Obama’s “Bad Luck” wisdom to ponder today

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded – here and there, now and then – are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as ‘bad luck.’ “

That enourmously topical and insightful quote was made by Robert A. Heinlein, a Naval Academy graduate and military man that turned into one of the most influential and controversial authors of the Sci-Fi genre, which should put into prespective Obama’s recent claims that things are bad because of “bad luck”. The bad luck, as Heinlein aptly puts it, is the shit idiots like Obama believe in and have created with their “wealth redistribution” & “social justice” schemes that turned to individual few that are behind prosperity and growth into the bad guys. You heard that right. Obama and people that believe like him are the ones that created the “bad luck” we are currently experiencing by Obama themselves, but you will never get them to admit that, or for that matter understand it.

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  1. Xetrov

    I heard what the left is doing described elsewhere as this, and it fits perfectly –

    “Atlas Shrugged” was a Warning, not a Manual.

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  2. Rann

    I suppose blaming “bad luck” is certainly an appeal to wealthy leftists, many of whom seem to feel that they somehow got their fortunes by “good luck” and that no one else could possibly achieve what they have without luck. (Unless, of course, they’re criticized about their work, in which case of course they toiled and sweated and so on.)

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  3. CM

    Success is almost always a combination of hard work and good fortune. Anyone trying to pretend it’s a combination (as well as other factors) is a blind ideologue.

    As for Obama’s comments, he’s not wrong in suggesting that the tsunami, the European debt crisis, and the Arab Spring protests are all negative drivers on the American economy but weren’t the actions of any American (Obama or otherwise). It’s not ridiculous to suggest that together they can be considered bad luck. If indicators were starting to look ok, and then they reverse, and certain factors can be shown to be at fault, then what’s the issue? The only way you could have an issue was if you didn’t believe the indicators were starting to look ok. But you’d have to demonstrate that.

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  4. AlexInCT *

    Success is almost always a combination of hard work and good fortune. Anyone trying to pretend it’s a combination (as well as other factors) is a blind ideologue.

    I have always been astonished how much good luck hard work and perseverance produce, and conversely, how much bad luck people that want things handed to them without much effort seem to experience. Oh also, I have repeatedly seen those that made the wrong choices blame what followed on bad luck. Obama is one of those.

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  5. CM

    I would agree that the phrase ‘you make your own luck’ has a lot of merit. However I’m sure we can all look back on our lives and recognise that often we were just in the right place at the right time. Being born white and healthy and in first world countries is winning a jackpot to start with. Consider encountering your current partner (if you’re got one). Consider the ability to have kids, some aren’t so lucky. Neither of those involved hard work (well, perhaps trying for kids could be considered…!) but they’ve often held up as hallmarks of success (and rightly so).

    Oh also, I have repeatedly seen those that made the wrong choices blame what followed on bad luck. Obama is one of those.

    To suggest he’s simply blaming the economy on ‘bad luck’ is blatant misrepresentation and rampant cherry-picking. Pointing out that a series of events have occured, that they adversely affect the economy, is nothing if not obvious. But look what he also said:

    The president said the nation’s economy has hit some rough spots over the last six months but he said some of those problems are “self-inflicted.”

    http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/polinaut/archive/2011/08/obama_enlists_c.shtml

    The president also blamed a “string of bad luck” over the past few months – including the Arab Spring, the debt problems in Europe and the Japanese Tsunami – for his failure to boost the economy:

    Over the last six months, we’ve had a string of bad luck. There have been some things that we could not control. You had an Arab Spring in the Middle East that promises more democracy and more human rights for people, but also drove up gas prices. Tough for the economy, a lot of uncertainty. And then you had the situation in Europe, where they’re dealing with all sorts of debt challenges. And that washes up on our shores. And then you had a tsunami in Japan, and that broke supply chains and created difficulties for the economy all across the globe. So there were a bunch of things taking place over the past six months that were not in our control.

    The biggest problem, according to Obama, is that gridlock and partisanship in congress prevented the government from coping with these challenges.

    http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2011/08/15/obama-luck-economy/

    But even if what you’re claiming was accurate, you’d have to either explain why the indicators WERE heading in the right direction if his policies are all wrong, or demonstrate that they WEREN’T heading in the right direction.

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  6. Seattle Outcast

    I see it as him running out of excuses, so now he’s resorted to lying, making shit up as he goes, lecturing down to the public for not doing as instructed, and tossing people under the bus.

    Get ready for the accusations of racism right out of Obama’s mouth

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  7. Seattle Outcast

    Being born white and healthy and in first world countries is winning a jackpot to start with. Consider encountering your current partner (if you’re got one). Consider the ability to have kids, some aren’t so lucky. Neither of those involved hard work (well, perhaps trying for kids could be considered…!) but they’ve often held up as hallmarks of success (and rightly so).).

    By this logic it would seem that all white men in America would be zillionaires and fucking supermodel harems. The fact that this isn’t so merely proves that even given superior opportunities don’t figure into the issue – you truly do make your own luck. Life eventually shits on everyone – how you handle it determines much of your future.

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  8. CM

    By this logic…..

    I see no logic there.
    It’s inarguably illogical to consider that everyone on earth starts out with the same opportunities. Of course superior opportunities “figure into the issue”. There isn’t any group that starts out with more than white, male, first-world, English speakers. If you disagree, I’d certainly be interested in finding out why.

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  9. HARLEY

    “luck” is a fantasy, just as much as the pixie in the sky, Zeus and Dianetics.
    If its is real, you can quantify and measure it.

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  10. Poosh

    Heinlein was a visionary, it’s a sad state of affairs no one has taken notice of him. Starship Troopers, the novel, is a masterpiece. You see the riots in London? Read this chapter. How he predicted the death of our society with precision is outstanding.

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  11. Hal_10000

    I think luck plays less of a role than libs think, but the role is not zero. That is, unless you think you’d have had the same success in life had you been born in Burkina Faso. Almost everyone on this blog is a beneficiary of the best luck anyone ever had — being born in the US or other capitalist nation in the modern era — the result, as Heinlein said, of the efforts of a small minority of people. That half of us did’t die of measles, smallpox, rubella, typhoid or mumps before we were 18 is a product of the luck of when and where we were born, wise decisions made by our forbears and the hard work of those who came before us.

    I’ve noted before that, in the US, if people stay in school, obey the law and don’t make babies out of wedlock, they’ll avoid poverty 95% of the time. That is absolutely true — most poverty is a result of bad decision-making. However, if you are born to wealth, it’s a lot easier to make the right decision and you get a lot more chances. Think of the opportunities presented in a rich suburban school versus a gang-ridden inner city school. Or what a pot bust means for a wealthy white kid versus a poor black one.

    We choose our lives. But how difficult or easy those choices are is affected by luck.

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  12. Poosh

    Luck and work, but luck is mostly what it is.

    Most of your assets are entirely down to your genetics, and to a lesser extent your upbringing.

    Good genes generally mean good life – wealth. Doesn’t matter how hard working you are, if you haven’t got intelligence on your side (which is mostly the product of luck – genetics), then there’s only so far you can go.

    If you have a bad blood line, with bad genes, stupidity is the norm.

    Or you could be hit by a train.

    Luck is almost everything. But isn’t that obvious? Will to make yourself better is not based on luck, however…. or is it? Will to overcome and various other qualities must be applied to you from parents or other sources – that in itself is based on luck. Even if you have a strong bloodline of superior breeds of man – bad lack might deal you a few bad genes, a few dormant genes coming to light.

    I like how your president is blaming us Europeans for the economy now. We’re doing exactly the same thing lol. Not too sure how the arab spring and weather placed such a substantial amount of damage tokens on the US economy, did the Arab Spring inspire Obama to pass obamacare? If america suffered a massive “big freeze” then he might have a point…

    Kinda shocked he didn’t blame the BP oil spill. Someone send him a memo.

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  13. Poosh

    I notice Heinlein is starting to be quoted around the blogs here and there. I really hope he receives a “refinding” in the way Ayn Rand’s work has recently. He is a revelation. Those in the military are no doubt very aware of him, but the rest, it’s doubtful. I would beg people to read his work, especially the short novel Starship Troopers.

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  14. AlexInCT *

    I think luck plays less of a role than libs think, but the role is not zero.

    Nobody claimed luck played a zero role in getting rich. I am sorry Hal, but those using that tactic leave me with the same feeling I get when libs tell me I want no government or outright anarchy whenever I point out that all I want is small, less intrusive government, focused on it’s constitutional duties and not making the politicians even more powerful. It’s nothing but a distraction.

    The point is, as many of us have mentioned, that luck is practically always made. It’s not a coincidence that the people that work real f-ing hard at it and are persistent, end up being the lucky ones while those that don’t do much aren’t. How often do you hear success stories about someone that just gave it a minimal try, or didn’t try at all, and then scored big, short of the occasional lottery winner, which practically always then go on to fuck up their lives, anyway? One could make the argument that the people in bed with the right politicians also seem to get very lucky, but the left won’t like the fact that the overwhelming majority of the time said politicians are on their side.

    The luck argument is just a distraction that then allows those that want to level the field to pretend their motivations aren’t pure greed and envy.

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  15. Seattle Outcast

    Do you deliberately not see my point?

    I’ll put it this way – take away everything from everyone and redistribute evenly. In a year we will see exactly what see today: stratified economic classes. Some people will call it luck, others will have a fit that the rich didn’t go away, the smart people will go “what did you expect to happen?”

    The point is that some people will always outperform, regardless of the starting point, providing that class mobility is available. If it isn’t, they’ll just work around it.

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  16. Hal_10000

    I agree, generally. But I do think there are a lot of people who get far fewer chances to get it right.

    How often do you hear success stories about someone that just gave it a minimal try, or didn’t try at all, and then scored big

    Depends. Are we talking about finances or bedding women? :)

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  17. HARLEY

    funny thing is, i reread that novel last week, and handed it off to a friend.. and yeah it was rather humorous, but remember in the novel all governmental authority had broke down.

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  18. CM

    You said:

    By this logic it would seem that all white men in America would be zillionaires and fucking supermodel harems.

    And yet you’re asking if I deliberately missed your point??!
    Good grief.

    Taking away everything from everyone and redistributing evenly would be a one-off, snap-shot redistrubution. The non-level playing field would start to push against that immediately. So yeah I think things would tend to work their way back. But not entirely.
    I don’t define luck as people making poor choices. Poor choices are poor choices.

    The point is that some people will always outperform, regardless of the starting point, providing that class mobility is available. If it isn’t, they’ll just work around it.

    I totally agree that some people will always outperform. Being born into some situations makes it easier to outperform. That’s undeniable, and is no attempt to provide an excuse to people who make bad decisions or who are lazy. It’s just acknowledging reality. There are many people with seemingly little or no chance of outperforming doing exactly that. More often than not it’s a combination of hard work and good fortunate (i.e. running into someone that gave you a chance, or financing you, or simply hooking you up somehow).
    It’s just silly for anyone to try and suggest that good (or bad) fortune plays no part in what happens in our lives (not saying that you’re doing this BTW). E.g. my examples above (relationships and family) . Where you are born is a perfect example. Or if you are born with a mental illness/condition – your ability to ‘outperform’ an average person is significantly reduced.

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