Making Excuses for Poverty Keeps People Poor


by David L. Goetsch

I am happy to report that it is still possible—even in these times of quasi-recessionary conditions—to overcome poverty and succeed in spite of the odds. It is still possible for a person born with no advantages and lots of disadvantages to rise up out of his circumstances and live out the American dream. That’s the good news. The bad news is you will never grasp the brass ring of success by relying on nanny government entitlements. This is the message of a new book titled The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires by Dennis Kimbro, a business professor at Clark Atlanta University. I predict Professor Kimbro is in for some rough sledding from liberals who will not like the conclusions drawn in his book. My advice to Professor Kimbro this: Your research revealed the truth. If it happens to be an inconvenient truth for liberals, that’s their problem not yours. Stick to your facts.

Kimbro spent seven years interviewing and surveying almost 1,000 of America’s most successful black business leaders. The purpose of his research was to identify the secrets of his subjects’ success. He wanted to know how black millionaires and multi-millionaires—most of whom started life in poverty or abject poverty—pulled themselves up and became successful and wealthy. The conclusion he draws is that success in business and the resultant wealth that comes with it is a function of choice, personal responsibility, creative thinking, faith, risk, hard work, and perseverance. Nowhere in Professor Kimbro’s book will you find government entitlements, class envy, or race baiting recommended as strategies for success.

There was a time in our country when the average American would read the findings of Kimbro’s research and say something akin to “duh” or “this is just a well-researched statement of the obvious.” But those times are gone. America has become a country in which people are more inclined to choose nanny government over personal responsibility, recreation over hard work, security over risk, compliance over creative thinking, and entitlement over perseverance. Too many Americans have turned their backs on the lessons of Horatio Alger and accepted the lessons of Barack Obama (i.e. success and wealth are functions of birth, race, circumstances, and the environment).

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