If you’re smart, why aren’t you Rich / Wenn Du schlau bist, warum bist Du nicht Reich / Se você é inteligente, por que não é Rico / Si eres listo, por qué no eres Rico

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The distribution of wealth follows a well-known pattern sometimes called an 80:20 rule: 80% of the wealth is owned by 20% of the people. Indeed, last year just eight men had a total wealth equivalent to that of the World’s poorest 3.8 billion people.

This seems to occur in all societies at all scales and at all times. It is a well-studied pattern called a power law that crops up in a wide range of social phenomena. But the distribution of wealth is among the most controversial because of the issues it raises about fairness and merit.

The conventional answer is that we live in a meritocracy in which people are rewarded for their talent, intelligence, effort, and so on. Over time, many people think, this translates into the wealth distribution that we observe, although a healthy dose of luck can play a role.

Some people work more hours than average and some work less, but nobody works a billion times more hours than anybody else.

And yet when it comes to the rewards for this work, some people do have billions of times more wealth than other people. What is more, numerous studies have shown that the wealthiest people are generally not the most talented by other measures.

The most successful people are not the most talented, just the luckiest.

The wealthiest individuals are typically not the most talented or anywhere near it. Maximum success never coincides with maximum talent, and vice-versa. It is evident that the most successful individuals are also the luckiest ones, and the less successful individuals are also the unluckiest ones.

You’ braggin all about the things you can do
Every time you make a pitch
If you’re so smart,
How come you ain’t rich?
You claim to have picked every horse that won
‘Cause you know just which is which
Yes, if you’re so smart,
Tell me, how come you ain’t rich?

Henry built the Ford and made his pile
Woolworth used his five and ten
Rockerfeller’s wealth came from Standard Oil
And Waterman’s came from a pen
You claim it all came from consultin’ you
Isn’t that a brand new switch?
If you’re so smart,
How come you ain’t rich?

Mention work and you go berserk
‘Cause you hate to do a stitch
If you’re so smart,
How come you ain’t rich?
You’re out for a ride on the road to fame
Yet you wind up in a ditch
Mmm-hmm – if you’re so smart,
Tell me, how come you ain’t rich?

Hershey started with a chocolate bar
Wrigley with a stick of gum
Planters took his peanuts and travelled far
Now tell me – what’you doin’, chum?
I’ been hearin’ all about all your big ideas
Since you started. What’s the hitch?
You never made ten dollars yet
You say you can balance the national debt
If you’re so smart,
How come you ain’t rich?

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