David Frum on the President’s recent foray into figuring out who is responsible for the success of individuals:
President Obama’s stray sentences however point to a bolder conclusion. If it’s not brains or work that account for success, what is it? The answer must be…luck. Not maybe entirely luck, but luck to a great degree. By definition, however, luck is amoral. Nobody can deserve luck, otherwise he wouldn’t be lucky. To the extent success is due to luck, success is undeserved—and to the extend that success is undeserved, the successful have no very strong claim to the proceeds of their success. Whereas [Elizabeth] Warren suggests that the wealthy should be taxed to repay tangible benefits they have personally received, Obama is indicating a possibility that the wealthy should be taxed…because their wealth is to a great extent an accident of fate.
Michael Lewis adds to the debate:
Note: Shout to pragcap.com for the links.