Someone bounced me the schematic below. I have no idea of its origin so cannot quote its source or even begin to consider its veracity. However, it does contain some points worth commenting on.
This is a fairly blunt form of analysis and it does seem to simply look at the extremity of views for each loosely defined group. What you see is a polarization of opinion, there is very little nuance involved. But we can work with that. My initial impression was that this sort of schematic is designed to conform to the politics of envy. Particularly by highlighting that the poor (however they are defined) view success as something that is acquired through immoral or lucky means. By extension those who are successful have somehow acquired their success by borderline criminal activity. I have certainly run into this view.
However, just as the poor appear to ascribe success to negative traits in others the successful believe their success to be a result of positive traits they see in themselves. Most obviously they underestimate the role of luck. Luck is an intriguing thing because when you are the recipient of it you assume that it is simply part of the natural order. For example, in terms of luck I won the lottery. I was born in a time of the greatest economic expansion in history, I was born white, male and had a private school education. In Australia you dont get much luckier than that.
Implicit within this is the value of education and if you doubt the value of education consider the simple fact that some 75% of Australia rich 200 as nominated by BRW hold tertiary degrees. And the number of STEM degrees held by the successful will only increase simply because the way wealth is generated is changing. Education is highly correlated with a vast array of life outcomes from the amount of money you make during your life to how long you live. If you can get a good education the better off you will be in all aspects of your life.
I agree it is then up to people to make something of it and I regularly get my old schools magazine and it contains a where are they now section. When I look through this part of the magazine I am constantly amazed at the number of parents who probably hundreds of thousands of dollars on the child’s education to have them do nothing with it. There is nothing quite like a 40 year still living at home with his parents that spells success.
This raises the question of the value of the above diagram since any form of self reporting is flawed. If I am successful it is natural that I will ascribe my success entirely to me and not some random aggregation of initial conditions. I am going to view myself as an heroic individual who constantly triumphs over adversity and I will view those who do not as being deeply flawed. If I was poor I might look at the success of others and believe it was the result of factors that I dont have access to and in part that is probably right since my view is that successful people grossly underestimate the role of luck in their lives.
However, the truth is probably like most things somewhere in the middle and eventually with a level playing field (which there will probably never be) it comes down to the individual. In part this is why I like trading, it is a reflection of who you truly are, not what your circumstances have made. The market has no ide where you are from, what your social status is, your colour, your religion or your sex. It merely knows whether you have the attributes of a good trader or you dont.