Sunday, May 30, 2010

Wealth and Darwinism

"If you're so smart then how come you're poor?"
This is the rhetorical question apparently used as a put down.
My personal version of this goes like this, "if you're so rich, then how come you're stupid?" (As in getting scammed by property hustlers, see link)

I'm thinking this thought after I read about the multi-million dollar property scam.
No stopping the flow of tears I shed for poor little rich boy who pays $3million dollars more for a property than what it's worth.

As far as common wisdom is concerned, isn't is supposed to reflect the idea that only the clever amongst us can manage to accumulate wealth in the millions of dollars?  I think this is somehow linked to the concept of "survival of the fittest" but with a twist for modern times where the fittest are those who are clever enough to make money on a grand scale. So, I ask myself, how can these people who are so adept at making million dollar fortunes let themselves be scammed?
Is our society a Darwinian version of "survival of the fittest" but with the modern twist, "survival of the most devious"?

I think the credo that those who work hard get their just rewards in this life whilst those who are lazy end up being non-achievers and at the most elementary level, remain poor. Here again the Darwinian notion of survival of the fittest can be interpreted as "survival of the hardest worker".

After all, doesn't our society value hard work and look down on those who live off welfare?
Do we and should we conclude that those who are poor do not work hard enough or aren't clever enough to amass wealth? "Survival of the cleverest".

Unfortunately my ideas above collapse like a house of cards under close scrutiny because it's the poor who have the most children, and it's the poor who manage to exponentially increase their numbers amongst the population by having more children than the rich. And in Darwin's measure of  biological success, those individuals that have the most progeny are the most successful.

1 comment:

Jeannie said...

I'm not so sure that brains have all that much to do with making millions. A person can overthink a situation.

And stupid people know how other stupid people think. They believe bullshit so they can also sell it.

Luck, much as it usually isn't talked about, is crucial.

Being in the right place at the right time and taking advantage of an opportunity - whether or not it really makes sense, is what works.