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If I said it once, I must have said it more than twice; working hard is not enough. Working hard is a key element to 'making it', but it is not THE element nor is it the only one.

The way I look at it, this is how it works:
Hard Work: 50%
Oppertunity: 25%
Take Risk: 10%
Connections: 10%
Other: 5%
(Other could be anything from winning the lotto to some odd beating event happening)
(Yes I pulled those stats out of my ass.. but I told you that already)

Hard work helps to get you there or gives you a chance to take advantage of an oppertunity or an inside connection, but the reality is that you can make it without hard work based only on oppertunity or connections (Or other).

In fact you can work hard all your life and still be poor. The US is based on captailism and taking risk, but the reality is that if you take a risk, you can end up poor... I guess that is why Poor People are Stupid. It is not whether you will make a mistake, it is about how fast can you get back up or fix it.

Never the less, it would sem that Americans believe that working hard is enough:

According to the Times, Americans have a hard time accepting the notion that their society isn't terribly fluid. "Americans have never been comfortable with the notion of a pecking order based on anything other than talent and hard work," the authors write. "Class contradicts their assumptions about the American dream, equal opportunity and the reasons for their own successes and even failures. Americans, constitutionally optimistic, are disinclined to see themselves as stuck."

It's interesting that both the Times and Wall Street Journal are running series related to the relative health of the "American dream." These follow a set of stories in a similar vein, about workers and families facing increased economic insecurity, in the Los Angeles Times.

My key thing, even when it comes to Social Services, is that without giving people an oppertunity to add to the hard work that they should be doing, there is NO hope. Taking a risk literaly means becomig more edebted or worst. (and there are no real 'connections' to be made to find out where an opertunity exists)

It is not about ending Social Programs, it is about making them better. The people I met on public asssisance actually want to work and want good jobs. Most were kicked off of public assistance (like myself) when we found a job that paid us more than 67 dollars a week (mine pays about 100). What do some do? Find a part time job taking scrap metal to the junk yard or giving out free newspapers at the subway station.

There are always going to be people who abuse the system and drive Excalades while excepting food stamps, or people who have kids on perpose just to get aid (or catch deadly deseases or purposly hurt themselves to collect money) but without oppertunity to make something of yourselves, we all loose. We must give an oppertunity to those who work hard to make it.

So between living like your on The O.C. and being poor and stupid, is it really just about working hard and you will make it?

Comments (Page 1)
on May 30, 2005
To quote the great Rush Drummer, Neil Peart:

"Luck is when preparation meets opportunity." Link

I agree with you, hard work is about half the battle. As far as "class" goes though, most the "rich" people I know have been flat broke more than once in their lives. In America "Rich" and "Poor" is an attitude and a thought process more than a lifestyle.
on May 30, 2005
Hard work isn't the only ingredient but hard work will almost certainly keep you out of poverty.
on May 30, 2005

I came from a dirt poor upbringing.  Through hard work, I moved to the upper end of the middle class.  My children never new what poor was.

Mine was due to hard work.  That made the opportunities come.  I am not a big risk taker (and hence why I am not Bill Gates), and coming from a poor family, I had no connections that amounted to anything.

Hard work may not work alone, but it gets you OVER 50% of the way there.

on May 30, 2005
I'm not too sure about hard mother for example has worked hard,been honest,etc...yet she still has gotten screwed by others who are willing to steal and backstab to move up in life...hmmm,i'm not sure.....( ahhh,its good to be back, and out of the is everyone doing this memorial day weekend?)
on May 31, 2005
Course you could alway join the KKK
I hear they teach you good spelling and
how to tie various knotts.
on May 31, 2005
Just a comment on your stats...
I have always been told that it's mostly about hard work, and I believe that up to a point, but the amount that I have seen based mostly on connections has absolutely surprised and convinced me that this society works not nearly as much on hard work as it does on your networking. I think people heavily underestimate how far connections can take you with a small amount of hard work but how much harder it is to get somewhere with a lot of hard work and a small amount of connections. Even grad schools tell you that it's most important to go to a good grad school because of the network you have, rather than other things that most would consider important. Kinda sad that this society preaches a fairy tale world and lives a facade.
on May 31, 2005
I just think when it comes down to it, the other 50% is what does it for you. You can work hard all you want to, but with out an oppertunity to succeed, networking/connections and other said items, your not going very far.

If there are people here who were poor with hard working parents, are you sort of saying that they were stupid (es I know that is a loaded question)?

If everyone worked hard, would there be 30,000 dollar jobs for everyone. Little_whip, you said you are poor, is it because you just didn't work hard enough? You are surrounded by people who smoke Crack and Meth yet I am poor and know people who, at worst smoke weed, work and some go to school (like a tech school). They seem to work hard... what are the odds of them being middle class? The people I am surounded by seem more mobile then who you seem surounded by, would that explain why your poor?

I just think that the idea that working hard means success and that is it. While working hard might create oppertunities, just how many compaired to those who have the other 50% in the bag?

What exactly DOES working hard mean? If you work harder than me, no matter how much work I do I will never make it because there is one spot? Why talk about compotition if all you have to do is work hard? Why give A, B, C or D grades if you worked hard?

My poor spelling? That wouldn't explain many millionaires who didn't finish college or those who have degrees but know less about their jobs then their 'lesser statis employees'.

For those who 'make it' everything is fine. The reality that they had to beat out someone else and that some one lese could have done the job better or worst then they did seem to excape the winners. Its always 'you can do it to' but in the end, if someone is always beating you out of that number one spot, what is left?

Work hard and you will make it emplies that there are 30,000 dollar jobs for everyone, that I can get into Harvard or Yale, that premuim brands can be everywhere, and so on.
Don't you think?

on May 31, 2005
I'd like to suggest that "Joe Knowledge" ??? use the spell check tool next time
on May 31, 2005

.....( ahhh,its good to be back, and out of the is everyone doing this memorial day weekend?)

Lucas, glad to have yo back. I hope it was not serious.

on May 31, 2005
Apparently some of your responders are a little confused at what is meant by "hard work" when it comes to the "hard work" needed to succeed. In this context, networking IS part of the hard work involved. You can "work hard" at a low level, no exposure job all your life and never get anywhere, but that isn't the "hard work" that makes the difference. Most self made successes I know worked hard to get there. However, very little of that hard work was done at work. They did their jobs well, but they also spent most of their personal time "working" at making things better for themselves. School, networking, making a hobby profitable, honing one skill or another, or even picking up new skills are all a part of the "hard work" that is meant in the line, "Work hard and you will make it?"


Welcome back Lucas.. Glad you're out of the hospital!!
on May 31, 2005
.....( ahhh,its good to be back, and out of the is everyone doing this memorial day weekend?)Lucas, glad to have yo back. I hope it was not serious.

I'll third that too, welcome back Lucas (I had no idea you were ill and in the hospital) - hope you're doing well.

I agree with Ted that networking is most definately an important part of someone's success. Hard work is of course a major factor. It just depends on what you work hard at doing. Networking and making contacts IS hardwork as Ted also said because not everyone has the knack for being a people person. If you don't know how to follow up on those contacts, then it's just a waste of your time.

There's a saying that I've heard all the time, "it's not who you know, but who know's you" it's part of a song too! Those are very true words. How do you think a lot of wealthy people remain wealthy? It is because of who they know and vice versa. You don't think Donald Trump's daughter, when she gets married, would marry someone who isn't wealthy would you? Nope, they keep it within the "family" so to speak. That's another kind of association on being and staying successful and wealthy.

Hard work is good and it keeps a lot of folks honest and above the poverty line, sometimes barely! But lets not forget that to be out there and making it, you have to be very competitive. You have to be willing to go after what it is you want and possibly step on someone to do it, if you're that competitive. It's hard work. Taking risk is also quite important. I think I would rate it a much higher percentile than you did Joe. Taking risk is how people become competitive and how they do become a success. You have to be willing to go out there and take a chance at whatever it is your dreams are.

On another point Joe, I do have to agree with Little Whip. She will be blunt, that's her, I will sugar-coat it, that's me - ! You will have to use the spell check next time. If someone who is not as versed at what you're saying (maybe a high school student) as most of us are here, they won't understand what it is you're trying to say. Spelling mistakes are not the end of the world, but they can make or break your point, and those mistakes will make what you're trying to say unintelligible. Some mistakes are ok, it happens to the best of us, I do it from time to time. But it makes it harder for the less learned to understand.

Otherwise, it's a good article.
on May 31, 2005
The Spelling in this article is about killing me.
I have to agree that hard work will keep you from being poor as in dirt poor but thats about it.
Politics, networking, back biting and back stabbing will bring you up to middle class / working poor.
True politics, stepping on peoples throats will bring you up to upper middle class and only by being by getting a lucky break or being born in the right family / having money already can you get rich (see Bill Gates: he had a million dollar trust fund before he hit junior high)

And by the way 30k a year is working poor, so is 50k a year. you need to be making 80k or more to be true middle or upper middle class.
150k or better for a real upper middle class single income.
on May 31, 2005
class warfare ignorance keeping you thinking that unless you are filthy rich, you are poor, doesn't help much.
on May 31, 2005
class warfare ignorance keeping you thinking that unless you are filthy rich, you are poor, doesn't help much.

Ted, oh wise one, always true!

This way of thinking is what always keeps the poor poor.
on May 31, 2005
class warfare ignorance keeping you thinking that unless you are filthy rich, you are poor, doesn't help much.

Ted, oh wise one, always true!

This way of thinking is what always keeps the poor poor. And that's not a wise-ass comment!