Apr 282016
 

A 50 Dollar Lesson in Personal Responsibility

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I’d like to share this joke I found on tumblr.

I recently asked my friend’s little girl what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said she wanted to be President some day. Both of her parents are liberal Democrats who support Bernie Sanders. They were standing there beside her.

So then I asked the little girl, ‘If you were President, what would be the first thing you would do?’

She replied, ‘I’d give food and houses to all the homeless people.’

Her parents beamed with pride.

‘Wow…what a worthy goal.’ I told her. ‘But you don’t have to wait until you’re President to do that. You can come over to my house and mow the lawn, pull weeds, and sweep my yard, and I’ll pay you $50. Then I’ll take you over to the grocery store where the homeless guy hangs out, and you can give him the $50 to use toward food and a new house.’

She thought that over for a few seconds, then she looked me straight in the eye and asked, ‘Why doesn’t the homeless guy come over and do the work, and you can just pay him the $50 directly?’

I said, ‘Welcome to the Republican Party.’ 😛

Her parents still aren’t speaking to me.

The point of this allegory is clear; There’s an untapped market of homeless people who could be doing yard work & making $$$ 🙂

It also addresses the hapless reality of economic inequality even in developed countries. If we want the poor to succeed we need to give them the opportunity to pursue their own dreams instead of enabling them to continue living in poverty. Government run redistribution programs are part of the problem. Giving money to the homeless without any strings attached robs them of their dignity, economic potential, and the chance to develop the internal motivation to succeed. Besides, the government doesn’t have money in the first place so when it gives money to the poor it has to take that money from somewhere else.

Some children think that their parents are all no-ing. Even so, we understand it’s wrong and destructive for parents to do their children’s homework. It undermines their children’s intelligence, sets them up for failure in life, and is not fair to other students. We also understand it’s wrong to feed fauna at the local park.

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It’s hard to say no to a begging squirrel, but we resist the urge to feed it because we don’t want it to be dependent on our generosity. We don’t want to rob these hungry creatures of their ability to be self reliant. So I think we should help the homeless through education rather than simply giving them free money with no obligations.

The ultimate freedom in life comes from being able to internalize personal goals that give us meaning and purpose. 😀

If we are kind enough to offer these gifts of self-discovery, personal accomplishment, and self worth to children and animals, then I think we ought to extend this same offer to financially unfortunate people as well. 🙂

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Random Useless Fact:

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May 222013
 

Want kids some day? 😉 What if not every toddler is born equal and that there is a secret formula for making elite babies? I apologize in advance because the point of this post is to try and use probability to potentially give our future offspring a competitive advantage in life over their peers, and by the nature of the subject some parts of this article may contain offensive stereotypes or racism.

The Birth Date Effect
13_05_soccergameThe University of BC published a study that shows January and February babies are almost twice as likely to become CEOs than those who are born later in the year. The study investigated the birth-date effect in a sample of 375 CEOs from S&P 500 companies. Older students born earlier in the year are singled out as leaders throughout their school life and tend to do better than the youngest, who might be less developed. This Relative Age effect (RAE) is well documented in the world of sports as well. In an elite hockey team the best 40% of the players will likely be born between January and March. Early success is often rewarded with leadership roles and enriched learning opportunities, leading to future advantages that are magnified throughout life 🙂 Even the BBC believes there is evidence that children born in the Summer months suffer in school.

The Mixed Race Effect
13_05_weddingSome studies suggest mixed-race people are more attractive and disproportionately successful in many professions. According to Darwin’s hypothesis on heterosis, crossbreeding leads to offspring that are genetically fitter than their parents. Although mixed-race people make up a small proportion of the population, they are over-represented at the top level of a number of meritocratic professions. Halle Berry, Keanu Reeves (quarter Chinese,) Lewis Hamilton, Tiger Woods, Steve Jobs (half Arab), Just to name a few.  Not sure why I and many of my friends find mixed-race people attractive but studies suggest that good looking people do in fact earn more money.

The Name Effect
Are some names more successful than others? Apparently yes according to the online job site TheLadders which analyzed the first names of their 6 million members against variables such as industry, salary level, and location. They found that people with shorter names make more money than those with longer ones. The top 10, highest-paid, executive names earn, on average, 10%more than other names. And unusual names such as Apple or Moonbeam and names that sound African American such as Tyronne and Jamal were not viewed as positively compared to more common names like John and Susan. They tested 24 pairs of similar names like Steve and Stephen, Bill and William, Sara and Sarah, etc, and in all but one case those with shorter names earned higher pay. They’ve concluded that every extra letter in a person’s first name may reduce his or her annual salary by $3,600. They’ve even identified the top 5 highest paid female and male names in their study.
Female names: Lynn, Melissa, Cathy, Dana, Christine
Male names: Tom, Rob, Dale, Doug, Wayne
This isn’t the first study of its kind either. In 2011, LinkedIn reported that American CEOs do often have short names, or nicknames like Peter, Jack or Tony.

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So to ensure that our children will have the best possible start in life we just have to find a partner of a different ethnicity than ourselves, get really frisky in April and May (゜o゜), and name our kids something like Cathy or Rob 😀 Then statistically our kids would have a better chance than most others to be top in their class, better leaders, more athletic, and make 6 figure incomes 😉 And now you know the secret to making elite babies :0) As responsible and loving parents-to-be shouldn’t we do our best to give our future children gorgeous looks, and the highest probability for success? (^_^)

I don’t mean to imply that one group of people is superior to another, or that attractive people don’t have to work hard for their success, or that Moonbeam is a dumb name. These studies could simply be statistical realities and NOT factors of causality.  And it goes without saying that attitude, education, temperament, and work ethic will effect one’s life much more than how one is born. But unlike those other factors which are dependent on upbringing, the initial circumstances of how one is brought into this world can never be changed, (except names can be legally changed I suppose) 😀

I don’t believe the results of the studies are conclusive, but if there is even a slight truth to their findings then it’s something interesting to think about isn’t it? I’ll have to remember these points when I have the “baby talk” with my future spouse 😉