Indeed, English is one of the few languages that even has or uses the word “earn” in regard to income. In Romance languages such as French, the verb meaning to earn is “gagner,” which means “to win.” In terms of language, in America, people earn their wealth, while in most of Europe and Latin America, people win it.
The fact is that, except for those very few whose wealth is overwhelmingly or entirely inherited, the more affluent have usually worked harder than the less affluent. While, of course, there are hardworking poor people just as there are Wall Street CEOs who do not deserve their “golden parachutes,” in America, differences in income exist largely because of the values and the hard work of those who make more money.
In this regard, The Washington Post reported the findings of Harvard professor Daniel Kahneman, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in economics:
“People who make less than $20,000 a year … told Kahneman and his colleagues that they spend more than a third of their time in passive leisure — watching television, for example. Those making more than $100,000 spent less than one-fifth of their time in this way — putting their legs up and relaxing. Rich people spent much more time commuting and engaging in activities that were required as opposed to optional.”
But for the left, it’s all about “fortune.”
Every poll about the left, the right and happiness reveals that the further left one goes, the less happy the person is likely to be. This is one of the reasons: If you really believe that people wealthier than you are just luckier than you, how can you not be angry, resentful and unhappy?
On the other hand, there are tens of millions of conservatives who make much less money than others — yet feed their families, own a house and a car, have decent children, derive great meaning from their religion and live in the freest country in the world — who never call themselves “less fortunate.” They call themselves fortunate.
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