05/21/2005: “Luck be a Lady Tonight…”
In yet another take on all this interesting political economy debate, here’s one from Matt Miller (A senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and author of "The 2 Percent Solution") writing this Op-Ed piece for the NY Times: Taking Luck Seriously:
”Test your political philosophy with one simple question: which matters most in determining where people end up in life?
You've got two choices. The first is "luck" - by which I mean the pre-birth lottery, that inherited package of wealth, health, genes, looks, brains, talents and family. "Luck" is all those gifts or curses for which we can neither take credit nor be blamed.
Choice No. 2 is individual effort, hard work and personal character.
Obviously this is a false choice; every life is a blend of both. We're born with certain endowments, and make the most of them (or don't) based on personal traits. But if you had to say which one matters most in shaping where people end up, how many of you would join me in answering "luck"?
In a poll I commissioned a few years ago, people who call themselves liberals or Democrats overwhelmingly said luck; most conservatives or Republicans said individual effort.
But if you're hoping to shake up today's gridlocked politics, what's interesting is that independent voters - now the nation's biggest bloc - viewed luck the way Democrats do.
Luck isn't a bad proxy for what the current Times series labels "class." It's a theme U.S. politics conspicuously avoids. Yet if we approached it right - if we took luck seriously - we'd be on the way to the commonsense consensus needed to make progress on our fixable injustices….”
Give this read at the link above to follow this analysis of our “Lucky Economy.”
Karen on 05.21.05 @ 06:10 AM CST