Your candor with summarily sharing what is considerably the unsavory details of your economic success is not only refreshing but appreciative Mr. Ford. I say this because what you have highlighted is a Matthew Effect that embodies our own faulty institutions which proffer a social hierarchy of privileges. It has profoundly contributed in no small part to your success. By acknowledging these socioeconomic intricacies that seemingly would be minor or irrelevant to the normally eulogized Horatio Alger tropes, we get a more accurate picture of how chance — against the backdrop of marginalization and discrimination — ultimately determines our outcomes in life.
From the education received in elementary schools to the engrossing featured media reports or, from politicians to our own loved ones, the overarching rags to riches, “hard work leads to a rich life” narratives disguise or attempt to refute the multitude of evidence to the contrary. Surely, as a person of color who has written and spoken ad nauseam about the misapprehension of the American Dream, I would be promptly disparaged and dismissed as shiftless and envious for offering such a perspective. This is part and parcel due to the motivated ignorance that has besieged American culture.
It should come as no surprise that the many who have toiled — with nary a complaint or never with a lack of conviction towards hard labor and sacrifice for their loved ones — have not retired en masse to live in mansions, if they happen to live to such a ripe old age. Many simply struggle through the ebb and flow of limited success and tremendous failure due to lives filled with rife due to circumstance and or cumulative disadvantage — this too a Mathew effect. That is simply how happenstance works in the grand scheme of things.
I advocate for mitigating any appearance of disadvantage and I especially espouse eradicating any man-made forms of inequality that support a zero-sum affect on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It would inevitably produce a better quality of life than the type we historically and majorly elect to living through now.