Friday, June 02, 2006

Once homeless, millionaire broker's story hitting book stores, big screen

This story is truly amazing and demonstrates how personal desire and will, not the government nor government programs, are the key factors in success. "The story of how the 52-year-old Gardner did just that, climbed out of homelessness and became a millionaire stockbroker with his own 15-employee Chicago firm, is being turned into a motion picture, due out in December. It's also the subject of Gardner's own just-released book, "The Pursuit of Happyness." The unique spelling of "happiness." "Some nights they [he and his young son] stayed in a $25-a-night hotel, a park or under his desk at work. And a few nights were spent in an Oakland Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station." [Regarding the church facility that they stayed at] "There were no keys, so every day you take everything with you," said Gardner. "For a year, I'd take my son, his stroller, a big duffel bag with all his clothes in it, my briefcase, an umbrella, the biggest bag of Pampers in the world, one suit on my back and one suit in a hanging bag and we'd hit it every day." When it rained, he covered the stroller with plastic sheets he'd picked up from dry cleaners. Read the complete article here!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those nasty big-government socialists disempower their poor citizens!

"Indeed, in a league table of eight developed states, only the US has lower social mobility. Four Scandinavian countries, along with Canada, all have almost twice as much as the UK.",,1765869,00.html

6/02/2006 11:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Social mobility is the degree to which, in a given society, an individual's social status can change throughout the course of his or her life, or the degree to which that individual's offspring and subsequent generations move up and down the class system.

An example of a society with low social mobility was Hindu society under the caste system. Only with rare exceptions could individuals leave the caste into which they were born, regardless of wealth or merit. Societies which use slavery are an example of low social mobility because, for the enslaved individuals, mobility is nonexistent.

Modern western democracies have considerably more social mobility. Official or legally recognized class designations do not exist, and it is possible - though uncommon - for individuals to move from poverty to wealth or political prominence within one generation. Examples of this are John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich, who were born into working-class families yet achieved political office in adult life, and Andrew Carnegie, who arrived in the U.S. as a poor immigrant and later became a steel tycoon. An example from another country is Pierre Bérégovoy who started working at the age of 16 as a metal worker and, in the end, became Prime Minister of France.

Nevertheless, such examples tend to be the exception rather than the rule. While a few individual members of the working class or even immigrants manage to achieve positions of wealth or power, the overwhelming majority do not.

In market societies like the modern United States, class and economic wealth are strongly correlated and, therefore, often conflated. However, in some societies, they are different entities altogether. Usually, though, membership in a high social class provides more opportunities for wealth and political power, and therefore economic fortune is often a lagging indicator of social class. In newly-formed societies with little or no established tradition (such as the American West in the 19th century) the reverse is true: Made wealth precipitates the elite of future generations.

6/02/2006 11:56:00 AM  

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