The Insightful Troll

Rants and ruminations.

Rich Are More Lucky Then Smart

Paul Solman reports that at reports that maybe, just maybe, being wealthy is just a matter of being lucky.

Yes, it’s the good old “bell curve”: the “normal distribution.” Most human traits are arrayed along it. But wealth, the authors write, follows something called a power law, also sometimes called the “80/20 rule,” with a vast majority of poor people and a very small number of billionaires. The richest eight men having wealth equal to something like 3+ billion of the world’s poorest would be an extreme but telling example.

But think about it, the authors suggest. If smarts and talents and even effort are so normally distributed and wealth is so abnormally distributed, what’s missing to explain the disparity?

Sure hard work, risk taking and talent have a lot to do with it. But plenty of people have those. In a paper A. Pluchino, A. E. Biondo, and A. Rapisarda they set forth a mathematical proof for - simply being lucky. While I don’t have enough of a mathematical rigerous background to argue with them, I tend to think it is the environment you grow up in that has the highest impact.