Dreams are for the wealthy

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.

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.

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
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.
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.
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.
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.

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/

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.
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.

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.

You just made yourself less clear.

No Lausten, you’re not listening. Mac’s last paragraph is perfectly clear. given the circumstances anyone with the internal drive to improve their lives will find a way. This society isn’t totally stratified and we don’t have a caste system here. That’s why unions were able to take hold and force the government to make changes, because someone stepped up and formed them, e.g. Samuel Gompers. There weren’t just sucessful business leaders, there were also sucessful reformers who rose to the occasion, hence no child labor, no more unsafe working conditions, higher wages, safer food supplies. if you study history as you say you do then you already know the sacrifices these reformers and their followers took to improve the lives of the blue collar worker and made it easier to achieve the American dream, whatever that is. But the bottom line is to take action on an issue, not merely complain. Whining will get you attention, but nothing else.
Cap’t Jack

I just read this article by Bill Moyers in Mother Jones on the shredding of the social contract. He includes both positions in an earlier interview with Justice Brennan. I believe Moyers’ contention that the middle class had better wake up soon:
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/12/fragile-democracy-plutocracy-dark-money-class-brennan
Cap’t Jack

cuthbertj and lausten the two of you must work for the government or you are on gov. assistance because you sound pathetic. 'oh it is so hard now. Those people back then they could get rich easy without work…and now I will have to work harder than anyone else to get rich…poor me…i might as well just give up.
That whiny crap makes me sick.
Where is your drive? Where is your backbone? This is what socialism breeds…blaming other people for your misfortune. Fight harder. That is called survival. Listen to what macgyver was trying to tell you…people are working hard to become rich right now…how ? They don’t all have connections…most of them are smarter and/or have more drive and tenacity…despite the discomfort or danger or pain or suffering they dont give up or give in. That is the the only sure way to succeed.
This is not a college course
this is life

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/
I finally had a chance to read this. What an idiotic article. I think virtually anyone would have to agree that success is the result of endogenous skills ( intelligence, charm, aggressiveness etc), Acquired skills (training, knowledge etc) , perseverance, opportunity ( call it luck if you like - having the right parents, going to the right school, being in the right place at the right time), and the willingness to take risk. This author with no evidence to back him up dismisses everything except luck and greed (aggressiveness) simply because it fits his view of the world. His arguments to support his position are incredibly weak.
cuthbertj and lausten the two of you must work for the government or you are on gov. assistance because you sound pathetic. 'oh it is so hard now. Those people back then they could get rich easy without work....and now I will have to work harder than anyone else to get rich....poor me....i might as well just give up. That whiny crap makes me sick. Where is your drive? Where is your backbone? This is what socialism breeds.....blaming other people for your misfortune. Fight harder. That is called survival. Listen to what macgyver was trying to tell you.....people are working hard to become rich right now....how ? They don't all have connections....most of them are smarter and/or have more drive and tenacity....despite the discomfort or danger or pain or suffering they dont give up or give in. That is the the only sure way to succeed. This is not a college course this is life
J&J fined $2b for bribing doctors into giving elderly, disabled, and infants drugs they knew didn't work as expected. That's what capitalism breeds. All the things in your post are make believe and a bunch of platitudes - I'd say the brainwashing has succeeded on you. How about this: Your family can't afford college, they can barely afford a car and food. Your mother is sick and needs monthly medicine, which makes your pitiful fast food pay seem like nothing. Ok go. Tell me how that person, in this the so-called greatest country in the world, can live the american dream just by hard work? Let's even say they somehow manage to get an associates degree in something. There will be 50 other people vying for that same job. Go ahead, tell me how this person will live the Amercian dream? (BTW - I make 6 figures, have opened more than one of my own businesses, and am personally not doing too bad. Even with that, I and others in similar situations are struggling to get our kids through college yet alone having big dreams for myself.)
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.In the 50's it was possible for someone in your type of job to have a nice house, a couple cars, take yearly vacations AND send all their kids to good colleges, thus advancing the kids, the family, and society in general. (Oh and the wife usually didn't have to work.) Nowadays it's the exact opposite. It takes two fulls incomes to just barely have a liveable house, the 2 cars it takes to have two jobs, vacations have turned into "staycations" and going to a good university puts the kids and parents into massive debt, stifling the kids, family, and taking away from their ability to give to society (since most earnings go to debt). The cost of tuition have skyrocketed, incomes have gone nowhere, the cost of everything is way higher relatively speaking. These are facts, not opinion. So tell us, as a young adult, what's your dream?

cuthbertj - This started out about dreams…then you make it sound like everyone DESERVES to have all the goods ( house, cars, yearly vacations, colleged kids ).
Every one does not get to ride in first class. Some get there due to ma+pa, some because of equal opportunity legislation and some by intellect and sweat. It sounds to me like you are already living the dream…do you want more?

Is it me or is anyone else getting sick and tired of all these commercials that tell us to "reach for your dreams"? I have a mortgage, two car payments, and kids to get through college. How do I go for my dreams? What about kids whose parents can't afford college or don't have good enough credit scores to take out loans? You can't get a crappy job without a degree these days yet alone a good one.
The educational system has turned into a racket since the G. I. Bill. What percentage of the population had college degrees before World War II? But it is rather funny that I can't find educators much interested in a National Recommended Reading List. You must not let kids get the idea that they might be able to learn a lot without teachers. Teach Yourself Electricity and Electronics (2006) by Stan Gibilisco http://www.electronics-tutorials.com/book-reviews/teach-yourself-electricity-and-electronics.htm The Art of Electronics (1989) by Horowitz and Hill http://books.sharedaa.com/2010/01/the-art-of-electronics-horowitz-hill.html EveryCircuit by Igor Vytyaz https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.everycircuit&hl=en xPiano by cyandroid https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cyandroid.piano&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImNvbS5jeWFuZHJvaWQucGlhbm8iXQ.. I wish I could have had stuff like that in 7th grade. But I wonder if college will become technologically obsolete for most subjects within a few decades. I think it is just a tradition that too many people have a vested economic interest in keeping. I learned programming in FORTRAN with punched cards. I could write and test more code on a tablet in a week than I did in three months back then. Are our schools now figuring out better ways to waste kids' time? I wonder what the economy would be like if double-entry accounting had been mandatory since 1960. I don't even know if my high school had the course. It was never mentioned to me. Like comparing Romeo and Juliet to West Side Story was more useful. What are 10 year olds supposed to dream when they listen to adults argue about global warming on TV? Does it occur to them that the people they are watching will be dead in 30 years? Who will the warming dump on then if it happens? psik

Don’t worry psik…you will be freezing your ass off in 30 years…