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The "Triple Package" Explains Why Some Cultural Groups Are More Successful 397

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Yale Law School professors Amy Chua, the self-proclaimed 'Tiger Mom,' and her husband Jed Rubenfeld write in the NYT that it may be taboo to say it, but certain ethnic, religious and national-origin groups are doing strikingly better than Americans overall and Chua and Rubenfeld claim to have identified the three factors that account some group's upward mobility. 'It turns out that for all their diversity, the strikingly successful groups in America today share three traits that, together, propel success,' write Chua and Rubenfeld. 'The first is a superiority complex — a deep-seated belief in their exceptionality. The second appears to be the opposite — insecurity, a feeling that you or what you've done is not good enough. The third is impulse control.' Ironically, each element of the Triple Package violates a core tenet of contemporary American thinking. For example, that insecurity should be a lever of success is anathema in American culture. Feelings of inadequacy are cause for concern or even therapy and parents deliberately instilling insecurity in their children is almost unthinkable. Yet insecurity runs deep in every one of America's rising groups; and consciously or unconsciously, they tend to instill it in their children. Being an outsider in a society — and America's most successful groups are all outsiders in one way or another — is a source of insecurity in itself. Immigrants worry about whether they can survive in a strange land, often communicating a sense of life's precariousness to their children. Hence the common credo: They can take away your home or business, but never your education, so study harder. 'The United States itself was born a Triple Package nation, with an outsized belief in its own exceptionality, a goading desire to prove itself to aristocratic Europe and a Puritan inheritance of impulse control,' conclude Chua and Rubenfeld adding that prosperity and power had their predictable effect, eroding the insecurity and self-restraint that led to them. 'Thus the trials of recent years — the unwon wars, the financial collapse, the rise of China — have, perversely, had a beneficial effect: the return of insecurity...America has always been at its best when it has had to overcome adversity and prove its mettle on the world stage. For better and worse, it has that opportunity again today.'"
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The "Triple Package" Explains Why Some Cultural Groups Are More Successful

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  • Simple enough... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TWX ( 665546 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @09:59AM (#46079919) that some feeling of superiority or supremacy for either the group that one hails from, be it family, community, race, whatever, gives one the belief that one can achieve, or can achieve more than others.

    Feeling of inadequacy guilts one into taking action, to actually attempt to strive to meet that perceived superiority.

    Impulse control prevents one from going for instant short-term benefits when those benefits are small, when one can see longer-term benefits by being willing to settle for something lesser now.

    I'm not going to get into the racism and other unfortunate points of the argument, but it's not that surprising to me that those that feel that they can achieve will achieve, while those that don't feel that they can achieve won't, by the averages.
    • by TemperedAlchemist ( 2045966 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @10:10AM (#46079993)

      The middle one is an easy trip to mental illness.

      This all seems like a bunch pseudoscience BS, it's not worth any serious consideration.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It's not even pseudoscience, it's an op-ed from a couple law professors.

      • Re:Simple enough... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by AthanasiusKircher ( 1333179 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @05:19PM (#46085161)

        The middle one is an easy trip to mental illness.

        Actually, feelings of inadequacy are absolutely essential to learning your limits and realizing there are greater goals you can strive for. If you've never felt inadequate, then you've never challenged yourself. Far from being "an easy trip to mental illness," I'd say that someone who has never felt that way is likely a seriously mentally-ill megalomaniac.

        For example, a few years ago I read about surveys of self-esteem for top schools like MIT. Students entering MIT have incredibly high self-esteem. Many of them were valedictorians or near the top of their high school classes. Everything probably came easily to them.

        Now look at their perspectives when they graduate. Their feeling of self-worth is in the toilet. I believe the study estimated it took something like 10 years after leaving MIT before the undergraduates actually recovered their previous self-esteem.

        Now, what happened? Those students were challenged in ways they never had been before. I don't know if this is still the case, but for many years part or all of freshman year at MIT was pass/fail -- to set a standard. You realized you might just end up with Cs, even if you were at the top of your class in high school. Other top schools often don't have this "calibration" time, and instead (like Harvard) give out just about all A's. They never set a standard. They don't make sure that almost all students feel inadequate and truly challenged.

        Nevertheless, most MIT students apparently choose to work harder and to continue to try to succeed. And that's one reason why graduates are often successful, as well as highly valued in the workforce.

        Of course, such a trajectory can lead to mental illness, and sometimes does. But for most it's better to be significantly challenged to the point that you realize how ignorant you are and try harder to achieve, rather than going through life thinking you're always going to be on top.

    • I'm not going to get into the racism and other unfortunate points of the argument

      Which "racism" would that be? The article explicitly and clearly points out that these traits are not caused by race.

      • It's a common cause of confusion. Certain behaviours and tendencies can be attributed to specific cultures. I really wish people would realize that culture is learned, can be changed, and includes both good and bad aspects. The bad aspects of cultures should be changed, but it's touchy because it often gets ibnncorrectly equated to race.

        • by anagama ( 611277 ) <> on Monday January 27, 2014 @12:16PM (#46081177) Homepage

          Here is an interesting example supporting your point FTA:

          Merely stating the fact that certain groups do better than others -- as measured by income, test scores and so on -- is enough to provoke a firestorm in America today, and even charges of racism. The irony is that the facts actually debunk racial stereotypes.

          There are some black and Hispanic groups in America that far outperform some white and Asian groups. Immigrants from many West Indian and African countries, such as Jamaica, Ghana, and Haiti, are climbing America's higher education ladder, but perhaps the most prominent are Nigerians. Nigerians make up less than 1 percent of the black population in the United States, yet in 2013 nearly one-quarter of the black students at Harvard Business School were of Nigerian ancestry; over a fourth of Nigerian-Americans have a graduate or professional degree, as compared with only about 11 percent of whites.

          By the same token, racism is adaptable. Adherents will just shift their focus from genetic factors, to cultural ones, and in fact, that is in a sense what the article suggests with the exceptionalism point.

          Honestly, the more I think about this the more disturbing it is, particularly the inferiority thing. I've ended up doing fairly well by objective measures -- I'm from one of those successful cultural groups -- but I'm still very insecure and often deeply unhappy. At the end of it, we're dead, and I'm a good 2/3 of the way there, still wondering how I can waste so much of my life being unhappy.

          I end up thinking about the immigrant wisdom of, "they can take everything from you, but they can't take your education" -- well, death takes that too and if you lead a life of suffering (for no good reason, just cultural BS) -- what the fuck good did it do you?

        • Re:Simple enough... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by chihowa ( 366380 ) * on Monday January 27, 2014 @01:10PM (#46081839)

          The bad aspects of cultures should be changed, but it's touchy because it often gets ibnncorrectly equated to race.

          I think that culture is deliberately equated to race by some to dismiss, without consideration, the idea that the disadvantages some people carry because of their culture are 1) repairable, by fixing the bad aspects of the culture, and 2) the fault of the members of the culture, by teaching these bad thought patterns and behaviors to their members.

          It's far more appealing to these people to think that certain people are inferior/superior because of their race (the racist crowd) or that it's somehow everybody else's fault for the failure of certain cultures to prosper (the PC crowd). Equating culture to race allows us to not address the shortcomings in our different cultures and to shout down any attempt to even identify the shortcomings as racist.

          Cultures may have strong correlation to race because distinct cultures were often developed by racially isolated groups of people. But cultures, and the individual behaviors and ideas contains within them, are portable to every group of people. We should be dissecting cultures to adopt the good aspects and shed the bad ones.

  • WTF? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dywolf ( 2673597 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @09:59AM (#46079921)

    This piece of "outrage journalism" was "news" two weeks ago.
    Why is /. regurgitating it? And why after waiting two weeks?

  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @10:03AM (#46079939)

    really the older one since he is the only one in school
    tell him if he doesn't study and put an effort in that he is going to be kicked back to day care

  • Crazy! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Big Hairy Ian ( 1155547 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @10:04AM (#46079941)
    So you have to have an inferiority complex whilst believing yourself to be superior and be a control freak at the same time?

    This explains why my manager is a psycho :D

    • Re:Crazy! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @10:25AM (#46080109) Journal
      There's another force at work.

      Native kids, born into the complacency that is life in a wealthy western nation, often lack the drive wielded by those not too far removed from the have-not lifestyle afforded by life with fewer resources.

      First generation immigrants are generally more motivated and productive compared to those farmed locally.

      • First generation immigrants are generally more motivated and productive compared to those farmed locally.

        This is why immigration has always been the economic engine that drives the United States. It is the reason that we became a superpower. Sure, abundance of natural resources and a business-friendly government infrastructure plus a culture with a healthy respect for the rule of law have been important, too, but the American Dream is all about lifting oneself economically, and without the influx of motivated and productive people to fill the bottom tiers, it wouldn't work. We got where we are by sucking smart

      • > First generation immigrants are generally more motivated and productive compared to those farmed locally. Yes but not for the reasons you listed. When immigrants come to the US, it isn't the "tired, the sick or the poor" that we are getting anymore. It's the people who had the drive to save up half their life wages, research what they needed to know to start a business when they get here, possibly learned another language and uprooted their lives to move halfway across the world. They would not be her
  • So, basically, success boils down to not making dumb decisions, feeling like to need to prove yourself, and knowing you can do better than where you are in life? Seems like a blinding flash of the obvious, in a lot of ways...and the Irish and Italians proved this a hundred or more years ago.
    • Re:Yawn..... (Score:4, Informative)

      by sideslash ( 1865434 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @10:16AM (#46080033)

      Seems like a blinding flash of the obvious, in a lot of ways

      You haven't read their follow up paper, wherein we learn that spending all your time stoned on pot and alcohol correlates with low achievement in life.

    • by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Actually also "knowing" that you can do better than all others (which is never true) and hence propelling you into positions you are unqualified for. The worth of these people for society is strongly negative. It explains why so many "managers" are so incredibly bad at their job though.

  • by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @10:06AM (#46079955) Homepage

    Talent and damn hard work.

    Its all very well being some extrovert but insecure snake oil salesman , but if you really have nothing behind the shiny smile and/or you're lazy then the odds are you're not going to get very far.

    On the other hand I'm come across plenty of shy retiring types who may not have all the smart ass patter and have no more insecurity than anyone else - but they have brains and they do well.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Not required. Talent is a hindrance for success in the US. Obsessive-compulsion are a plus though. And "hard work"? You know that quantity cannot make up for quality, right? Well, as far as "success" goes, it does, but only on the surface.

      • by Viol8 ( 599362 )

        A genius who can't be bothered to get out of bed in the morning or put much effort into problem solving isn't going to be particularly successful. You need more than just brains to succeed.

  • at least here in NYC i see lots of American young kids spending insane amounts of money in rent to live in the trendy and hip neighborhoods to spend even more money on overpriced alcohol at bars and whatever

    the immigrants are the ones who own the million dollar homes in the best school zones here in places lots of new yorkers have never heard of

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @10:15AM (#46080023) Journal
    It is sample bias, and that is all it is. People with education (and/or welath), a drive to better themselves, willing to chuck everything in one land to seek fortune halfway across the world. That is the sample you are looking at in America. Not a truly representative sample of India, or Nigeria or Chinese.

    I am a very successful (by most metrics. education, job security, networth, income, family, status/respect among the peers) Indian American. Any statistics about Indian Americans suffers from terrible sample bias. Almost all the Indian immigrants to USA fall into exactly two categories. 1. Highly educated (post grad + in India from top Indian universities, IITs, IIMs, IISc, AIIMSs, NITs, RECs, etc). 2. Emigres from Gujrat business communities. Both groups would be very successful wherever they go, not because of any of this triple package.

    The Gujarati business community is world wide and they thrive in every corner of the world. A huge percentage of grocery stores, motels, retail stores and pawn shops in Africa, Caribbean and Pacific islands are owned by them, and they are making big inroads into USA, UK, Canada, New Zeland, Australia etc as their immigration polices are getting relaxed .

    The educated Indians were bottled up in India, when it was pursuing socialistic policies. A small trickle of engineers and doctors from India in 1960s became a veritable torrent during 1990s. Stated with F1 student visa, and then H1B work visas. They are all college educated.

    The achievements of Indian children in academics in the USA is not very much out place compared to the Whites, Jews, the African Americans or Chinese, if you draw a sample with same level of education/wealth from these communities.

    This triple package theory does not explain why, despite being endowed with the triple package in the dyed in wool pristine form, India and Nigeria are so corrupt and so mired in poverty.

    • I don't think this is correct. There is no bias in this case since the groups being examined are the groups of successful people in the US. What traits do those people share? It isn't examining Chinese or Indians in their original countries, it is examining emigrants in the US. In other words:

      This triple package theory does not explain why, despite being endowed with the triple package in the dyed in wool pristine form, India and Nigeria are so corrupt and so mired in poverty.

      could perhaps be answered by saying that the people who share the three traits all emigrate to the US and become successful.

      • What you described at the end is exactly sample bias, so I'm confused that you don't consider it so. The claim is roughly that you can look at "successful groups" and determine what makes them culturally superior by assuming their differences account for their success.

        Yet if you included a full sample size of that culture from the origin country, the distribution may be (and probably is) no different than a randomly chosen cultural group in the U.S. while still sharing the cultural traits that were assumed

    • The author fails to explain the methodology by which she determined all these successful groups are so much like her. Given that she has a history of self-promotion, I suspect her technique was "narcissism, QED."

      The actual, observable behavior of the successful groups is that they work hard, pursue self-improvement, and persevere. This is exactly what American mythology says is the formula for success, and what do you know, it worked for me, too! What motivates people to do that is largely irrelevant, and t

    • This triple package theory does not explain why, despite being endowed with the triple package in the dyed in wool pristine form, India and Nigeria are so corrupt and so mired in poverty.

      I think it explains it quite well: the attitudes of the "triple package theory" are produced when a particular subgroup of people emigrates to the US. When they stay at home, they don't feel like they have to prove themselves. I think the article pretty much says as much. I don't see a contradiction.

    • by wytcld ( 179112 )

      The Time op-ed mentions the children of Chinatown wait staff excelling in NYC highschools. Those aren't educated families

      What's being described is an Adlerian superiority-inferiority complex. Get to know some who expresses strong feelings of either superiority or inferiority, and you'll most likely find they also have the other paired with it. It's a well-mapped variety of neurosis.

      As for the emphasis on delayed gratification, the authors claim that this is incompatible with an emphasis on the now. But they

    • You do realize that none of what you wrote contradicts what Chua and Rubenfeld said, right? In fact, they have nothing to do with what they said. You are pointing out specific communities that are successful and what they do. They are pointing out traits that seem to be common in all those groups, and which drive why these communities do what they do.

      For what it's worth, I agree with them. Without the belief that you can succeed, you will not. Without the belief that you have to succeed (because otherwise b

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @10:16AM (#46080035)

    All these, except impulse control, are strong indicators of an imbalanced and immature personality. These people are a problem. Their "success" is essentially of negative worth to society, and, I suspect, to themselves.

    • I don't know if they've described it correctly, maybe a better explanation is:

      1) Belief that you are capable of success
      2) Awareness that you have not reached your potential
      3) Impulse control

      A different way of describing the same thing, that is not so controversial (and won't get as many page hits).

      • 1) Belief that you are capable of success
        2) Awareness that you have not reached your potential
        3) Impulse control

        Those may help, but we already know that impulse control is sufficient to explain the outcomes (marshmallow experiment). Perhaps it's:

        1) bullshit
        2) bullshit
        3) impuse control, as proven 30 years ago

        But that sells fewer books.

        P.S. Slashdot, your <ol> is broken.

  • I was a young boy, it was 4th grade and I was living in Taiwan. (no I was not a military brat)
    Our "American" school took us on a field trip to a Taiwanese school to see what it was like for local kids our age. At my school we did math problems such as 23 x 65 = ?, yes... that's all the more difficult it was.
    At the Taiwanese school they did problems such as 34251 x 67453 = ?, but that wasn't all they did, a lot of what was on their board I didn't even understand.

    It's been suggested that a lot of the kids at

    • 34251 x 67453 isn't really more difficult than 23 x 65, merely longer. You just repeat the exact same steps more times.

      • yep it's about getting a "chitty" which is a passport to a job not understanding the actual mathematical principals
      • I don't think I've ever seen that kind of question in any mat class, at least not where you were supposed to solve it the old fashioned way. But I can see one advantage to it. It ensures that students are actually doing the questions using the "algorithm". And it ensures that they really understand the algorithm, and haven't just learned to memorize a few steps that allow them to solve the necessary problems.

        The leap from being able to do 23x65, and being able to do 34251 x 67453 isn't a trivial one.
    • '68 in Vietnam in a rude house in a tiny village a fourth grade girl was working on her homework. I looked to see what she was doing. She was studying set theory, the exact same material my brother was working on in high school, back in the states.

  • by Ihlosi ( 895663 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @10:25AM (#46080111)
    Everything else is just a matter of time. Impulse control + desire to achieve -> success in the long run, unless you get beaten up by people without impulse control who find you annoying.
  • It is all about specific types ofintelligence - logical-mathematical. In layman's terms - geeks do better in our techno-centric society. The ethnicity with most geeks ends up with an advantage, then the resulting socioeconomic factors cement the advantage..
  • Success = happiness? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pr0nbot ( 313417 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @10:32AM (#46080177)

    Would you rather be successful and miserable, or a happy failure?

    I'm told that Hawaii, for example, has an odd vibe where a lot of people lead frugal lives with clapped out cars and McJobs, but they're there because it's a wonderful place to live. Do they deserve contempt for their lack of ambition? Praise for their ability to value the things that really matter? Respect despite having chosen a path we might not choose for ourselves?

    • Would you rather be successful and miserable, or a happy failure?

      I'm told that Hawaii, for example, has an odd vibe where a lot of people lead frugal lives with clapped out cars and McJobs, but they're there because it's a wonderful place to live. Do they deserve contempt for their lack of ambition? Praise for their ability to value the things that really matter? Respect despite having chosen a path we might not choose for ourselves?

      Considering that my dream life involves tropical air, building guitars all day (because I want to, not because I need income) while my wife shoots the curls, and killing a fair amount of what I eat... hell, I'll admit to being just a little green with envy.

    • by RivenAleem ( 1590553 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @11:52AM (#46080929)

      It reminds me of a Joke/Story.
      I'm going to paraphase because I CBA typing it all out.
      An American businessman is on holidays in Mexico. He meets a tomato farmer. The Tomato farmer makes enough money to get by on. The American asks him why he doesn't take a bank loan, buy more land, hire more workers plant more tomatoes. He could grow his business, get rich. Sure it might involve many additional hours of effort and toil, and a few years of sleepless nights while making ends meet, but eventually he might have a thriving business.

      After 30-40 years of this, he could then retire, and perhaps start a small tomato farm to keep busy.

      The Mexican looked around him and offered, "Don't I have that right now?"

    • Also this stupid idea that "success" is some kind of binary thing where you either work really hard all the time and make a lot of money, and thus are successful, or you are a failure, not worth mention. If you don't have the right kind of job in the right field that pays the right amount of money and has the right kind of prestige then you just suck, your life sucks, and you are useless.

      I think that is an exceedingly unhealthy and narrow minded outlook. This, really overtly material attitude at its core wh

  • Impulse control (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @10:51AM (#46080337) Homepage

    I love that they made impulse control one of the three important characteristics. I think it's an important factor to be sure and one that really sets different people apart from each other.

    Teenagers are famous for their lack of impulse control. Either it is my age showing or there really does seem to be an decrease of impulse control among American teens. It might be convenient to blame race for some of this... no, it really is easy when you look at the whole world instead of just what goes on in the U.S. But we're all human and we have a component of what we learn and are taught. Impulse control is 'behavior' and it comes largely from parenting.

    The article highlights asian success who are also pretty famous for their parenting. Most people in the US find the style a bit restrictive to say the least and even distasteful. But the result speak for themselves do they not? And over the last few decades or more, there has been a constant stream of complaints by older people who keep talking about kids today and "family values" and parenting and all that. Mostly, this all falls on deaf ears of people who think they know better or that the old ways are no longer valid in "today's world."

    And when you look at trending among different ethnicities in the US, where you see an increase in fatherless families or otherwise single parents you see more and more of these problems we call "impulse control" issues. (Back in the day, we said "criminal tendencies") But it's a bit sad and also gratifying that this story is not about what makes the white man in America successful. After all, the white man in America is the target of blame for other ethnicities' shortcomings. But I am glad this study points out that other non-white people can do better than white people and white people don't seem to be resentful or trying to take them down, let alone "keeping them down." (In fact, I would go so far as to say the white man is generally in awe of and are looking up to the successful asians.) So isn't it about time we stop listening to the complaints which even today continue to sound about the white man in America?

    At he end of the day, each of us only have ourselves to blame for what we can and cannot do. (Within some reason of course.) But impulse control is huge. It's what affects the decisions and courses we take in life. I once or twice explained to my sons that life is a series of forks and paths. Some are mutually exclusive. When you make one choice, many other choices disappear. For example, getting a facial tattoo would close a LOT of doors in a person's future. (And those damned gauged earrings? Who, outside of a cannibalistic clan, would think that is acceptable in society?)

    I have a sense of responsibility. I have this dark inner feeling that the things my family and especially my children do are a reflection on me. So I do what I can to ensure they reflect as well as possible. I hope my sons feel the same way as they go through life. It's a driving factor in family values. We need a lot more of this. No more single parents. No more running away from responsibility. Life isn't about whether or not you're happy any more. That's on you, but it's not on you to make another person's life worse because you're unhappy. That's a violation.

    • Teenagers are famous for their lack of impulse control. Either it is my age showing or there really does seem to be an decrease of impulse control among American teens.

      I don't think impulse control has decreased at all. The only difference I've noted is that the hyper-connectivity of modern times provides much more opportunity to exercise their lack of impulse control. It's exacerbated further due to their parents not having grown up in a remotely similar environment, and so being unable to anticipate certain things.

    • Re:Impulse control (Score:4, Insightful)

      by jafac ( 1449 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @05:19PM (#46085165) Homepage

      Do workahollics have impulse control?

  • It's just a coincidence of course, but this insane couple happens to be Jewish and Chinese, two of the 'superior' minorities they mention. Wow, who'da thunk it. Ridiculous individuals.
  • Schools are failing because students don't listen or pay attention in class, and there is nothing the teacher can do. A friend of mine teaches. It sounds like a war zone where the students have all the weapons. And mommy and daddy never think it is their child's fault.
  • The "chosen people" are "chosen" in the sense they have extra requirements, not superiority. They are expected to lead by example, by adhering to 613 commandments while the rest of the world is only expected to adhere to 7 commandments: []

    All this is to say, anyone who believes they are superior because they were born X or Y is missing the point. People of any ethnic or religious background can achieve the same "level" by helping to make the world a better place. You are judge

  • That's the key to success? Sounds like conservative values to me. Especially when the author says "Ironically, each element of the Triple Package violates a core tenet of contemporary American thinking."

    Among other detriments, contemporary American thinking assigns virtue to victimhood; a fallacy, for sure. It gives disadvantaged people a false moral high ground and one-sided sense of entitlement; an excuse factory. "Blame the system". Mean while the system has grown to be more of what it has been befo

  • Gets popcorn.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LoRdTAW ( 99712 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @11:15AM (#46080557)

    This is some serious racial/ethnic flame war fuel right here.

    I would hazard a guess that many of the immigrants who come here are already motivated to do better, why else would they leave their home to come here? They aren't going to let their kids sit in front of a video game for hours when they busted their ass to relocate to another country and build a better future. They also want to make sure their kids are pushed into prestigious, high income jobs like business management, lawyers and doctors. You can't blame them for trying to ensure their kids are successful.

    "Native" kids and their parents don't know the hardships such as poverty, disease or oppressive governments their immigrant parents experienced in their homeland. They take their comfortable life for granted and don't have the same motivation to succeed because they already feel successful. As long as they get to play video games, go out on a weekend to party and have enough money to pay rent and bills, they are satisfied. This usually happens around the second or third generation born here.

    And as a side note:
    You want to know the secret to success? Risk. Immigrants took a big risk to come here. Their kids will also take risks like starting a business or changing jobs at the drop of a hat for more pay. Of all the people I know, the ones who are successful are the ones who took risks career wise and went into business or made major job/career changes.

    • Don't conflate race with culture. They're two completely separate things. And yes, various cultures have various drives, goals that they tend to place import upon, and so on.
  • ... that those who proclaim the U. S. "the greatest country on earth" are really sabotaging the nation they claim to love?
  • by Beeftopia ( 1846720 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @11:20AM (#46080595)

    Another factor perhaps? From The Economist magazine:

    "That personality, along with intelligence, is at least partly heritable is becoming increasingly clear; so, presumably, the tendency to be happy or miserable is, to some extent, passed on through DNA. To try to establish just what that extent is, a group of scientists from University College, London; Harvard Medical School; the University of California, San Diego; and the University of Zurich examined over 1,000 pairs of twins from a huge study on the health of American adolescents.

    The adolescents in Dr De Neve's study were asked to grade themselves from very satisfied to very dissatisfied. Dr De Neve found that those with one long allele were 8% more likely than those with none to describe themselves as very satisfied; those with two long alleles were 17% more likely.

    Where the story could become controversial is when the ethnic origins of the volunteers are taken into account. All were Americans, but they were asked to classify themselves by race as well. On average, the Asian Americans in the sample had 0.69 long genes, the black Americans had 1.47 and the white Americans had 1.12."

    -- "The Genetics of Happiness", The Economist, 15 Oct 2011 []

  • by taikedz ( 2782065 ) on Monday January 27, 2014 @11:23AM (#46080641) Homepage Journal

    The wording of the first two traits is strong, and easily misinterpreted, like mistaking humility with being a pushover. "Superiority complex" might be better rendered as "the knowledge one can do better than this"; "insecurity" is crippling compared to "the sense that the present condition is unttnable")

    I'll add one last one to the trio though: "fails often" or rather, being able to recognize that failure is a milestone in an endeavour, not a gravestone; failure is a better teacher than success []. This concept is alive and well amongst entrepreneurs of all cultures, and is essential to not erode the forward drive offered by the "superiority complex."

    The ability to digest one's own failure is also an essential trait to continue to foster curiosity and experimentation - an ability easily lost in our obsession of being right first time, embodied by our acceptance of "do or do not, there is no try."

Do not underestimate the value of print statements for debugging.