Where and when you are born has a great deal to do with how successful you might become. According to The Economist:
Warren Buffett, probably the world’s most successful investor, has said that anything good that happened to him could be traced back to the fact that he was born in the right country, the United States, at the right time (1930). A quarter of a century ago, when The World in 1988 light-heartedly ranked 50 countries according to where would be the best place to be born in 1988, America indeed came top. But which country will be the best for a baby born in 2013?
If there is any validity whatsoever to President Obama’s ridiculous remark about “you didn’t build that” it is only in the context that Mr. Buffett referenced. Buffett had an advantage being born in the US where success was easier than in other places in the world. The absence of government rather than the “help” of government provided the opportunity for success.
The Economist does a survey highlighting the factors conducive to success. The following two charts rank countries according to the ease of achieving success.
According to their calculations, the US was the best place in the world to have been born in 1988. Twenty-five years later we had fallen to 16th, barely ahead of the United Arab Emirates.
This drop does not bode well for our children and grandchildren. Their lot in life is likely to be worse than our own. They literally may not be able to “build that.” And government cannot and will not help them in this respect.