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Fri Apr 27, 2012, 06:59 AM

The Self-Made Myth: Debunking Conservatives' Favorite -- And Most Dangerous -- Fiction

http://www.alternet.org/visions/155149/the_self-made_myth%3A_debunking_conservatives%27_favorite_--_and_most_dangerous_--_fiction_/

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The self-made myth is one of the most cherished foundation stones of the conservative theology. Nurtured by Horatio Alger and generations of beloved boys' stories, It sits at the deep black heart of their entire worldview, where it provides the essential justification for a great many other common right-wing beliefs. It feeds the accusation that government is evil because it only exists to redistribute wealth from society's producers (self-made, of course) and its parasites (who refuse to work). It justifies conservative rage against progressives, who are seen as wanting to use government to forcibly take away what belongs to the righteous wealthy. It's piously invoked by hedge fund managers and oil billionaires, who think that being required to reinvest any of their wealth back into the public society that made it possible is "punishing success." It's the foundational belief on which all of Ayn Rand's novels stand.

If you've heard it once from your Fox-watching uncle, you've probably heard it a hundred times. "The government never did anything for me, dammit," he grouses. "Everything I have, I earned. Nobody ever handed me anything. I did it all on my own. I'm a self-made man."

He's just plain wrong. Flat-out, incontrovertibly, inarguably wrong. So profoundly wrong, in fact, that we probably won't be able to change the national discourse on taxes, infrastructure, education, government investment, technology policy, transportation, welfare, or our future prospects as a country until we can effectively convince the country of the monumental wrongness of this one core point.

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Reply The Self-Made Myth: Debunking Conservatives' Favorite -- And Most Dangerous -- Fiction (Original post)
xchrom Apr 2012 OP
drm604 Apr 2012 #1
DonCoquixote Apr 2012 #2
drm604 Apr 2012 #6
alp227 Apr 2012 #9
Namvet67 Apr 2012 #3
DinahMoeHum Apr 2012 #4
ananda Apr 2012 #5
phantom power Apr 2012 #7
hifiguy Apr 2012 #8

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 07:22 AM

1. That picture of Donald Trump is a perfect example for this article.

The Koch's are another example. Both Trump and the Koch's had wealthy fathers but are seen by many (and apparently by themselves) as some sort of Randian heroes.

Sure, you can be a "self made man" if daddy left you millions.

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Response to drm604 (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 07:54 AM

2. even if you made your money yourself

You would NOT have done it without the middle and lower classes being able to buy your product, period. The infrastructure needed to allow that to happen is made by government, the roads, the telephones, the airports and shipping lanes.

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:52 AM

6. All true.

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 06:23 PM

9. Furthermore, conservative arguments about standard of living

ignore infrastructure because...GOVERNMENT creates infrastructure, this defeating the Randian argument! Think about that next time you see an online comment or hear someone say "America is the greatest nation because you have freedom to build a business and succeed." NO country has ever prospered off a libertarian utopia govt favored by the tea party. I challenge libertarians to move to Somalia or better yet to Peter Thiel's libertarian islands and try creating a business.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 07:56 AM

3. Yes!!!.....finally someone had the balls to show this as, not a myth, but a fairy tale

Nobody does it on their own.....and the list of helping hands is endless, not the least of which is who your parents are and into which country you're born.....great!!!!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:11 AM

4. United For A Fair Economy spells out the myth beautifully. . .

http://faireconomy.org/infographics

and has profiles of wealthy individuals who tell us they "did not do it alone"
http://faireconomy.org/files/pdf/notalonereportfinal.pdf


Well worth the time to peruse.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 08:24 AM

5. Great article!

It really gets at the heart of the "conservative" problem: that the rich are entitled to everything and the poor, other, and undeserving are entitled to.. well.. nothing.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 12:15 PM

7. recommend

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 12:52 PM

8. Excellent read!!

K and R!

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