General / Off-Topic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is Burning

Remember guys, I'm talking equal opportunity, NOT equal outcome.
So are we.

It's quite evident (indisputable correlation backed by sound causation) that opportunity is not equal, that it's heavily influenced by the circumstances one is born into or otherwise beyond one's control.

If you weren't born into it you have to fight for it.
Many of these people lose, and not for lack of trying.

Moral is that the opportunity is there, but relatively few people will show the same discipline to take advantage of it.
It's a nice egalitarian fantasy, but the good fortune of you and your brother are exceptions, not the rule.

Surely, many people do squander opportunities to better their situations, but to assume that this is true of all, or even the majority, of those who haven't been able to duplicate your success is hubris.
 
I'm at work so don't have time to parse the provided link, but I can tell you that here in America any healthy person who is stagnating is doing so as a consequence of their own choices and designs. The "disadvantaged poor person who can never get ahead no matter how hard they work" is no more real than the Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus. People stay poor for the most part because they are lazy, undisciplined and take no risks.

There is equal opportunity for all here in the USA, just not equal outcome.

@Morbad, don't have to read your post closely, sorry. I will later.

@lysan, I'd say thats kind of low for a master stonemason. A good residential roofer can make 80-100k annually (I pay that to several subs, and I'm not the highest by any mean) just reroofing asphalt shingles, so I'd have to think someone with stone skill would command a higher income.
could easily make 80.000 USD a year
i was being cousius, but yeah, 100-150K per year if you got the right skills and business connections.
i got guys working for me that pull 14 hours per shift on projects, they make a ton of money that's for sure.
 
So are we.

It's quite evident (indisputable correlation backed by sound causation) that opportunity is not equal, that it's heavily influenced by the circumstances one is born into or otherwise beyond one's control.



Many of these people lose, and not for lack of trying.



It's a nice egalitarian fantasy, but the good fortune of you and your brother are exceptions, not the rule.

Surely, many people do squander opportunities to better their situations, but to assume that this is true of all, or even the majority, of those who haven't been able to duplicate your success is hubris.
I don't agree with you on any of that, Morbad. With one breath after the other you show again and again your lack of understanding concerning the difference between equal opportunity and equal outcome, which no doubt explains your socialistic leanings. That last bit about "my good fortune" implying mine or my brother's businesses are a matter of luck is particularly funny, and the part about "duplicating my success" is a strawman of the purest ray serene. The contention I've argued against is that social and economic mobility are static due to unseen forces that cannot be surmounted. You believe it's luck, and that's fine. Incorrect, but fine. In America, man is in charge of his own destiny.
 
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Moral is that the opportunity is there, but relatively few people will show the same discipline to take advantage of it.
can't argue with that.

I think you hit something there, there is a qualitative difference between those to whom survival means sitting on the couch waiting for a benefits cheque and those for whom it means going out and finding something, anything remotely edible.
i always say, you need a little suffering in your life, but not too much to spoil you.

i guess the same applies to comfort.
 
I don't agree with you on any of that, Morbad. With one breath after the other you show again and again your lack of understanding concerning the difference between equal opportunity and equal outcome, which no doubt explains your socialistic leanings. That last bit about "my good fortune" implying mine or my brother's businesses are a matter of luck is particularly funny, and the part about "duplicating my success" is a strawman of the purest ray serene. The contention I've argued against is that social and economic mobility are static due to unseen forces that cannot be surmounted. You believe it's luck, and that's fine. Incorrect, but fine. In America, man is in charge of his own destiny.
no, really. you just spoiled everything :D
 
I don't agree with you on any of that, Morbad. With one breath after the other you show again and again your lack of understanding concerning the difference between equal opportunity and equal outcome, which no doubt explains your socialistic leanings. That last bit about "my good fortune" implying mine or my brother's businesses are a matter of luck is particularly funny, and the part about "duplicating my success" is a strawman of the purest ray serene. The contention I've argued against is that social and economic mobility are static due to unseen forces that cannot be surmounted. You believe it's luck, and that's fine. Incorrect, but fine. In America, man is in charge of his own destiny.
if you want to go to extremes, when we talk about equal opportunity we're talking about that guy in his twenties nowbody knows f about who gets comissioned for studies in whatever public department for triple the salary of your stonemasons, just because he's from the breed currently elected. you might get from poor to rich in a lifetime, but you will never be in that comission. and guess what, that comission's result might some day be determinant about, say, hydric resource planing in your neighborhood in which you will have no say, not even being american. know why? because you weren't born rich.

i could go on but somehow i think i shouldn't.
 
With one breath after the other you show again and again your lack of understanding concerning the difference between equal opportunity and equal outcome which no doubt explains your socialistic leanings.
Obviously not a conclusion I agree with.

That last bit about "my good fortune" implying mine or my brother's businesses are a matter of luck is particularly funny, and the part about "duplicating my success" is a strawman of the purest ray serene.
There are almost certainly a thousand ways you could have failed, doing precisely what you have done. You're fortunate, on a number of levels.

The contention I've argued against is that social and economic mobility are static due to unseen forces that cannot be surmounted.
Then no one has attempted to argue for what you're arguing against.

However, it's far cry from non-static to wholly self-determined and it's a demonstrable fact that where and who one comes from skews the odds quite heavily. Insurmountable these forces are not, but neither are they insignificant.

In America, man is in charge of his own destiny.
That's the big swindle they try to sell you on. A few winners here and there keeps the rest playing.
 
if you want to go to extremes, when we talk about equal opportunity we're talking about that guy in his twenties nowbody knows f about who gets comissioned for studies in whatever public department for triple the salary of your stonemasons, just because he's from the breed currently elected. you might get from poor to rich in a lifetime, but you will never be in that comission. and guess what, that comission's result might some day be determinant about, say, hydric resource planing in your neighborhood in which you will have no say, not even being american. know why? because you weren't born rich.

i could go on but somehow i think i shouldn't.
Well, I certainly don't disagree that being born into a privileged class/caste or inheriting wealth doesn't open doors for you, or make it easier. But the point I think you're missing (and so are a few others) is that I employ a bunch of tradesmen in similar fields who I pay that well, so obviously I was able to climb much higher then that personally speaking. And that's just the field I chose starting from zero about ten years ago knowing very little about the construction industry and having moved to an area with no family, friends or contacts at all to smooth my way. Mind you, this is after another business I ran for about fifteen years utterly dive bombed leaving me in financial ruination. When I started the company, it was either roll the dice on a new venture or declare bankruptcy. So, to say "less than ideal" circumstances to start a business would be a big understatement.

You may or may not find the fact that right before I started the new business after having just read Ayn Rand's incomparable The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.

Edit: Morbad...okay man. I'm not trying to persuade you, or really anybody else participating in this thread. One of these days one of those "winners" you cited is going to read my words here or elsewhere and it's going to resonate right down in his DNA and he's going to go out into the world to make his own destiny. Because all we're really talking about here is if a person is going to sit on the bench and hope a system will be put in place that siphons off the efforts of people such as myself, or if they're instead going to stand up, take a chance and seek their fortunes on their own merit instead of hoping to steal it from someone else. At the end of the day it doesn't make me any difference what you decide to do.
 
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I suspect the failure of the previous business was more influential.
Catastrophic failure just prior to the start of a successful enterprise is common amongst the self made millionaires.
 
14?? I wish i could clock it at that, sometimes it's just eat and work and a little bit of sleep when times are busy.
I should chill more!
I don't like people work more than that, if you work more for a longer time period you don't get time enough to rest.
And I don't want people dropping down from scaffolds or do stupid things because they are tired, that is not good business.
 
Well, I certainly don't disagree that being born into a privileged class/caste or inheriting wealth doesn't open doors for you, or make it easier.
that's the whole point: try to make it fairer. of course there will be disagreement, both about goals and means.

also, the context is future. there is no reason to assume our way of life is sustainable in 10, 20 years time. there are worrying pointers that it won't. you might not believe in worst case scenarios, and you might be repulsed by the idea of basic income but it might become the last minute resort to avoid a world scale riot an genocide. the hard data is that inequality is increasing and there is the common notion that there is a limit in what the system can endure. make your bets.

food for thought: suppose for a moment you died 11 years ago. thargoids, accident, overdose, whatever :D most fortunately you didn't, but just hang on for a second: as per your words you wouldn't have made it, statistically you would be a failure (?) despite all your efforts. not only you would be a testament arguing exactly the opposite, but what a bad roll of dice, huh? that's what many people get.
 
that's the whole point: try to make it fairer. of course there will be disagreement, both about goals and means.

also, the context is future. there is no reason to assume our way of life is sustainable in 10, 20 years time. there are worrying pointers that it won't. you might not believe in worst case scenarios, and you might be repulsed by the idea of basic income but it might become the last minute resort to avoid a world scale riot an genocide. the hard data is that inequality is increasing and there is the common notion that there is a limit in what the system can endure. make your bets.

food for thought: suppose for a moment you died 11 years ago. thargoids, accident, overdose, whatever :D most fortunately you didn't, but just hang on for a second: as per your words you wouldn't have made it, statistically you would be a failure (?) despite all your efforts. not only you would be a testament arguing exactly the opposite, but what a bad roll of dice, huh? that's what many people get.
Acting like it's all down to luck is simply not true. Some of it is, but the harder a person works, the smarter and more disciplined they are, the luckier they tend to be. I'll take a system that allows me to fail hard, succeed big time or end up somewhere in between over one that makes sure that I have "just enough." That sounds like a hell on Earth to me, to be perfectly blunt. I'll risk failure by dint of my own industry or lack thereof every time.
 
Acting like it's all down to luck is simply not true. Some of it is, but the harder a person works, the smarter and more disciplined they are, the luckier they tend to be. I'll take a system that allows me to fail hard, succeed big time or end up somewhere in between over one that makes sure that I have "just enough." That sounds like a hell on Earth to me, to be perfectly blunt. I'll risk failure by dint of my own industry or lack thereof every time.
this is all good but this is attitude. as such, i applaud it, as a personal stance. as a method of organizing society ... i don't see it working except in a predatory context. well, that's what we still are in the end :D
 
Because all we're really talking about here is if a person is going to sit on the bench and hope a system will be put in place that siphons off the efforts of people such as myself
I certainly wasn't talking about anything of the sort. I'm more against the idea of forced wealth redistribution than you are. I don't even believe in taxation (the ultimate form of forcible redistribution).

Your efforts are already being siphoned off, it's just not those less fortunate than you that are the cause, or the beneficiaries.

over one that makes sure that I have "just enough."
I'm not sure who here is advocating such a system.

Acknowledging that the deck is stacked isn't the same as advocating the pot be evenly divided among players.
 
Acting like it's all down to luck is simply not true. Some of it is, but the harder a person works, the smarter and more disciplined they are, the luckier they tend to be. I'll take a system that allows me to fail hard, succeed big time or end up somewhere in between over one that makes sure that I have "just enough." That sounds like a hell on Earth to me, to be perfectly blunt. I'll risk failure by dint of my own industry or lack thereof every time.
The world is full of millions of people that have tried to educate themselves, worked hard, all of their lives and then died, with little to their names and even less to leave their offspring; due to the tax man etc.. Luck is the biggest factor, to success in this world. Well, there is always being a criminal, of one kind or another. Luck starting with where you are born, who raises you, the education you are offered, the contacts you make and the breaks you get. Yes each of us can think hard and work hard; but that is absolutely no guarantee of success. Plus: One mistake before you reach your 20s, can kill any real opportunities, for the rest of your future.
 
The world is full of millions of people that have tried to educate themselves, worked hard, all of their lives and then died, with little to their names and even less to leave their offspring; due to the tax man etc.. Luck is the biggest factor, to success in this world. Well, there is always being a criminal, of one kind or another. Luck starting with where you are born, who raises you, the education you are offered, the contacts you make and the breaks you get. Yes each of us can think hard and work hard; but that is absolutely no guarantee of success. Plus: One mistake before you reach your 20s, can kill any real opportunities, for the rest of your future.
Sure, and most of them could have tried something different, chosen a different path. To say that they were stuck where they were at is for the vast majority of them simply not true. I don't personally know a single "disadvantaged" or "poor" person who hasn't unwittingly been the architect of their own undoing. The bottom line is that what is being espoused by a number of you is a severe disinclination to take personal responsibility for your own decisions--opportunities exist, they are plentiful, a path straight to the top is there, it's just few people have what it takes to make the journey. And I never said it was just hard work and education; many times have I pointed out discipline, creative thinking and risk taking are also equally important factors. Not everybody who has these qualities rises to the top, or even part way, but plenty of them do, so to act like it's some kind of myth is just silly. One thing is for sure, if you don't try then you certainly won't improve your situation. The only myth is of the hard working poor person. There's the made up story.
 
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