America and the Value of 'Earned Success'

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from BetheKoolaid. Show BetheKoolaid's posts

    America and the Value of 'Earned Success'

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304749904577385650652966894.html
    ....what set the United States apart from Spain was the difference between earned success and learned helplessness.

    Earned success means defining your future as you see fit and achieving that success on the basis of merit and hard work. It allows you to measure your life's "profit" however you want, be it in money, making beautiful music, or helping people learn English. Earned success is at the root of American exceptionalism.

    The link between earned success and life satisfaction is well established by researchers. The University of Chicago's General Social Survey, for example, reveals that people who say they feel "very successful" or "completely successful" in their work lives are twice as likely to say they are very happy than people who feel "somewhat successful." It doesn't matter if they earn more or less income; the differences persist.

    The opposite of earned success is "learned helplessness," a term coined by Martin Seligman, the eminent psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania. It refers to what happens if rewards and punishments are not tied to merit: People simply give up and stop trying to succeed.

    Learned helplessness was what my wife and I observed then, and still do today, in social-democratic Spain. The recession, rigid labor markets, and excessive welfare spending have pushed unemployment to 24.4%, with youth joblessness over 50%. Nearly half of adults under 35 live with their parents. Unable to earn their success, Spaniards fight to keep unearned government benefits.

    Meanwhile, their collective happiness—already relatively low—has withered. According to the nonprofit World Values Survey, 20% of Spaniards said they were "very happy" about their lives in 1981. This fell to 14% by 2007, even before the economic downturn.

    That trajectory should be a cautionary tale to Americans who are watching the U.S. government careen toward a system that is every bit as socially democratic as Spain's

    Government spending as a percentage of GDP in America is about 36%—roughly the same as in Spain. The Congressional Budget Office tells us it will reach 50% by 2038. The Tax Foundation reports that almost 70% of Americans take more out of the tax system than they pay into it. Meanwhile, politicians foment social division on the basis of income inequality, instead of attempting to improve mobility and opportunity through education reform, pro-growth policies, and an entrepreneur-friendly economy.


    These trends do not mean we are doomed to repeat Spain's unhappy fate. But our system of earned success will not defend itself.

    All surveys show that most Americans still embrace our free enterprise system—today. The crucial test is whether the country is willing to support the hard work and policy reforms that will sustain it.

    The cost of failing this test will be more human than financial. In our hands is the earned success—and thus the happiness—of our children and grandchildren. The stakes in the current policy battles today are not just economic. They are moral.

     
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  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from UserName99. Show UserName99's posts

    Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success'

    Just absurd that anyone thinks america is any sort of meritocracy.

    Children of wealthy people in this country have access to private schools, internships, employment opportunities, and numerous other perks that the average person doesn't have.  I suppose they 'earned it' in your warped mind.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from rockyracoon. Show rockyracoon's posts

    Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success'

    US government spending compared to GDP is about %11 not %36.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from skeeter20. Show skeeter20's posts

    Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success'

    In Response to Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success':
    [QUOTE]US government spending compared to GDP is about %11 not %36.
    Posted by rockyracoon[/QUOTE]


    Wrong.  you can run the numbers here.  Looks like Fed spending only is around 24%.  Much higher when you consider all government spending.

    http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/spending_chart_2000_2010USp_13s1li011mcn_F0f

    you need to stop listening to those marxist professors in school.  they are lying to you.
     
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    Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success'

    The loss of the value of earned success is a signal of the decline.

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”
    Alexis de Tocqueville
     
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    Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success'

    In Response to Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success':
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success' : So should people who worked hard to become wealthy not send their kids to private school? and not use their connections to get their kids foot in the door in regards to a job. Because let's face it. Their kids can get a foot in the door but they have to then work hard to keep the job. You act as if kids of wealth parents don't earn anything.  They still have to earn good grades to stay in the private school. They have to earn good grades to graduate from college. They have to work hard to keep any jobs they get. Furthermore it's bullsh!t to say the "average" person doesn't have access to private schools or internships. I came from lower middle class and was set to go to private school but I changed my mind last second and wanted to go to my town high school because of sports and friends. I have coached kids who are from middle income families who have had internships.  One kids who lived in the projects, his family didn't have a pot to pi55 in. He busted his a55 applying to every scholarship he could get his hands on. He ended up getting enough money to go to Cornell. Might have heard of it...not a bad school... While the "average" kids' road might be a bit bumpier than a wealthy kids' road..it's STILL possible to get the same things in the end. 
    Posted by WhichOnesPink2[/QUOTE]

    Not saying people shouldn't do what's best for their kids, and that its impossible to get yourself out of poverty by hard work......I might argue that getting your 'foot in the door' in many cases is harder than the work required once you are in the door, but thats another discussion.

    I just think many conservatives (like the author of this screed) have a warped sense of reality and usually have their facts exactly backwards.  Most people that receive government assistance are children, or they are people that actually work.  A small segement refuse to work, are fraudsters, drug addicted layabouts, etc.  Lumping all that receive assistance into the latter is insulting.
     
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  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from UserName99. Show UserName99's posts

    Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success'

    In Response to Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success':
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success' : Ok...well you're saying something COMPLETELY different from you original post, but that's ok I guess Having said that...I agree not all who are on assistance are people who refuse to work, are fraudsters, drug addicted layabouts, etc. But you can't deny it's a number that has grown over the decades.  When welfare programs started it was a way for people to get back on their feet, which they did quickly because they were ashamed to be on welfare. Now for many it's a way of life.
    Posted by WhichOnesPink2[/QUOTE]

    Yes...the number has grown, but not because a large % of people feel its a way of life.

    Incidentally, corporate welfare (subsidies) still costs roughly double all social welfare combined.
     
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  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from skeeter20. Show skeeter20's posts

    Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success'

    In Response to Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success':
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success' : So the welfare first goes to a corporation, who takes a piece of the action then it goes to people. If they are a successful company making something consumers want then they shouldn't need welfare
    Posted by airborne-rgr[/QUOTE]

    I'll stipulate corporate welfare, even though it is hooey.  At least with corporations we get some sort of return.  What's the return we get from actual welfare?
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from UserName99. Show UserName99's posts

    Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success'

    In Response to Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success':
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re:  What's the return we get from actual welfare?
    Posted by skeeter20[/QUOTE]


    Fellow Americans not sleeping on the sidewalk and feeding their children catfood.
     
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  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from skeeter20. Show skeeter20's posts

    Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success'

    In Response to Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success':
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success' : Fellow Americans not sleeping on the sidewalk and feeding their children catfood.
    Posted by UserName99[/QUOTE]

    Nice try.

    Having worked with the homeless, let me assure you welfare does not accomplish the elimination of this end.  What does is work.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from skeeter20. Show skeeter20's posts

    Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success'

    In Response to Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success':
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success' : No no no. Don't you get it? That's a good thing for skeeter. How else are the rich supposed to feel rich? How else is a middle class guy supposed to feel middle class?
    Posted by WhatDoYouWantNow[/QUOTE]


    it's the 1%, pushing people out of their homes, onto the sidewalks, feeding them catfood, all because they invested in catfood.

    You progressives are just swell.  you contribute near nothing to charity, and blame those who do contribute for not contributing enough.

    Might people be on the street because they are stupid, lazy, or addicted?  In my 12 years of working with the poor, those are the reasons I see. The few that  get out of that situation apply themselves, vs. applying for welfare.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success'

    The lie here is that the same opportunities are available to everyone regardless of wealth, social status, race, gender, etc.  It just ain't so.

    But I think there's an important distinction between actual handouts and broadening the scope of the opportunities we DO have to be as inclusive and need-blind as possible.

    There are indeed a lot of common-sense, non-partisan ideas that can accomplish this.  Some deserve public investment; some don't; others require a public-private partnership to fully realize their potential.
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from skeeter20. Show skeeter20's posts

    Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success'

    In Response to Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success':
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success' : Apart from contributing money to charity, and well, my entire f**king career....     I guess nothing else, no.
    Posted by WhatDoYouWantNow[/QUOTE]

    Your entire career?  You get paid, don't you?  Or are you a nun?
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from skeeter20. Show skeeter20's posts

    Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success'

    In Response to Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success':
    [QUOTE]The lie here is that the same opportunities are available to everyone regardless of wealth, social status, race, gender, etc.  It just ain't so. But I think there's an important distinction between actual handouts and broadening the scope of the opportunities we DO have to be as inclusive and need-blind as possible. There are indeed a lot of common-sense, non-partisan ideas that can accomplish this.  Some deserve public investment; some don't; others require a public-private partnership to fully realize their potential.
    Posted by MattyScornD[/QUOTE]

    Yep.  Amen.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from kelldog1. Show kelldog1's posts

    Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success'

    In Response to America and the Value of 'Earned Success':
    [QUOTE]http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304749904577385650652966894.html ....what set the United States apart from Spain was the difference between earned success and learned helplessness. Earned success means defining your future as you see fit and achieving that success on the basis of merit and hard work. It allows you to measure your life's "profit" however you want, be it in money, making beautiful music, or helping people learn English. Earned success is at the root of American exceptionalism. The link between earned success and life satisfaction is well established by researchers. The University of Chicago's General Social Survey, for example, reveals that people who say they feel "very successful" or "completely successful" in their work lives are twice as likely to say they are very happy than people who feel "somewhat successful." It doesn't matter if they earn more or less income; the differences persist. The opposite of earned success is "learned helplessness," a term coined by Martin Seligman, the eminent psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania. It refers to what happens if rewards and punishments are not tied to merit: People simply give up and stop trying to succeed. Learned helplessness was what my wife and I observed then, and still do today, in social-democratic Spain. The recession, rigid labor markets, and excessive welfare spending have pushed unemployment to 24.4%, with youth joblessness over 50%. Nearly half of adults under 35 live with their parents. Unable to earn their success, Spaniards fight to keep unearned government benefits. Meanwhile, their collective happiness—already relatively low—has withered. According to the nonprofit World Values Survey, 20% of Spaniards said they were "very happy" about their lives in 1981. This fell to 14% by 2007, even before the economic downturn. That trajectory should be a cautionary tale to Americans who are watching the U.S. government careen toward a system that is every bit as socially democratic as Spain's Government spending as a percentage of GDP in America is about 36%—roughly the same as in Spain. The Congressional Budget Office tells us it will reach 50% by 2038. The Tax Foundation reports that almost 70% of Americans take more out of the tax system than they pay into it. Meanwhile, politicians foment social division on the basis of income inequality, instead of attempting to improve mobility and opportunity through education reform, pro-growth policies, and an entrepreneur-friendly economy. These trends do not mean we are doomed to repeat Spain's unhappy fate. But our system of earned success will not defend itself. All surveys show that most Americans still embrace our free enterprise system—today. The crucial test is whether the country is willing to support the hard work and policy reforms that will sustain it. The cost of failing this test will be more human than financial. In our hands is the earned success—and thus the happiness—of our children and grandchildren. The stakes in the current policy battles today are not just economic. They are moral.
    Posted by BetheKoolaid[/QUOTE]
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      YOU ARE QUITE OBVIOUSLY NAIVE....OBVIOUSLY NEVER BEEN EXPOSED TO  " THE CORPORATE CULTURE OF AMERICA"......

    MERITOCRACY IS A MYTH! 


     THE MORAL LESSON SHOULD BE FLASHING IN NEON!!!

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from BetheKoolaid. Show BetheKoolaid's posts

    Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success'

    "The lie here is that the same opportunities are available to everyone regardless of wealth, social status, race, gender, etc.  It just ain't so."

    The sad thing is, this is what is taught to kids today. especially minority kids. They are told they cant achieve, the fix is in, and they must rely on the  Government.    
    They are given excuses to fail. Yet thank God, many dont listen, and work hard to achieve a goal. And are prideful and self reliant...

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success'

    In Response to Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success':
    [QUOTE]"The lie here is that the same opportunities are available to everyone regardless of wealth, social status, race, gender, etc.  It just ain't so." The sad thing is, this is what is taught to kids today. especially minority kids. They are told they cant achieve, the fix is in, and they must rely on the  Government.     They are given excuses to fail. Yet thank God, many dont listen, and work hard to achieve a goal. And are prideful and self reliant...
    Posted by BetheKoolaid[/QUOTE]

    Bulls**t.

    They are taught that they have to work twice as hard, be twice as lawful, twice as open-minded, etc., because the status quo has been stacked against them for so long and that institutional racism and sexism are as much a factor in their success as it is a deterrent.

    Your BS whitewashing textbooks aren't exactly helpful, either, when it sells a lie about what America is, the mistakes it's made and the blood it's spilled.

    Your bogus social crusades against non-christians or non-heteros demonstrate quite well that there are elements of American society determined to segregate themselves as the "real americans"...that lots of guns are the way to resolve disputes.

    Your rank obstructionism and xenophobia against the first bi-racial president has taught them a lot though...taught them that the GOP doesn't give a rat's a&& about compromise and building bridges and solving problems.  They just care about themselves.  Some lesson.
     
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from skeeter20. Show skeeter20's posts

    Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success'

    In Response to Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success':
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success' : Ever heard of "opportunity cost"? Of course not. That would have required you to take economics. Which would have shown you that supply side is stupid bullsh!t.
    Posted by WhatDoYouWantNow[/QUOTE]

    Right.  If you were untethered from your need to earn a living lawyering for the unions, you could be a billionaire.  Crikey.

    You really think you are God's - scratch that- Gaia's gift to humandkind.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from skeeter20. Show skeeter20's posts

    Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success'

    In Response to Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success':
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: America and the Value of 'Earned Success' : Bulls**t. They are taught that they have to work twice as hard, be twice as lawful, twice as open-minded, etc., because the status quo has been stacked against them for so long and that institutional racism and sexism are as much a factor in their success as it is a deterrent. Your BS whitewashing textbooks aren't exactly helpful, either, when it sells a lie about what America is, the mistakes it's made and the blood it's spilled. Your bogus social crusades against non-christians or non-heteros demonstrate quite well that there are elements of American society determined to segregate themselves as the "real americans"...that lots of guns are the way to resolve disputes. Your rank obstructionism and xenophobia against the first bi-racial president has taught them a lot though...taught them that the GOP doesn't give a rat's a&& about compromise and building bridges and solving problems.  They just care about themselves.  Some lesson.  
    Posted by MattyScornD[/QUOTE]

    Way to build a permanent underclass:  tell them it's too hard to take care of yourself, too hard to make something of yourself.  "the man" is holding you down.  Crikey.

    This is a liberal myth that life is stacked against people.  Look at Obama.  Look at Bill Clinton.  Look at Deval Patrick.  All dealt the bad cards, all successful.

    You liberals focus on all the reasons why NOT, instead of focusing on, watch this now, HOW?

    Kids:  don't listen to these idiots.  Make your own way in life.
     
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