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Mon Jan 25, 2016, 02:57 PM

Explain This To Me Like I'm A Complete Idiot, Part 16: "Exceptional", just like everyone else?

Real quick:

Conservatives have two philosophies when it comes to economic success:

"Not all men are created equal, despite what the Declaration of Independence tells you."

"Anyone can pull themselves up by their bootstraps, learn to take risks and succeed on their own!"


OK. So, what's the message here?

"Most of you are going to be cogs while a few of you are going to be exceptionally successful. But if you fail at being a cog (or, more likely, your role as a cog has been forcibly removed), then the solution is to be individually exceptional, good luck."??

In one breath, they're telling me that someone like Carly Fiorina is more worthy than thou and we suck; but, despite the fact that we suck, the solution is for us to be innovative risk takers (like Carly, lolz), which apparently requires special vaguely-stated skills and mysterious intangibles to see through?

Gee, thanks. I never thought of that before.

If "anyone can be successful", how's come so few people are? Does it revolve around traits that the successful know of and for us to never find out about?

And if wealthy conservatives truly wanted everyone to be successful, then how would that square with statement number one? How would that phenomena make them "exceptional"?

Explain this to me like I'm a complete idiot because I don't get it.

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Explain This To Me Like I'm A Complete Idiot, Part 16: "Exceptional", just like everyone else? (Original post)
HughBeaumont Jan 2016 OP
Vincardog Jan 2016 #1
lapfog_1 Jan 2016 #5
CTyankee Jan 2016 #10
hifiguy Jan 2016 #14
Hortensis Jan 2016 #2
guillaumeb Jan 2016 #3
HughBeaumont Jan 2016 #7
elias49 Jan 2016 #11
guillaumeb Jan 2016 #16
nxylas Jan 2016 #4
HughBeaumont Jan 2016 #6
hifiguy Jan 2016 #13
Warpy Jan 2016 #8
0rganism Jan 2016 #9
hifiguy Jan 2016 #12
MisterP Jan 2016 #15
alarimer Jan 2016 #17
HughBeaumont Jan 2016 #18

Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Jan 25, 2016, 03:03 PM

1. It is a rigged game. It favors the the members of the in-club. You are not in the club

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Response to Vincardog (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 25, 2016, 03:22 PM

5. yup



5:10 It's a big club but You ain't in it.

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Response to Vincardog (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 25, 2016, 07:58 PM

10. And not only that, "they" don't want you in the club...they will black ball you...

then you have think about why you wanted to be in their club in the first place...

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 25, 2016, 08:19 PM

14. The zip code in which you are raised will probably determine how successful

 

you are in the "profesional" world, regardless of where you went to school. This is a more class-bound society than any in the developed world except perhaps the UK.

"Not our kind, dear, even if s/he went to Harvard...."

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Jan 25, 2016, 03:05 PM

2. It's simple. Conservatives don't believe in equality.*

The natural order and natural sorting out that makes such good, gut sense to them is an inherently unequal one.

By personality, notably, conservatives are comfortable with an inequality they see as natural and ultimately right, comfortable both with greater advantages accruing to those "above" them and with having greater advantages over those "below" them. In the big picture, over time more deserving people rise in this natural hierarchy and less deserving do not, or even bring themselves down.

Simple stuff. What was not for Jefferson and Lincoln to understand?

* This is one of the 3 basic, innate personality differences between conservative and liberal personalities -- liberals are NOT accepting of inequality, neither for themselves nor for others. And we wonder why we don't agree on how to run a country.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Jan 25, 2016, 03:16 PM

3. George W. Bush was an example of a man of quite modest intelligence

and negligible accomplishments who rose through hard work and fortitude to become President of the United States. Well, to be fair, he actually came in second, but still, look how far he rose.

Carly Fiorina rose from a secretaries position to a successful CEO of Hewlett Packard. Well, actually she interned as a secretary for a few weeks in college, and during her tenure as CEO she nearly bankrupted the company. But still, the point remains.

Obviously if you are not President and not a billionaire, it is all your fault. Now, instead of posting thinly veiled class warfare meanness on DU, go out and invent something. Or get adopted by David Koch.

Hope that this helps.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 25, 2016, 03:31 PM

7. "Class Warfare"



"What can the wealthy hit us WITH and accuse us OF in the same breath?"



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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 25, 2016, 08:11 PM

11. I disagree with the "..hard work and fortitude.." part of GWB.

 

I think he was carried along on the river of Bush. Maybe kicking and screaming at first.
Then he got a ride on a jet plane. And thought he was special.
Oh how I despise that loser.

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Response to elias49 (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 26, 2016, 12:47 PM

16. Agreed. There should be a special font one could use to convey irony.

Bush is the ideal example of how white privilege can permit a very unqualified person to become President. All he needed was a corrupt SCOTUS, a corrupt brother who was Governor in Florida, and massive amounts of money to become President. And did I mention a right wing media that treated his nonsense policies as legitimate?

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Jan 25, 2016, 03:21 PM

4. Sounds like Thomas Friedman

He wrote a book called Average Is Over, explaining that in the grim corporate future, everyone will have to be exceptional. Since this is, by definition, impossible, this will result in a lot of "losers" being trampled into the dirt by the few winners, but Friedman is fine with that. After all, he gets paid millions for his exceptional insights, so you will have to be as amazing as him if you want to survive.

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Response to nxylas (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 25, 2016, 03:23 PM

6. And trust you me . . .

. . . I can't think of a greater example of "painfully average" being a runaway success than Tommy Bucksbaum.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 25, 2016, 08:16 PM

13. Friedman would have to rise a LONG way

 

to ascend to mediocrity.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Jan 25, 2016, 04:33 PM

8. Translation: "I got mine, fuck you."

with a side of "If you're being crushed, it's your own fault."

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Jan 25, 2016, 04:38 PM

9. their real "solution" is to die off

preferably, as you remove yourself from the planet of your economic betters, you engage in some innovative risk taking and continue to vote republican

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Jan 25, 2016, 08:15 PM

12. if you can't dazzle them with genius

 

baffle 'em with bullshit.

Suckups, ass-kissers, crooks and winners of the Lucky Sperm Sweepstakes are the only winners in this society, except for a few random geniuses who actually invent the proverbial better mousetrap.

The game is rigged from Day One against the 99%. And it doesn't matter how smart you are or where you go to school. It often comes down to "not our kind, dear." Believe me, I KNOW.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Tue Jan 26, 2016, 12:24 AM

15. they always say they're for "equaity of opportunity" not "equality of outcome"

but always back off when you suggest abolishing inheritance

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Tue Jan 26, 2016, 12:52 PM

17. If you don't get rich, it's your own damn fault.

Those seemingly contradictory philosophies are actually not all that contradictory. Poor people are poor through their own actions. They are defective people (in other words, not as equal) because they could not pull themselves up.

This philosophy also ignores the giant elephant in the room, which is that NO ONE actually succeeds entirely on their own.

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Response to alarimer (Reply #17)

Tue Jan 26, 2016, 02:43 PM

18. Despite the growing amount of assertiveness in the US media that millionaires ARE "self made".

Horse droppings.

What Forbes means by "entirely self-made" is that the fortunes were not inherited but derived from business activity. Does this make the Forbes definition of "entirely self-made" reasonable? After all, if someone starts with modest resources, does well in business, and makes a fortune, isn't it fair to attribute that wealth to individual merit? Not really, though Forbes would like us to think so.

To see what's wrong with this idea, it's easiest to start with criteria that ought to disqualify a person from claiming to be "entirely self-made." After we've applied these criteria, we can see who's left in the pool. So, then, let us scratch from the list of the self-made anyone whose accumulation of wealth has been aided by any of the following:

* Laws concerning property or contracts, and the public agencies that enforce such laws
* Public schools or employees educated in public schools
* Employees or customers who rely on public transportation
* Roads, bridges, airports, sewers, water treatment plants, harbors, or other utilities built and maintained at public expense
* Mail systems built and operated at public expense
* Public hospitals and government-licensed physicians
* Health and safety regulations created and enforced at public expense
* Police and fire protection provided at public expense
* Public libraries and parks
* Any public amenities that add value to commercial or residential real estate
* Government contracts
* Government-provided business incentives
* Regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Trade Commission or the Securities and Exchange Commission, that sustain trust in the stock market
* A government-granted license permitting the exclusive use of a broadcast channel
* The Internet
* A form of currency legitimated and backed by a stable government
* Social welfare programs that keep the poor from rebelling
* The U.S. military

If we use these criteria to determine who can legitimately claim to be "entirely self-made," the Forbes number drops dramatically. It's not 270 out of 400. In fact, it's precisely zero.

If not for the legal and political arrangements that we create and maintain as a society -- with contributions from us all, costs to us all, and benefits to us all -- and if not for what we call "the public infrastructure," nobody could accumulate wealth. In short, there can be no private wealth without common wealth.

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