We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Luck or pluck? Well, we all know that we make our own luck...but bad luck is never our fault. I think it's one of those black-and-white pseudo questions, like Nature vs. Nurture. Life is more complicated than that, and everybody has his own definition of success in a free country. And everybody fails, to some degree, in meeting his life goals whatever they may be.
(My life goals happen to be to have a relationship with God, to be honest and honest with myself, to be close with my family and to give them a hand when needed, to read lots of books, to pay my hefty bills, to have some pals I can count on, to have a pleasant and civilized environment to live in, to make some efforts for the things I care about, and to have some good recreation - which includes guns, horses, golf, Scotch whiskey, ceegars, and posting on Maggie's - among other things. That's about it. I am a happy and frequently unhappy product of my culture. Saving the world is above my pay grade narcissism quotient.)
If you understand that prices convey information about supply and demand, and that a wage is a price, then you understand that differences in wages for different kinds of labor convey information about the supply of different kinds of labor relative to demand. Wage inequalities are how people can know what’s a “high-value profession” and what isn’t. It guides our choices about the kinds of skills to seek. We need that guidance because effort isn’t enough. You can work as hard as you like in a low-wage job, and you’ll still be in a low-wage job.
Recalls an earlier post on the topic of luck being a by-product of effort, either physical or mental effort, rather than some random set of circumstances over which we have no control. Wife shared that one with me because I was in dire need of an attitude change. Thank you!
On the subject of wealth being an indicator of success - I have a priest who makes no money, except what is required to live. He is, by pomo measures, not orking at a very “high-value profession”. (Who even encourages their kids to become priests anymore?) By measures of the spirit he is very successful. He heals people through prayer, he inspires people through his homilies, and when I do not feel like making the effort to go to Mass, but I do either because Wife convinces me to or I just do the right thing, his words and the readings that day speak directly to me. That is success with no monetary indicator.
Golfers know that luck is a direct result of hard work and skill. Sure, the weekend hacker will have an occasional lucky bounce out of the woods, but the Woods of the world will have many seemingly luck bounces as a result of hours and hours of practice, practice that develops the skills necessary to get the ball into an area where "lucky" things are more inclined to happen.
Life is similar to a game of five-card draw. We have fate, and we have free will. Fate determines the hand we are dealt; through free will we determine how we will play that hand.
Of course, if you are born with an ace in your hand you can trade in four cards instead of three!
I gave a question to my seniors about what you said:
'Which would you rather have: a) Wealth b) Good health c) Beauty?'
One or two out of 26 picked 'b'. We had some fun talking about it ultimately realizing that 'a' and 'c' meant nothing without 'b'. They were pretty funny rationalizing their choices with - well, if you are beautiful you can make money, or funnier, if you are wealthy and ugly people will still want you. :)
don't forget yoof. yoof is almost a reciprocal of 'wealth' --in that, yoof = potential = possible foocher wealth, and nobody else your age has made any of it yet either --so ya can't be behind da coive yet.
later, after you retar and are thus retard, you can become a stock marquette trader. Then, wif most of yer foocher behind ya, THEN you can be behind the fricken goddam curve
Oh, Meta ... I so agree about "freedom from other people..." My husband and I were talking about our experience in 2001, when Tropical Storm Allison flooded our little house, and we had to move to an apartment for five months while it was being repaired. The thing we missed the most was privacy -- privacy on our own property, the right to do exactly what we wanted to, when we wanted to.
For the past 11 months, while our new storm sewers were being installed, the street repaved and all the accompanying hoo-hah, we pretty much lost that privacy and self-determination in our own house, and oh, how I missed it. There was an 8-day period there when people on our block couldn't take our cars out to go shopping for groceries. The 'street people' said we could walk over other people's lawns to the cross street and get a taxi. Umm -- sure, that'll work, if you don't fall down on uneven ground and you're willing to stand at the corner for half an hour in 95 degree heat while you're waiting for the taxi. We chose to stay home and eat soup until we could get our own car out.
So, yes indeed, having privacy and self-determination makes you feel rich, even if you aren't.
Obviously, BD, you have never shaved with the Wilkinson Sword blade. Speaking of which, wonder why a narrow escape is a "close shave"? Gotta be a connection somewhere. Maybe that 19th century barber running that straight razor over your jugular (gulp).