Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy

Zadnjič sem pisal o Skrivnost uspeha = talent + trdo delo + … + ogromno sreče, tukaj je pa malce reklame za novo, aprila izšlo knjigo Roberta H. Franka “Success and Luck: Good Fortune and the Myth of Meritocracy“, ki piše natanko o tej stvari. Skozi prizmo osebnih anekdot uspešnih posameznikov in spoznanj vedenjske ekonomike Frank piše o pomenu faktorja sreče pri uspehu in izpodbija popularni mit konzervativcev, da sta za uspeh potrebna le talent in trdo delo. Frank pokaže, kako faktor sreče vpliva tudi na povečanje neenakosti in njeni pojavnosti.

Piše o zlorabi koncepta meritokracije, ki v svojem bistvu teži k vzpostavitvi fašistične superiorne elite, ki pozablja, da za merljivimi vrlinami tiči ogromna ledena gora sreče. Nekdo je imel srečo, da se je rodil v bogato družino, kar mu je omogočilo pridobitev ustrezne izobrazbe, manir, družbeni status in poznanstva, prek katerih je sploh prišel v “kvalifikacije” za neko pozicijo. Nekomu drugemu s povsem enakimi osebnimi karakteristikami ob rojstvu, vendar z manj sreče glede “lokacije rojstva”, ne uspe sploh dobiti priložnosti za uvrstitev v “kvalifikacije”, kjer se nato izbira na podlagi meritokratskih meril.

Vendar se Frank ne ustavi pri tem, pač pa predlaga, kako bi lahko država vzpostavila preprost sistem, ki bi preprečeval prevelike družbene razlike. Namesto progresivnega davka na dohodke predlaga progresivni davek na porabo, kar bi zmanjšalo ogromne razlike v potrošniških izbirah, hkrati pa zagotovilo večje prihranke in potrebne davke za boljšo infrastrukturo in bolj kvalitetne javne storitve, ki izenačujejo enakopravnost možnosti. Malce se še sam pri sebi borim s tem predlogom, moram ga še malce premisliti…

How important is luck in economic success? No question more reliably divides conservatives from liberals. As conservatives correctly observe, people who amass great fortunes are almost always talented and hardworking. But liberals are also correct to note that countless others have those same qualities yet never earn much. In recent years, social scientists have discovered that chance plays a much larger role in important life outcomes than most people imagine. In Success and Luck, bestselling author and New York Times economics columnist Robert Frank explores the surprising implications of those findings to show why the rich underestimate the importance of luck in success—and why that hurts everyone, even the wealthy.

Frank describes how, in a world increasingly dominated by winner-take-all markets, chance opportunities and trivial initial advantages often translate into much larger ones—and enormous income differences—over time; how false beliefs about luck persist, despite compelling evidence against them; and how myths about personal success and luck shape individual and political choices in harmful ways.

But, Frank argues, we could decrease the inequality driven by sheer luck by adopting simple, unintrusive policies that would free up trillions of dollars each year—more than enough to fix our crumbling infrastructure, expand healthcare coverage, fight global warming, and reduce poverty, all without requiring painful sacrifices from anyone. If this sounds implausible, you’ll be surprised to discover that the solution requires only a few, noncontroversial steps.

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