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      09-17-2012, 01:22 PM   #18
MiddleAgedAl
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Based on what I've seen in my life, I think success (or lack thereof) is a result of several things coming together.

Being smart and working hard helps a LOT, and of course being in the right place at the right time doesnt hurt.
Have a friend who retired at the ripe old age of 43 because he got in with a dot com startup at the right time, they got bought out, and he cashed in his shares for a crazy amount of money. To his credit, he's the first to admit that although his bank account may be twice the size of many of his college buddies, he's not twice as smart as them, nor did he work twice as hard. (none of us were born with silver spoons in our mouths)

BUT, I am also sure he would not try and argue that he benefitted twice as much from the government as they did either.

In fact, nothing that I have EVER seen suggests to me that the government deserves any special credit for this. Yes, they built roads and infrastructure that allowed that dot com to flourish (on the taxpayers dime, of course). And, it goes without saying that those same roads and power lines and infrastructure are available to other dot com startups that failed miserably. And the same teachers taught the ones who did well and the ones who are struggling still.

If the "collective" (government, teachers, however Barry wants to frame it) want to take any special credit for early retirees, then logic dictates that they must also take the blame for failures too. If you didnt succeed on your own, then obviously you didnt fail on your own either. Cant have your cake and eat it too.

Of those two groups of outcomes (rich vs struggling), I wonder which has more members... hmmm... if I was acting on behalf of the collective or the government, seems to me it might make more sense to NOT highlight any cause and effect relationship between the actions of the collective and the success of it's members, otherwise folks might start to notice the lousy rate of return there.