I think the reader may find this intro "apropos" to the theme about
WHY PEOPLE FAIL
Why People Are Poor
Thanks Mike O'B...
William John Henry Boetcker (1873–1962) was an American religious leader and influential public speaker.
The Ten Cannots
An outspoken political conservative, Rev. Boetcker is perhaps best remembered for his authorship of a pamphlet entitled The Ten Cannots that emphasizes freedom and responsibility of the individual on himself. Originally published in 1916, it is often misattributed to Abraham Lincoln. The error apparently stems from a leaflet printed in 1942 by a conservative political organization called the Committee for Constitutional Government. The leaflet bore the title "Lincoln on Limitations" and contained some genuine Lincoln quotations on one side and the "Ten Cannots" on the other, with the attributions switched. The genuine Lincoln quotations may have been from an address on March 21, 1864 in which Lincoln said "Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built."  The mistake of crediting Lincoln for "The Ten Cannots" has been repeated many times since, notably by Ronald Reagan in his address to the 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston.
There are several minor variants of the pamphlet in circulation, but the most commonly accepted version appears below:
- You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
- You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
- You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
- You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
- You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
- You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
- You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
- You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
- You cannot build character and courage by destroying men's initiative and independence.
- And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.
Boetcker also spoke of the "Seven National Crimes":
- I don't think.
- I don't know.
- I don't care.
- I am too busy.
- I leave well enough alone.
- I have no time to read and find out.
- I am not interested.
THE DRAGON LADY
Is it because she's onto something?
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Why People Fail
The hysterical responses to Amy "Tiger Mom" Chua's book discussing why some cultures succeed and others fail are revealing. Even though Chua was talking about cultural elements, rather than genetic ones, the accusations of racism are entirely predictable.
Chua's thesis, like most similar arguments, is plausible in some areas and implausible in others. Any explanation that tackles as big a subject as that is bound to have as many hits as misses.
And yet it's undeniable that some cultures succeed where others fail.
The politically correct left has long ago lost the ability to distinguish between culture and race; denouncing everything from criticism of Islam to complaints about gang culture as racist. It treats culture as equivalent to race because it doesn't believe that people are capable of change.
The left views people as static. Culture is equivalent to race for them, because they don't believe that people can change. Or that they should change.
The cast of successful cultures in Chua's book is more than racially diverse enough, but it's the idea that people succeed or fail because of their attitude toward life, rather than because of their privilege or lack of privilege that infuriates the left.
Setting aside the details of her positions, Chua's last two books can be boiled down to the simple fact that people who try harder are more likely to succeed and that is not an argument that the left wants aired in the public square. What was once common sense is now dangerously reactionary.
No one succeeds on their own, Elizabeth Warren and Obama insisted. They succeed only through the grace of state institutions. It's not family or culture that matters. It's the support of the state.
But the support of the state isn't enough for individuals or for businesses. Obama lavishly doled out government money to Green Energy companies only to see them fail. With corporate welfare, as with social welfare, the need for government money is a reliable predictor of failure. Those who cannot succeed on their own, will not succeed through the government.
Government money could not compensate for what was inherently wrong with companies like Solyndra, Fisker or A123. It also can't compensate for what is inherently wrong with individuals and communities that are prone to failure, not because of someone else's privilege, but because they have never learned how to try.
"The first order of business (and creativity) is to try." - says Elon Musk, CEO of SPACE-X and TESLA Motors, inventor of PayPal, interviewed on CNNs Fareed Zakaria Jan. 5, 2014, a full year after SNIPPETS covered Elon Musk in these newsletters.
"Think of things that have not been done before...and if you can't, you haven't tried hard enough."
The left does not want to deal with the question of why some people succeed and others fail since its entire ideological infrastructure is built around the argument of unequal access.
Individuals don't fail, progressives from Obama to Bill de Blasio insist, social institutions fail them.
The New York Times trotted out a young black girl named Dasani living in a dilapidated homeless shelter as its argument that the city had been subdivided between the rich and the poor. Dasani made another appearance at Bill de Blasio's inauguration as a prop for class warfare.
But the city didn't fail a girl whose parents are criminals and junkies and have burned through tens of thousands of dollars. Dasani isn't living on the margins because Mayor Bloomberg or the institutions of the city failed her. On the contrary those institutions have lavished huge amounts of money and resources on her schooling and on every aspect of her life.
If Dasani fails, it's not because the larger society failed her, but because her parents failed her. And the roots of their failure lie in communities where drug use and delinquency have become accepted and commonplace.
The left insists that people are interchangeable. They are not.
It insists that their failures and successes belong to the guiding hand of the state. They do not.
Institutional determinism is why the Great Society measures failed. The progressive response to these failures has been to discover new and more abstract forms of racism culminating in white privilege to explain why the lack of access is holding some groups back.
There is an entire academic industry dedicated to turning out proofs of racism to explain failure and yet there are indisputable studies out there documenting things such as the diminished grade levels and higher crime rates for students from single parent homes on a worldwide scale.
While the left pushes harder for its post-family world of powerful institutions, there are reams of data showing how destructive trading the family for the state is. And there is no group of people that embodies that better than African-Americans whose lives have been taken over by the state.
Black families have fallen apart while state intervention in their lives has dramatically increased. It was a bad bargain and its consequences can be seen in the streets of every major city and the lives of little girls like Dasani who are used as props by activists calling for more welfare from a government that can spend millions of dollars, but can't fix the lack of responsibility of her family members and her community.
And she is not alone.
Welfare not only correlates with social failures, it causes them.
And it doesn't just cause them in our own country.
Third World activists complain that Western aid destroys local capabilities and cripples domestic economies while promoting a culture of corruption and violence. The best evidence of that may be in the world's biggest welfare state in the Palestinian Authority where the locals know how to do little except make demands and threaten to kill everyone if they don't get what they want.
The Jordanian and Egyptian Muslim populations within Israeli territory who act this way bear a lot of the blame for their own miserable behavior, but it was their Western patrons clamoring for them to have a state who have crippled their ability to take responsibility for their own lives.
During the election, Mitt Romney was blasted for suggesting that cultural differences were responsible for the successes of Israelis and the failures of their neighbors. But Romney was right and his critics were wrong. Obama's latest peace process bid is already imploding because it's not a state that the Palestinian Authority wants; but an international welfare state.
Institutional determinism promotes learned helplessness. It teaches people that their failures can only be remedied by blaming someone else. And that can never lead to success. Without individual responsibility, all that's left are institutional subsidies for failure and there are only so many companies that can be bailed out and only so many individuals who can live off the welfare state without the entire economy collapsing past the point where it can subsidize them.
Many of the cultures that Chua lists are refugees with no place to return to. That distrust of government may be a powerful antidote to Hillary Clinton's village of the state.
And all of the cultures on the list are family oriented.
A basic difference between Asian-Americans and African-Americans is that the former are most likely to be married and the latter are least likely to be married. It is why Asian students succeed in the same "bad" urban schools that are supposedly failing the other minority students.
The magic ingredient is a stable family and parental involvement. It is the difference between Dasani and a Chinese girl who is already working toward getting into Stuyvesant High School; that elite city institution of high-performing students that Bill de Blasio wants to "diversify".
It's not that there are institutional barriers of race that exist for one girl, but don't exist for the other. It's that one girl comes from a culture that values success based on long-term planning and short-term sacrifice and the other one doesn't.
Despite the best efforts of the left, Dasani and her family are not typical of African-Americans. If they were the city and the country would be uninhabitable and there would be no black middle class. But it is the mission of the New York Times and the rest of the left to convince their white readers that if not for their social justice campaigns, every black little girl would be a Dasani.
There are black parents who push their children to succeed every bit as hard as Amy Chua does. I have met some of them over the years. The problem is that there aren't nearly as many of them as there were before the wheels of the Great Society began to turn and African-Americans were told that they should accept failure and even welcome it as proof of their persecution.
Culture is just another way of saying that it isn't the state that makes success possible, but the individual and the family.
We are more than the sum of our institutions, we are our parents and our grandparents, we are the things we read and the things we believe, we are the sense of mission that brought our ancestors through thousands of years of trouble and we are their strengths and their weaknesses.
It's not institutions that make our successes possible.
It is our beliefs that make all the difference.
BELOW IS AGB'S CRITIQUE OF THE NY POST ARTICLE SENT THE POST'S EDITOR & Reporter
Jan 5 (7 days ago)
ARE YOU FROM A SUPERIOR CULTURE, NATION OR PEOPLE AND ARE YOU ASHAMED OF IT?
Tiger Mom: Some cultural groups are superior
By Maureen Callahan
January 4, 2014 | 3:17pm
She's doubling down.
Amy Chua, the self-proclaimed "Tiger Mom" who, in 2011, published a book arguing that Chinese women are superior mothers — thus their offspring superior children — has even more to say.
In "The Triple Package," Chua and her husband, co-author Jed Rubenfeld, gather some specious stats and anecdotal evidence to argue that some groups are just superior to others and everyone else is contributing to the downfall of America.
Unsurprisingly, the Chinese Chua and the Jewish Rubenfeld belong to two of the eight groups they deem exceptional. In no seeming order of importance, they are:
- Cuban exiles
These groups — "cultural," mind you, never "ethnic" or "racial" or "religious" — all possess, in the authors' estimation, three qualities that they've identified as guarantors of wealth and power: superiority, insecurity and impulse control.
"That certain groups do much better in America than others — as measured by income, occupational status, test scores and so on — is difficult to talk about," the authors write. "In large part, this is because the topic feels so racially charged."
And so begins their cat-and-mouse polemic, in which they claim they're courageously agitating for a greater good: the revival of America itself as a "Triple Package Culture." It's a series of shock-arguments wrapped in self-help tropes, and it's meant to do what racist arguments do: scare people.
Chua, a law professor at Yale, became a media sensation in 2011, when The Wall Street Journal published an extract from her book "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." She herself is an American, raised in the Midwest, but she used her heritage and all the worst stereotypes of Chinese women — cold, rigid Dragon Ladies, hostile towards their own children — to criticize the Western way of parenting, which she also said would be the downfall of America.
Ed: Indeed, her "heritage" is an illustrious and deep one filled with history, achievement, fantastic cuisine and art. Unlike the aforementioned staff at the Times' bullpen giving opinion to the world's ignorant "scholars" who will quote the Times as news coming from authority. Yup, that's some authority, isn't it? Like the scholar who revived the famed report recently that al Q'aeda had nothing to do with Benghazigate; that it was a riot caused by a Californian anti-Muslim film - after the intel services mined 4000 tweets in Benghazi the day after, and not a single one mentioned the film, California, or the film maker?
Chua made waves with "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother," but she makes even more outrageous claims in her new book.
Chua wrote about calling one of her two daughters "garbage" for being rude, dismissing a homemade birthday card as subpar ("I don't want this — I want another one"), refusing to let her girls watch TV or participate in school plays or have sleepovers, of threatening to give away a beloved dollhouse if her daughter couldn't master a complicated classical composition within days.
Her book really can be reduced to a simple argument: Chinese mothers are better than those of any other race, and these parenting methods are going to result in the West's big fear — the continued rise and ultimate supremacy of China. Chua's book was a best-seller, so it's little surprise she's back with an even more incendiary thesis, one so well timed to deep economic anxiety, to the collective fear that the American middle class is about to disappear, for good, and the misguided belief that immigration reform will result in even less opportunity for Americans than there is now.
She and Rubenfeld stoke those fears. "Although rarely mentioned in media reports," they write, "the studies said to show the demise in upward mobility largely exclude immigrants and their children."
Chua with her husband and co-author Jed Rubenfeld pose with their two daughters.Photo: Peter Z. Mahakian
Yet the authors do not mention whether these immigrants are low-wage workers who have a greater chance at upward mobility, and the Pew study they cite is from 2007 — one year before the global financial collapse, resulting in an American economy that may be structurally altered for decades to come.
All of the groups profiled by Chua and Rubenfeld are done so only as American immigrants, with the exceptions of Mormons and Jews, who are superior to Catholics, Protestants, Buddhists, atheists and Muslims — the latter group, it seems, too controversial to warrant a mention.
On to the distinguishing factors that make these eight groups the best in America:
1. A superiority complex
Any group that collectively believes they are inherently better than any other, say the authors, has an advantage. They do not note that this is perhaps humanity's oldest and ugliest flaw, the bottom-line cause of wars and genocide. In their estimation, it's not nearly common enough in America, where "the Superiority Complex . . . is antithetical to mainstream liberal thinking . . . the stuff of racism, colonialism, imperialism, Nazism." This way of thinking, they write, has been a big boon to Mormons and Jews, though they also fail to note that believing in the superiority of a belief system is the driving force behind almost all organized religion. (Except the Amish. The authors freely note that the Amish are losers for this very reason.)
Here are the authors sounding most like Malcolm Gladwell: Posit something, make a solid case for it, then immediately refute it with equal fervor. The result: Readers are so confused that they can only conclude that this book is so much smarter than they are.
The authors are very impressed with their boldness in juxtaposing insecurity with superiority. "That insecurity should be a critical lever of success is another anathema, flouting the entire orthodoxy of contemporary popular and therapeutic psychology," they write. In fact, insecurity has long been known as a prime motivator among actors, artists, CEOs, despots. "Imposter syndrome," the term used to describe highly successful individuals who believe, deep down, they are frauds, was identified back in 1978.
"Note that there's a deep tension between insecurity and a superiority complex," the authors continue. "It's odd to think of people being simultaneously insecure but also convinced of their divine election or superiority." Really? Just ask anyone who's ever met a narcissist, or read a profile of A-Rod.
Ed: Yup, she is speaking of our president!
3. Impulse Control
Yet another hallmark of self-help, impulse control is considered to be a key factor in personal success — the ability to delay instant gratification in the service of a greater goal. But this isn't really what the authors have in mind: "As we'll use the term," they write, "impulse control refers to the ability to resist temptation, especially the temptation to give up in the face of hardship or quit instead of persevering at a difficult task."
You know who's bad at this? Americans not among their eight groups. "Because all three elements of the Triple Package run so counter to modern American culture, it makes sense that America's successful groups are all outsiders in one way or another," they write. "Paradoxically, in modern America, a group has an edge if it doesn't buy into — or hasn't yet bought into — mainstream, post-1960s, liberal American principles."
As curious as the groups that Chua and Rubenfeld elevate are the absence of ones they denigrate. Aside from the Amish (not big book-buyers), the only other group the authors take aim at are the Appalachian poor, noting, without irony, that "it's far more socially acceptable today to insult and look down on 'white trash' than the poor of any other racial group.'"
Even though he lost the election to Barack Obama, Mitt Romney and his family somehow prove the superiority of Mormons.Photo: Getty Images
Romney lost the election because he is an inferior Mormon, or inferior candidate, so says the reporter, not because a leftwing fat slob of a dyke on the rag on CNN sabotaged his case during a presidential debate in which she was a participant and partisan voice, rather than a moderator?
As for why African-Americans don't make the list, the authors believe that the Civil Rights Movement took away any hope for a superiority narrative, and so the black community is screwed — even as they cite Mitt Romney's loss to Barack Obama as evidence of Mormon ascendancy.
"In this paradoxical sense, equality isn't fair to African-Americans," they write. "Superiority is the one narrative that America has relentlessly denied or ground out of its black population."
Nigerian immigrants, they argue, are bolstered by the belief that they are better than other West Africans — much as the Lebanese believe, as descendants of Phoenicians, that they are superior, or that the Chinese believe that their 5,000-year-old civilization makes them superior. But feeling superior to other nations, races or religions is nothing more than that — a feeling.
The authors have such dubious data
The reporter, who appears to be a recent college grad in her fifties with no life or business experience, determined that "The authors have such dubious data" without supplying her corrected and verifiable data to disprove the first's.
We know what makes for success and Callahan's effort failed to deny that reality while affirming her belief that failure is a virtue.
Chua and her co-author husband Jed Rubenfeld rely on flimsy evidence to make their argument in "The Triple Package."
The real story here — the less controversial one, the more interesting and possibly instructive one — is that historically, immigrant groups tend to experience upward mobility in America until the third generation, and then, for reasons unknown, tend to level off. It's interesting, too, that the authors either dismiss or outright ignore the large swaths of immigrant groups who built up this country — the English, Irish, Italians, Germans, Eastern Europeans. They ignore two very basic explanations for the success of immigrant groups in America: Anyone who leaves their homeland for parts unknown, no matter how desperate, is, by definition, bold; America's uniqueness as a nation founded by immigrants.
Once we were a Triple Package nation, say the authors, but no more. We have been done in by our superiority complex, our poor, Western-style "self-esteem parenting" and lack of impulse control.
The question they finally pose — Should America be a Triple Package country again? Can it? — is followed by a paragraph-long, yes-no-maybe answer that will give you whiplash.
Ed. No whiplash.
"The real promise of a Triple Package America," they conclude, "is the promise of a day when there are no longer any successful groups in the United States — only successful individuals."
Today, the demographic predicted to have the greatest impact economically, politically and culturally, by the year 2042, are Hispanics. Just don't tell the Mormons or the Jews.
America will be what its immigrants bring to the table. And I can predict the future and so can you:
SIESTA, FIESTA, MANYANA.
Clear enough for you pro-illegal immigrant people reading this? And racism has NOTHING to do with it.
I say this: AMERICA WILL BE THE PLACE JUST LIKE WHEREFROM ITS PEOPLE CAME.
Culture is fungible.
AMERICA WILL ADOPT THE VALUES ITS PEOPLE BROUGHT WITH THEM.
For they had developed none other.
THE VALUES THEY WILL INDOCTRINATE INTO YOUR DESCENDANTS.
Because of foolish pride and arrogance and reluctance to learn from the superior cultures.
AMERICA WILL HAVE THE WORK ETHICS OF THE PEOPLE POPULATING IT.
Fiesta, Siesta, Manyana.
THIS TIME WE ARE SPEAKING OF NAIROBI, GUATEMALA, HONDURAS AND MEXICO - YOUR FUTURE AMERICA!
Political Correctness will not replace superior cultures, superior work, superior consistent performance, superior values and work ethic, superior charitable giving and commitment, superior production, superior inventiveness, superior vision, superior talent and superior
BE PROUD OF IT - YOU'VE EARNED IT!
Obama supporters will surely hyperventilate over this well-sourced list of 252 examples:
AT >>>: http://tinyurl.com/kfk3s2g
They get their news and thinking from Bill Maher, Jon Stewart and Steve Colbert, Twitter and FACEBOOK, The Dixie Chicks, Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn, Al Sharpton and Hollywood - the fantasy makers - and for some incomprehensible reason, actually believe what they are told.
The leftwingers will shut you out or will try to shut you down. Their tactics of course won't work the day they awaken to the realities of your predictions, will they?
WHAT IF YOU'RE JUST AVERAGE, COMMON, A LIBERAL, DELUDED AND GENERALLY USELESS?
WHAT IF YOU HAD DONE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING VALUABLE IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE OR FOR HUMANITY IN GENERAL?
WHAT IF YOU HAVE NO POTENTIAL AND WHERE YOU'RE AT IS IT?
THE END OF THE ROAD.?
WELCOME TO YOUR KARMA CAFE WHERE YOU'VE BEEN SERVED WHAT YOU DESERVE.
THE LIBERAL LEFTWINGNUT WILL BELIEVE ANYTHING - INCLUDING THE SECOND SIGN ABOVE - AND CAN'T COME TO GRIPS WITH, OR EXPLAIN TO EACH OTHER THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR THINKING AND VOTING AND WHY THEIR LIVES ARE A MESS!
KARMA? IT IS WHAT IS.
"In disquisitions of every kind there are certain primary truths, or first principles, upon which all subsequent reasoning must depend." --Alexander Hamilton
"In disquisitions of every kind there are certain primary truths, or first principles, upon which all subsequent reasoning must depend." --Alexander Hamilton
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