn't afford to make the move by myself.
My parents, paid the deposit, the first months rent and sent me money for the first two years to make up the difference until I got a job as a software developer. 20 years later, the rest is history. My parents could afford to do that without blinking. How many of my classmates didn't have that same opportunity?
On a related note, many people get jobs based on unpaid internships. Who can afford to work a summer without pay without parents who are able to help?
My internship happened to be paid and they provided housing, but I was lucky.
A large company for example is an institution that contains resources that is allocated to people who "work hard and believe in the company". The amount allocated is removed from value added, and in some cases, an employee with 0 or negative value is still knowingly paid as it actually supports the legitimacy of the institution. "If you work hard and believe, even if you're useless you'll still be taken care of. "
The American attitude towards hard work is the leftover cargo cult of this type of thinking and it is weakening as examples of rapid non-institutional growth increase.
Another catalyst is that the original boundaries are weakening via technology. From manual copying to printing to the web, rapid information democracy is dragging along physical goods democracy as well. An ephemeral concept is slowly but surely tugging at the physical world.
The issue with this equalizing force is that it is BAD for US citizens. The total output of the world divided amongst people is 30k, which is bad for people inthe US but good for a lot of other countries in the world.
In fact, many executives in the Us are paid very hadsomely for speeding up this equality by offshoring.
Ironically they are also targets for being unfair and hoarding wealth.
So middle class scripts that relied on the existence of institutions are now segfaulting ad the external environment changes. The attachement to these scripts is a huge weakness when it was formerly a strength.
The kneejerk reaction is to go backwards in time, in current news manisfesting as kneejerk isolationism.
People who are unattached to these scripts though (young people mostly) have more freedom. Sometimes they will grow up during a time when new institutions are already in the process of consuming the old ones and can just use script2.0 to be successful until the next environmental shift.
Currently though, the old institutions are dying but the new ones aren't powerful enough. So young people, thoguh they realize the futility of old scripts, don't have a more powerful alternative. Making your own is hard. So they float around in a state of anomy.
Is this actually a problem? I would expect this number to be above 30% at the very least. I'm glad it's below 50. What is the desired number? 40%? Serious question.
If this number was actually 20% that would mean that you would have almost no influence on your child's economic outcomes in life- how could that possibly be?
America lags behind many other countries which do this, and where the earnings of the parents are not such a massive factor in their children's success.
Shouldn't we focus more on making life better for the lowest quintile than moving people into a higher quintile? Someone has to be in the lowest quintile, I'm sorry to say. Literally 20% of people.
Why shouldn't we be focused on both? Obviously more mobility means more people moving down as well as more people moving up. That could be a very good thing if it means that the quintiles are compressed.
Huh? Equal education implies more economic movement. Of course education is not the only factor anyway so claiming movement stops completely as a result of some educational change doesn't make sense.
If just 20% of those at the bottom were already there, it means 80% fell there somehow. Imagine the economic stagnation and nasty social dynamics that would happen if (the perception of) a single mistake or transgression would ruin your life!
But I don't think my original statement is anti-merit. If I teach my five year old to use VI and write C, and she becomes some sort of genius due to the training I have given her, doesn't she therefore have more 'merit'? Certainly being in a higher quintile would make me more likely to teach her those things.
Now, which tends to help society more when it's run by intelligent and well educated or peoples who's grand parents where intelligent and well educated? I would much rather have a CEO that's competent vs. one whose parents knew how to hack Harvard's admissions process. Continuing this line of thinking having a better public education system makes it harder for your child to reach the top X%, but on an absolute scale your child is better off in a well educated society.
Thus, all things being equal, the better influence you have on your child's success the worse off they will likely be.
I thought merit typically meant a person's ambition and skill set, regardless if it comes from nature or nurture.
edit: Merit can't mean 'innate human worth'. If it did, then all humans on earth would have equal merit, and terms like 'merit-based scholarship' and 'meritocracy' would be meaningless.
So we are not going to reach 80% mobility out of a quintile. We can't, without producing some sci-fi dystopia. 66% might be ok, I don't really know. But I think the article's presentation of 66% as a problem without much further elaboration is troublesome. Also, I assume (without looking it up) that the author probably selected mobility out of the bottom 20% instead of 10% or 25% or whatever because it probably produced the best "stats" to bolster the claim that mobility is stagnant in the US.
*We can provide them financial support, but we can't make them do anything.
Of course not, and no one sane thinks we should actively hamper development of upper-class children. The argument is that we can and should do more to provide additional opportunity to lower-class children.
> So we are not going to reach 80% mobility out of a quintile. We can't, without producing some sci-fi dystopia.
I agree we aren't likely to see that.
> But I think the article's presentation of 66% as a problem without much further elaboration is troublesome.
56%, not 66%. And I don't know what the ideal number is, either, but almost half of people born into poverty staying there does seem high to me. I suspect there's a lot more nuance that needs to be captured, too. We'd see 100% "mobility" if we simply swapped the bottom two quintiles, but that wouldn't actually address real mobility.
Which means that the US could be set up so that hard work had a much bigger chance of hard work paying off.
I understand that this measurement of mobility purports to measure something like how meritocratic a society is. But parents teach their children their own habits (consciously and unconsciously), so if your income quintile has any relationship to your behavior, then it's no surprise that income mobility is not perfect. But what's the "right" amount of mobility? Comparisons between countries are a little suspect, because, for instance, the top quintile in income in the US is drastically different than the top quintile in Canada.
The fact is that 20% of your population will always be in every quintile no matter what you do. Every person you send from the bottom quintile to the top will be balanced out by a person falling by the same amount. We should be focusing on making everyone's life better, not shuffling people around.
In 1972 my brother was working as a heavy equipment operator, bulldozers, excavators, etc. Pay was $15 to $18 per hour.
In 2017, typical pay for this same job might be twice as much. However, everything else is multiples higher, from gas, cars, housing whether renting or owning, etc.
that source says the median salary for heavy equipment operator is $60K/year. If we assume 2000 working hours per year, that divides out to $30/hour, so your estimate seems pretty on target.
cost of living numbers based on Consumer Price Index (does not take into account major dislocations in specific sectors like housing though, so this is actually undercounting costs)
1972 avg CPI was about 40. 2016 avg CPI was about 240. the cost of living went up about 6 times.
2x wage increase vs. 6x cost of living increase. yeah, we're feeling the squeeze alright. mind you during this same period GDP
in 1972 the real dollar GDP was 4.8 trillion. in 2016 it was 16 trillion. that's an almost 4x increase in real dollars. in inflation adjusted dollars its even more. 1972 nominal GDP was 1.2 trillion. 2016 nominal GDP was 18.5 trillion. YES THE NATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY WENT UP BY ALMOST 18 TIMES IN THAT PERIOD.
so the nation is approximately 18 times wealthier, by a deeply flawed but widely accepted metric, but wages only went up by 2 times, and cost of living increased by 6 times. Where did all the rest of the money go? Not to the workers, that's for sure.
The money went to "the top 1%", whatever. Where do they keep it? Probably either in a bank, which invests it back into the economy, or in other form of investments. Definitely not under a pillow.
So entering back into the free market economy, the money, pretty much in its entirety, gets distributed into the hands of the millions of "regular people" in form of investment. They buy a McLaren or a mansion? Great, that money goes to the people who make those things.
All in all, because the entire "1%" money is circulating in the economy anyway, what does it matter who it actually belongs to?
What am I missing here?
That's a complex puzzle but the answer is some combination of all of the following: financial assets (this is a big one, stocks and bonds soak up a lot of money), real estate, luxury goods, re-investment, off-shore tax havens, and under a pillow (gold or other commodities that have low utility but high scarcity).
> All in all, because the entire "1%" money is circulating in the economy anyway, what does it matter who it actually belongs to?
this is the theory behind the now discredited and disproved "trickle down economics" theory. the money doesn't really circulate very well, actually. it is far less liquid in the possession of the wealthy than it is in the possession of the working class. wealth stockpiles in the form of longterm held financial assets sucks a huge amount of money out of the economy.
That kind of mentality might not make you wealthy, but it surely won't make you poor.
Not buying on credit would be a more useful example.
But to answer, I don't think it matters much at all. Saving can certainly increase your wealth. It won't do much for your income unless you're already quite wealthy. Earned income is the biggest factor for economic status. If you're poor, your income is low. If you're wealthy, your income is almost certainly quite high.
If you try to live like that in a country with double digit mortage rates, and credit card rates in the ballpark of 30% for people with an established good record, then you are setting yourself for debt servitude regardless of your eventual income.
And none of this is relevant to income inequality, which is what the article was discussing. If your income is $15k/year, you're still in the bottom quintile regardless of how much you save.
You said you wonder about the role of delayed gratification. The answer is that there is no role. If you earn nothing, you're still poor even if you wait to buy stuff. You might be less poor than your neighbor who buys on credit, but you're still poor.
That being said, you can get a perfectly acceptable unlocked Android phone for less than $100.
My bill is simple to calculate -- phone plan + payment plan.
If I bring my own phone, there are no extra fees. If I buy a phone on a payment plan, my bill is my phone plan + (phone cost/24).
IMHO, they also forgot to list an important factor: IQ
The trend, I predict, is that wealth inequality will become almost the same as IQ inequality. IQ is more much important today than a generation ago in influencing individual economic outcomes. 100 years ago in an economy dominated by manual labor, the difference between a 90 IQ and 120 IQ wasn’t that important, but now it is.
When Belsky and colleagues analyzed measures of genetic variation and educational attainment, they found a link: A high polygenic score—an aggregate measure of variation across a person’s genome—predicted not only educational attainment, but other forms of success as well.
But even 'work ethic' may be a function of innate traits. Biology plays a bigger role than many social scientists may want to admit. Biology, especially as it pertains to IQ, is still the 'third rail' of the social sciences.
The solution will probably mean more social safety net spending, but making average Americans feel like they are contributing will be even more difficult. Post-scarcity does not answer the problem of existential fulfillment, changing social values, etc.
I know lots of intelligent people, some of them that do have measured IQs in very high numbers, that are in really crappy situations right now (example: one friend has a small kid, and both he, and his similarly extremely intelligent wife are unemployed and failing to find freelance work, despite their work quality and speed being quite good, both of their parents families are also having economic problems, and are struggling to support the toddler, with the toddler grandparents selling old properties to pay for basic needs).
Also when I was more "immersed" in startup world, having my own startup and meeting lots of other startup owners, opportunity always was the important factor in success, never intelligence or even motivation, I met funded startups with crappy leaders, and similarly met genius stuff with no funding, frequently the funded ones had as advantage the fact they had some personal tie to someone in a VC somewhere (example: founder mother is friend of VC partner, or founder is cousin of VC person, and so on).
And judging by corruption scandals I've been seeing, that are always tied with rich companies (That you conclude that they are rich BECAUSE they are corrupt), I can conclude that the "equality" that is important would be "equality" in social relations. (even when there is someone "poor" that is self-made rich, if you look closely enough that "poor" person had some past connection that was important)
How did they get the kid? Stork dropped it off without inquiring about their financial situation?
1.) IQ measures certain types of symbolic manipulation. This is a very narrow measure.
2.) IQ correlates with cognitive task skill only for the inexperienced. Chess ability correlates with IQ for novice chess players, but by the master level this correlation disappears.
3.) Even being a narrow measure, it is changeable - even over 20 points in a 3-4 year period. An enriched environments and improvement in diet will do wonders.
4.) There is actually some evidence that people who learn more slowly ultimately learn "more deeply". This is paralleled in the behavior of neural networks - a large learning rate tends to lead to poor generalization.
Ultimately, biology is a lot more flexible than most people realize. For example, there is a gene (ACTN3) that influences muscular force production that is considered extremely important for power athletes like sprinters. Yet even at the national level there are still competitive athletes that have no working copies of this gene! It isn't until you get to the Olympic level that everyone has at least one working copy. Beyond this, the NBA dunk competition has been won repeatedly 5'9" Nate Robinson.
Other research additionally had found that in school, you are essentially being "trained" to solve the IQ test. They found this out when applying alternative tests to Aborigines in AUS and Taxi Drivers in NYC(ironically). Taxi drivers and Aborigines were able to ace the "map/geolocation" IQ test where, even if you or I were to not rely on our GPS for most navigation, we would fail miserably. 
 This was a good discussion, but you can find her research all over the net: https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-reconcile-Carol-Dwecks-theor...
 unable to find source at this time. If you're interested let me know and I'll try to keep this thread active.
I know plenty of intelligent people that are stuck somewhere in life because they are socially average or worse. Most project I worked that failed didn't because of technical problems but human ones.
IQ may helps, but it can also get in the way.
You know the drill about money not buying happiness but having not enough is a drag ? Kinda the same with IQ and success really.
We enrolled in the same college at the same time, but his mom died. He dropped out and got a job working at Taco Bell. He's worked there ever since. Just a single acute stressor changed his track and now by all accounts he's stuck. His crappy job keeps him working strange shifts and he can never accumulate anything for savings. When you have like 20$ of disposable income after working 40+ hours a week everything seems out of reach.
Saying IQ is trending towards correlating to earnings feels like an elitist cop-out. I certainly hope they're right for the sake of all my anecdotal life experiences! I've met a lot of foolish people in fantastically lucrative situations and really smart people on the rocks.