Originally Posted by Goat
In this country, it doesn't make any difference where you were born. It doesn't make any difference who your parents were. It doesn't make any difference if, like me, you couldn't even speak English until you were in your twenties.
That's the American dream in one sentence, but again, the OECD data shows that it's less true in US and UK than in plenty of other places. Statistically, he would have stood a better chance of sucess in France or Norway or Canada. But no one wants to hear that, because it flies in the face of this pervasive rosy national myth.
Actually, it does
matter who your parents are, by and large. It's a key determinant of your success. It's not simply a matter of how much effort you put in - though of course that's a factor. And if Arnold had been 4'11", we wouldn't be listening to him at all.
Every person who has successfully pulled himself up by his bootstraps looks at his neighbour and asks 'why didn't you do it, if I could?' It's human nature to take credit for our own successes.