Ant and Grasshopper

There are no black and white answers.

If we could completely separate hard work from luck, it should be easier to tell who deserves what.

I think most would agree that lazy people should not be rewarded. I mean, if possible, they should be helped with basic survival needs such as food, but they should feel the need to work hard to get better standards of living. Just remember there’s no point in killing people to motivate them.

And I also think that, in most cases, really hard workers will be able to get a good life (financially), and lazy workers will not, in a big chunk of the world. I don’t really appreciate most complains about lack of opportunities because, often, the complainer could do way better by just working harder.

However, denying the role of luck is denying basic statistics. And it’s very easy to exemplify it. Is Zuckerberg the hardest young worker ever? Does he work harder than all of us combined? How about Paris Hilton? How about the queen?

Everybody has combinations of good and bad luck. There are probably some people above you in your company that are lazier than you are. There are probably some people below that work harder (even though that’s hard to admit).

However, I can’t see it as reasonable to deny the role of luck. Smart guys like Taleb and Buffet make pretty strong arguments about it. What if you were born in a small village in Sierra Leone and nobody ever told you that learning stuff is good? What if you want a buy side job but you’re finishing the CFA program in 2012 instead of 2006?

So, 9 out of 10 times or more, if someone comes to me and complains about lack of opportunities, I will probably give them a polite version of “don’t be so lazy”. However, I do realize that the invisible hand isn’t that smart after all - there are hard workers doing relatively bad and vice-versa. What bothers me the most is that, often, dishonest people can have an edge in many fields/countries.

Since it’s so hard to separate luck from effort, or even to identify crooks, solutions are very hard to come by. And since people like to fight about stuff, it’s very common to see them taking extreme positions trying to reinforce their points - environment aside, republicans and democrats would (or maybe do) agree with way more than it seems, but how can you win an election agreeing with the opponent?

Edit: Independent of his viewsm, CFAvsMBA sure knows how to keep the forum active.

Interacom - I agree no single person can achieve a huge undertaking completely alone. But that doesn’t mean he’s not entitled to the added value that would not have been achieved without his action. A true capitalist is happy to pay for the value he receives that allows him to get to his goal. But the profit from that achievement belongs to no one else. Bchad and people like him think that all the poor souls who can reach their hand out, with the help of parasite politicians, are entitled to a piece of the action.

Alladin - I’m significantly younger than bchad but old enough to recognize the poop he and his friends on here are slingin.

I think you misunderstand bchad…besides, seen from another light poop is a great fertiliser…

This where I suspect you are a fraud. I come from a similar background, as a have not as you, I was what is commonly known as an “at-risk” youth, more accurately I was a risk to everyone around me. I got lucky a few times and was able to make the decision to change my life around by my mid twenties. It’s a miracle I am not dead, in jail or in an alley somewhere with a needle in my arm. It took and continues to take A LOT of gut wrenching work and persistance to get where I am today, I had to deal with alot of frustration and heartbreak in earning my current life. Everyday I wake up with gratitude for the life I have and part of showing that gratitiude is through helping others which is where my socialistic tendencies come from.

Now that you can see where I am coming from I can get to the point. I think your a fucking fraud and the reason I say this is because everyone I know, who like me has come through hardships in there life to get what they got has the humility to recognize that they DID NOT earn it all on there own. Sure we did alot of work to get where we are at but it is pure LUCK that I even had the opportunity to do the work. Over the years I’ve buried alot of old friends, In fact someone I was once close with died a drug related death a few days ago. It just reinforces in my mind that somehwere along the line I was lucky enough to have people help me when I decided to do the work to build the type of life that I wanted myself. Alot of people are pretty much fucked at birth and never have the opportunity we have had to do the work to build a life for ourselves. Nearly everyone I know who have come from adversity and made a life for themselves, and I know alot of people, are not myopic to this fact as you are. Which is why I think you are either not mature/humble or introspective enough to recognize this, or you are a complete fraud.

^ my nigga

^ my nigga



working hard to strive for those playing cards eh?


Don’t take this the wrong way but i think it’s really sad that you don’t understand what is responsible for your achievement. Based on the info you provided, at no point did anyone coerce you into doing what was in your best interest. You made a series of choices that created a better life for yourself. Nobody physically forced you to make those decisions. YOU made and own the consequences of those choices. It was not luck, it was the value that you placed on yourself that necessarily ended up in your happiness. On any given occasion, luck may play a role, but over a long enough series of occasions it is an individual’s determination and the value he places on himself that determines his level of achievement relative to his ability. Constant failure, in the context of basic survival, is an exception not the rule. Of course there are people who reap huge rewards from high leverage situations (like publishing), but that doesn’t negate the fact that a result requries an individual to act. the individual is therefore responsible for and owns the rewards of an action.

As for “giving back”, that is up to the individual. If you received vital help in your past and you want to pay it forward that is your right. Rationality dictates that people pay value for value received. There is no contradiction between rational self interest and giving back. Where you are wrong is when you think this should be done at gun point which is in effect what government aid programs do through the threat of jail if you don’t pay your taxes. Nobody has the right to physically force another to take an action.

Btw I think it’s extremely lazy to expect some govt program to help those less fortunate. If you want to help, get off your ass and do something yourself. Stay the fuck out of everyone else’s wallet with the help of your gun wielding govenment.

Fight. Would just like to point out that without the “gun wielding government” and its massive military fiat currency would be worthless and the strongest would just take whatever is in everyone’s “wallet”. Instead of nerds running the country we’d have Conan the Barbarian.

Whether citizens need to pay taxes is not the question it is how much they should pay.

Luck plays a role in everything. If you are blind to that you are going to have a tough time in life. Hell, you could have contracted a life ending disease in your teens. I would really like to hear how you worked really hard to avoid death and disease and to be born in a wealthy country with significant resources for upward mobility, because I would like to teach people how to do that. I would probably win the Nobel.

Not acknowledging the huge role luck plays in life is a sign of immaturity in my opinion. Good parents will teach their kids that life is in their control so that they will push themselves as far as they can, but the more you experience, the more you realize that many things are out of your control. Luck hits hard both good and bad.

Think about the relatively fair world of sports, where ability is much more transparent. Guys like Tom Brady and Jeremy Lin would have failed into nothingness if the guys in front of them didn’t get injured or had epic fail moments. They worked hard and put themselves in the right place, but a slight change outside of control would have wasted their talents/efforts completely. Some athletes make a BAD play, but a lucky bounce turns a futile effort into a heroic victory (see: immaculate reception).

In the investment industry, esp recently, a virtual flip of the coin could have determined whether those on the edge kept their job when the shit hit the fan. Heck, maybe they were doing extremely well, but their boss didn’t play office politics the right way and that fast track they were on suddenly disconnects from the rest of the train. In my experience, everybody is already working as hard as they can (at least on the trading floor), but getting ahead requires taking risks. These risks may be shmoozing with the right or wrong people, chasing certain types of clients, creating certain structures, etc. You can prepare all you want, shit still happens.

Ok so far you have luck and the possibility of getting a disease as justification for why it’s ok to confiscate the product of someone else’s labor. Does that sum it up? You all are hopeless. You see human progress all around you and think it’s just happenstance. If you truly believe that then you deserve the shitty life you have earned.

w.h.a.t i.s h.a.p.p.e.n.i.n.g ?

Good point. Enjoy the bouniful fruits of your labor, psycho.