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‘Tiger Mom’ Talks Culture And Success In America

“Tiger Mom” Amy Chua and her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, are back, this time with their  take – an explosive look — at what makes some ethnic and cultural groups successful in America.

Amy Chua and her husband, Jed Rubenfeld are both professors of law at Yale University Law School. They are also the authors of "The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America." (Penguin Press)

Amy Chua and her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, are both professors of law at Yale University Law School. They are also the authors of “The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America.” (Penguin Press)

Tiger mom Amy Chua drove half the world crazy with her last book, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom,” about “the Chinese way” of child-rearing – tough, unbending, demanding.  Critics called it “abusive,” “insane.”  It was a bestseller.  Now Amy Chua, with husband Jed Rubenfeld, is back with advice for the whole society.  Learn from the Chinese, the Jews, the Mormons, the Nigerians, the Cubans who are succeeding in America.  Feel superior.  Feel insecure.  Control impulses.  Win.  Critics call this one a “new racism.”  Chua makes no apology.  This hour On Point:  talking success in America.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Amy Chua, co-author of “The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups In America.” Also author of “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.” Professor of law at Yale Law School. (@amychua)

Jed Rubenfeld, co-author of “The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups In America.” Also author of “Freedom and Time“ and “Revolution by Judiciary: The Structure of American Constitutional Law.”

Richard Alba, professor of sociology at the Graduate Center at City University of New York. Author of “Ethnic Identity: The Transformation of White America” and “Remaking the American Mainstream Assimilation and Contemporary Immigration.”

From Tom’s Reading List

TIME: The ‘Tiger Mom’ Superiority Complex – “A new strain of racial, ethnic and cultural reductivism has crept into the American psyche and public discourse. Whereas making sweeping observations about, say, African-American or Hispanic culture–flattering or unflattering–remains unthinkable in polite company, it has become relatively normal in the past 10 years to comment on the supposed cultural superiority of various ‘model minorities.’ I call it the new racism–and I take it rather personally.”

New York Times Magazine: Confessions of a Tiger Couple — “The book is a work of Gladwellian sociology that enters the same cultural minefield as ‘Battle Hymn.’ Looking at minorities like Mormons, Nigerian immigrants, Asian-Americans and Jews, among others, Chua and Rubenfeld contend that successful groups share three traits: a superiority complex, feelings of insecurity and impulse control. America, they conclude, used to be a ‘triple-package culture’ before it succumbed to ‘instant-gratification disorder.”

The Jewish Week: Good And Bad News On Jewish Push For Success – “While anyone can possess these traits, their research suggests that some groups are instilling them more frequently than others and with greater success: every one of America’s most successful groups believes that there is something exceptional about their group; being an outsider has been a source of insecurity evident in all of America’s most successful rising groups; and contemporary American parenting is focused on ‘feeling good and living in the moment,’ while every one of America’s most successful rising groups has inculcated disciplined habits into their children. ”

Read An Excerpt Of “The Triple Package” By Amy Chua And Jed Rubenfeld

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  • John Cedar

    Superiority complex? According to his son, the evil Ted Kennedy had a different take on things that seems truer and should be an inspiration to everyone. Too bad no librul or democrat believes in their own words:

    “One night, not another boat in sight on the summer sea, I asked him, why are we always the last ones on the water? Teddy, he said, you see, most of the other sailors that we race against are smarter and more talented than we are. But the reason… but the reason why we’re going to win is that we will work harder than them, and we will be better prepared. And he just wasn’t talking about boating. My father admired perseverance. My father believed that to do a job effectively required a tremendous amount of time and effort.”

    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/TedKennedy/story?id=8443171&singlePage=true

    • Ray in VT

      Working hard is for suckers. Better to be the retired guy who makes hundreds of thousands of dollars when a couple of hundred people get their jobs shipped to China.

    • George Potts

      The Kennedy’s succeed because they have billions in foundations and inheritance. It keeps them out of jail for all of their violent crimes against women.

      Teddy Kennedy
      Skakel
      Smith

  • Markus6

    Professors at Yale? Haven’t read their stuff, but I’m betting my first born that this show will overflow with political correctness. We can all succeed. There’s no link to race. Those that haven’t are victims of stereotypes or cultural biases.

    Again, I’m guessing but there’ll be very little research rigor around this topic – lots of cute anecdotes, confirmation bias, skewed samples, views of experts, that sort of thing. Part of this will not be the guest’s fault. A friend of mine is a researcher of research. She analyzes where research money comes from and how it’s used. She told me that this topic and similar ones (e.g. intelligence of different groups) are the third rail of research. Real scientists stay away from it because findings that conflict with the prevailing academic bias can end your career.

    So, I think this show will be the view of advocates, not real researchers, but I could be surprised, so I’ll listen in.

    • nkandersen

      Glad you’re willing to give it a chance today, Markus!

      nick andersen
      web producer | on point radio

      • Floyd Blandston

        Hahaha! Do you get many of these- fixed comments made before the show is even broadcast?

        • nkandersen

          It’s a pretty broad range, and we love to have comments on the topic at hand ahead of time before we air so Tom can have an idea of what people are thinking about.

          nick andersen
          web producer | on point

    • Ray in VT

      I read Amy Chua’s Day of Empire, and I thought that it was interesting. I think that some group or cultural factors can be beneficial in helping individuals succeed, but I tend to think that there is too much individual variability within any group to make sweeping generalizations regarding sorts of ingrained superiority.

      • olderworker

        Exactly! I always feel sorry for the Jewish person who is working as a garbageman, an Asian person who can’t do math, a Black person who can’t dance, etc. I have even encountered Mexican-Americans (born in Texas) who could only speak English! How embarrassing.

        • Ray in VT

          Madtv did a series of sketches years ago with Bobby Lee, where he played an “average Asian”. People always wanted to cheat off of his math test, even though he wasn’t that good. Some people do fit group stereotypes. It must be really annoying and/or offensive for those who don’t, yet have people constantly make various assumptions about them.

    • http://marknmays.com Mark Mays

      Wow, the typical enlightened conservative comment. “I haven’t read this but I must comment without knowing anything about it.”

    • geraldfnord

      Nothing should be an absolute third rail, but the history of findings related to race is usually an history of the biases of the researchers involved. See, for example, the hereditary nature of pellagra, the unscientific Oriental mind of the heathen Chinee, the weird toes of the Negroes, the natural tendency of the Mexican to stoop-labour, the inability of Celtic peoples to govern themselves decently, in fact the inability of anyone but a Briton to govern themselves, the Jew’s natural inclination toward usury and low I.Q.s, the Scots-Irish and Sicilian genetic proclivity for violence…all these have been promulgated as scientific ‘fact’ when, as I wrote above, they are much better indices into the biases of the culture than they turned out to be

      Everywhere on Earth, most of the Malthusian pressure on our populations has come from competition with other humans, none of us are descendant from lotus-eaters…there is always an arms-race for an optimal median intelligence level, so a roughly equal genetic competence is a reasonable first-order assumption, and a better one (because it makes us assume less) .

      Event he racist John Campbell came to this conclusion, though he had to see I.Q. data on the Japanese Eta ( the same gap between them and the genetically near-identical main population as between black and white Americans) before he’d admit as much.

      • http://marknmays.com Mark Mays

        Psuedo-scientific gobblydegook.

  • William

    She is an interesting person and I enjoyed reading her “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother” book.

  • Human2013

    I haven’t read the book, but there seems to be a trend within these groups — they are either very homogeneous and insular or they’ve had horrific experiences in their recent past. After these groups settle in the US for awhile and distance themselves from a painful past, they will be wholly American.

  • J__o__h__n

    No phrenologist?

    • Ray in VT

      I think that that can be an unfortunate part of some of these discussions regarding race/ethnicity and heredity or superiority. It has historically been the case that some proponents have advanced such ideas based upon pseudo-scientific ideas like phrenology, in an attempt to “prove” the superiority of their group and denigrate others. That might be part of the reason that such connections, as Markus6 suggests, are a sort of third rail.

      • George Potts

        Cultural superiority exists.

        Lack of cultural norms that encourage self-sufficiency creates large swaths of need that allow themselves to be bribed into poverty.

      • geraldfnord

        I once heard a professor at a reasonably good university, born Greek Orthodox, spend forty-five minutes discussing his personal relgious odyssey, at the end of which he decided that God existed, that Christianity were the most accurate faith, and that the purest and best form of Christianity were…(wait for it)…the Greek Orthodox communion.

        I asked him if this weren’t a bit of, well, let’s say ‘an interesting coïncidence.’. He didn’t think it funny in the least. He was a professor of psychology.

        That is to say, even the most educated of us can readily be found describing the insides of our own heads better than the world we believe ourselves to be describing.

        When you add in the lack of good critæria for ‘race’—one Alabama court once opined that Greeks weren’t ‘white’, and a parent was told that she were lucky that her employer ‘treated a Jew as good as a white man’—I think we very easily wind-up in the Slough of Muddle because that’s where we start.

  • Jim

    I’m a tiger dad. But I completely go the opposite direction. I prefer to train my kids in sports and hopefully get an athletic scholarship. No, I prefer to learn from African Americans and work the system of the original American dream. You want my kids’ service? You shall pay for it, not me.

  • James

    I can’t believe that NPR is doing this show, I’m not sure I agree with the premise, (I might), I’m not angry that they doing this show. I just can’t believe they are doing this show.

    • M S

      It’s only because there is an Asian and a Jew, if they were White and Christian, they wouldn’t touch it.

      • James

        When I heard that Chua was one of the authors I had that same thought……on the other hand, aren’t Jews basically white (although not European)? Just like Irish weren’t white at one point. If I saw Jed on the street, I won’t ID him as a jew, I’d ID him as a white guy.

        • M S

          I’d say so, but do they identify as White or Jewish first?

          • James

            Cool conversation, I wonder which is more important, how you identify yourself or how society identifies you?

      • geraldfnord

        N.P.R., like most of the media, runs such programming every Children’s Day. (…and too much of the sliver of truly alternative media left is subject to its own insane biases…see http://www.spectacle.org/0802/hogan.html for reasons why, don’t be put-off by the unfortunate title.)

        Most of the culture told me, growing-up, that I ought to be more like white Christians, so there’s less of a market niche for it.

      • George Potts

        Because they can claim historic “victim-hood.”

  • Margaret

    You too On Point? Isn’t it bad enough wading through the articles in the NYT about these shameless self promoters?

    • George Potts

      Their message is important and comes from love.

  • George Potts

    There is message that parents are not responsible for their children. The schools and other support services are the only thing that instills norms and values.

    When we start sending the message that, “It is your child, They are your responsibility. They won’t succeed without your discipline, your encouragement, and your love. If your children fail, you have failed,” then we will start to really fight the war on poverty.

    • Human2013

      There is no such message that I’m aware of. I’m the mother of a 10 yr old boy and take complete responsibility for his academic, physical, mental and emotional health. I look at his public school more as a supplement to my lead. With that being said, I work full time and my time is limited. I’m fortunate that I don’t have to work part time in addition to my full time position.
      We fail to understand the economics of parental education. Parents actually need the time and energy to take care of their children, but parent’s today are completely spent just trying to feed and house their children.

    • olderworker

      I think the War on Poverty will be won when there are enough jobs, that pay a living wage, to go around!

  • geraldfnord

    (I know Jewish and Chinese cultures best, so I’m addressing those, with inclusions about the others when I can:)

    Well, there is something to be said for cultures in which “Master”, “Reverend”, “Sir” are the same title as one uses for a doctor of medicine or for any other educated person (‘man’, really, traditionally—-all these cultures were traditionally quite sexist, as is L.D.S. culture and I believe Nigerian…I hope that they’re not advocating therefor). Without respect for learning, there will not be as much, and I think ‘Americans’ using the term broadly—what Palin or the T.P.ers mean by ‘Real Americans’, let’s say—actually hate the book-learning…I blame the Highland Clearances, and a misunderstanding of the American Frontier, and the very real and obnoxious superiority educated people tried to claim back when the alternative was to have dung all over you most of the time (see ‘That’s the King’, M. Python, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” [1974]).

    That is to say, we’re actually getting what we want from our children: people unable to know and to observe and to reason well enough to talk back to bosses and parents and preachers effectively, but adequate for being good consumers of products and the grosses level of ideas.

    However, I think that the Chinese and Jewish cultures also traditionally had deep scepticism of worldly success, and that has been lost from us somewhat in the America that worships such above (paradoxically) the very qualities that can make one a real success: humility, love of knowledge, concern for other people, and and evident love of children for themselves, brilliant or not…all were around in the various Old Countries, but somewhat deprecated here. There were multiple paths to ‘success’: piety, intelligence, and wealth all were respected—in that order, with ‘wealth’ being a distant third to the near-tie of the first two.

    In that connexion:
    I think they should also address that our very Otherness has been of help: outsiders looking in at a system can understand what it really “wants”, as opposed to what it tells the people within it that it wants…and this advantage will inevitably decrease in effect the longer and more successfully we sojourn here.

    • olderworker

      Huh?

  • geraldfnord

    Is there any way that this book can come off as anything but ‘A person of Chinese ancestry and a Jew tell us all we should be more like them.’? They may cite studies, but is this a reasoned argument, in which they would present counter-studies (as some must exist, sociology not being physics) or an apologia whose research has more to do with confirmation bias than with an accurate portrayal of the universe of extant data?

  • d clark

    I would like to know the guests politics and how close their views are to say, Rush Limbaugh

    • George Potts

      Culture is important source of wealth generation.

      You don’t want them to be right, because you don’t believe in the potential of groups who need a cultural transplantation.

      • d clark

        Undoubtably, I was just wondering about this philosphy vis a vis political viewpoint.

  • George Potts

    We used to have Malcolm, Martin, and George Washington Carver.

    Now, we have Kim Kardashian, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton.

  • Floyd Blandston

    An interesting observation on individuals possessing the qualities the authors propose is how universally disliked they are by popular culture. This leads to ‘ghetto-ization’, leading to a requirement for group cohesiveness. It’s this that seems to lead to the success of the groups in question; their success is made intra-communally first, by connection and group preference, only re-inforcing popular group stereotypes and hatreds. What the authors propose is a recipe for societal division and (ultimately) cultural pogrom, all for the sake of individual success. No wonder hatred follows them!

    • George Potts

      Are you suggesting that Jews weren’t liked by Germans, and now they are making Arabs mad at them?

      • Floyd Blandston

        You’ll have to clarify the second part of your analogy, George. I can’t make the connection…

  • Pam G.

    Chua says, “Learn from the Chinese, the Jews, the Mormons, the Nigerians, the Cubans who are succeeding in America. Feel superior.” As a divorced, single parent, what I learned is that my children who were at the top of their class and were accepted into ivy league schools, could not attend because all the scholarships went to other kids from these and many other cultural groups.

    • George Potts

      Become a victim, then you can do better.

    • Miss_Lilianna

      As a Hispanic 2nd generation immigrant…I agree with you to a point. I believe there should be affirmative action in place for African Americans but I’m not sure if as a Hispanic I have the same struggles as someone whose parent’s had to grow up during segregation. I did get a scholarship from a Catholic university BEFORE I ever filled anything out about my race. I believe if you are looking for scholarships to target a lot of Catholic affiliated private universities.

  • Yar

    An interview of lottery winners would show that lotteries are worthwhile. What is the suicide rate, addiction rates and divorce rates of these ‘successful people’?

    • Yar

      I will pass on your books, maybe I will read the books from your children. I wonder what Sophia and Lulu will say in 20 years.

      • Floyd Blandston

        Was thinking that myself! ;)

    • Miss_Lilianna

      Surprisingly, there is a correlation between income and divorce rates. The higher the income of a couple = higher chance of divorce. Anyways, most of the wealth in this country is passed on through inheritance not income per Time magazine a year ago.

      • Yar

        And what does divorce do to inheritance? Of course lower income increase the percentage of out of wedlock births. Our culture is changing, we don’t have clear comparisons. There was no mention of multigenerational input. Our President got an advantage in the from the of involved Grandparents. This book sounds like using exceptions to prove the rule. A provocateur finding opportunity in other’s insecurity.

        • Miss_Lilianna

          I think you hit the nail on the head with the last two sentences of that post.

  • AliceOtter33

    There is nothing courageous about addressing a bunch of cultural stereotypes as some kind of lightning in a bottle.

    The real elephant in the room is economic inequality.

    Follow the money, not the culture. “Culture” is such a fluid, wobbly term. It invites all kinds of judgement as to the moral character of any given individual who does not succeed in a system that is set up to protect and maintain the status quo of the wealthy at the expense of everyone else.

    Consider the similarity between proposed “the package” mentality and the ludicrous victim mentality of the right-wing conservatism. Both philosophies adopt a zero-sum stance that sets up individuals suffering because of structural disadvantage not only for failure, but for punishment – i.e. cuts to social welfare programs.

    • George Potts

      You are wrong.

      • Miss_Lilianna

        While your argument is quite convincing…we might just have to agree to disagree.

      • FrankensteinDragon

        but wait how can that be?–because, clearly you are wrong.

  • hellokitty0580

    I hear a lot of double-speak going on here. Chua and Rubenfeld have written a whole book on “exceptionalism” specific to certain ethnic and cultural groups; yet, they say that this “exceptionalism” can be found in many groups and familial situations outside of ethnic and cultural groups. So is it really exceptionalism?

    But more important, this talk of cultural and ethnic exceptionalism is dangerous. Can you say Hitler? It’s one thing to take an anthropological or sociological look at cultural ideas on success, but to start qualifying them is wrong.

    • James

      They’re not talking about being exception, they are talking about specific characteristics.

      • hellokitty0580

        By definition, singling out certain cultural groups and ethic groups as having the keys to success denotes exception. They are the “exception.” It’s inferred.

    • Miss_Lilianna

      I wonder if they included the depression rates among the ideal “groups” that are pretty much dictated how to spend the first 30 years of their life.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      In my experience Asian cultures–in Asia–are very ethnocentric and nationalistic believing they are superior in every way (but there insecurity is evident)–which makes them very loud and very aggressive. (I am speaking of a significant element of the culture/population)

      • olderworker

        And in fact that describes Texans very well, too!

  • Yar

    Wet foot dry foot! What would happen if we extended that to Mexicans?

  • George Potts

    The idea that culture can affect success seems like a bridge issue between Republicans and Democrats.

    I don’t understand why it is being completely dismissed.

    The only reason that I can think of is that the people who are dismissing it do not believe that people who have not adopted a culture of success either are not capable or it would be wrong to try.

    • http://marknmays.com Mark Mays

      Because there’s no serious science to support the concept.

    • AliceOtter33

      I think people are reacting to the very idea that a “culture of success” exists. If it does exist, what is its implied opposite? A culture of failure?

  • skelly74

    This sums up the physiological sickness of most human beings: how can I deny my ultimate death and validate my life as something special and extraordinary.

    Give the book a look for a laugh.

    Cultures clash because they want to believe in something bigger then themselves; something that will survive long after they die. Recognize our human hubris and take a deep breath once in a while.

    Those who sit outside, below the castle tower see the most.

    • Floyd Blandston

      Nicely said! From that perspective, what the authors are proposing is a strategy against entropy, with the implication being that socio-economic gains are seen as overcoming it. Funny!

      • skelly74

        Hahaha, yes, a lot of hot air dispersed trying to figure out why the ambition is so overbearing. The Japanese realize this but the still drive themselves into early graves over “ambition”. They actually have a word for death from overwork: karoshi. They do have a good reason for death denial unfortunately. Incidentally, the U.S. have a word for death by overwork also: middle-class.

    • Miss_Lilianna

      I love this.

  • George Potts
  • George Potts
  • George Potts
  • Epysteme

    I understand there is a reflexive fear of group attributions in this country, given its long history of violent racism. I wonder whether the outrage would be the same had the authors simply replaced the word “culture” with the word “group strategy” (since the word “culture” has been co-opted and tainted by racist conflations of nature and nurture).

    • George Potts

      Culture is the correct word and until you accept it, the liberals will continue to promote the culture of poverty established in the “Great Society” policies established by LBJ.

  • Coastghost

    Sounds as if their book will perform well in conveying respective senses of insecurity to various groups and subcultures in the US. Don’t know that it will succeed in fomenting any sense of native superiority among any of these same groups and subcultures, and even less will it stand much chance of conveying operating senses of self-control and self-discipline.
    One out of three ain’t bad, though, hunh?

    • Miss_Lilianna

      It sounds like this book will do well among Chinese Americans. I get it now.

  • Unterthurn

    It sounds like these people are presenting this as a scientific theorem and they beleive they have proved it with scientific (research the way they are talking about it).

    But in truth it is only an unproved hypothesis.

    They need to do more research and a school teacher wouldn‘t have allowed his student to publish yet.

  • Human2013

    Parents actually need the time and energy to take care and educate their children, but parent’s today are completely spent just trying to feed and house their children.
    Most immigrants come here and are overwhelmed by our level of productivity which leads to the dismantlement of community and family. Many American families are so overwhelmed just trying to feed and house their children, that education takes a back seat.

    Humans need food and shelter first, everything after that is just gravy. Unfortunately, in America no one is passing the gravy.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      but asians work as much or more than us in asia

  • James

    Is Mr. Alba’s problem with this book that it’s wrong or that he doesn’t want people to talk about it?

    • hellokitty0580

      I think his problem with this book is that it infer ethnic and cultural superiority, which is dangerous and has caused much war and death.

  • Jeff

    See this is the problem, we can’t even have a frank discussion without accusations of racism! Have we reached a point where political correctness is more important than facts, data and achievement? We should use this data to help every person and every group.

    • http://marknmays.com Mark Mays

      It’s a conservative canard. Present stats and attach a value (improperly) but then complain when criticized saying “I’m just stating the facts.” No, you aren’t *just* stating facts.

      • Jeff

        I’m suggesting we look at the data provided and use that to help all people. Where do you get anything else from my statement?

        • http://marknmays.com Mark Mays

          Because you used the phrase “political correctness.” It’s the scarlet letter of conservative thinkers.

          • Jeff

            Ah, okay, so you’re one of the politically correct police; we are not allowed to criticize the PC culture, ever! I’m sorry but the term PC was quite appropriate in my original comment, for you to get upset about my use of the term (and only the use of the term and not the context) then you reveal yourself as an individual who puts on your political blinders and sees everything the way your political party of choice tells you to see it. We have the 1st Amendment and we all can criticize things that appear to be preventing progress. I hope someday you can have an opinion of your own and shed the blinders a political party has put over your eyes.

          • http://marknmays.com Mark Mays

            You’re one of those people who use the 1st Amendment to apply in situations not involving the government, revealing you don’t have any clue what the 1st Amendment actually protects. I suggest you go read the Constitution instead of wasting our time and yours on comment boards.

          • Jeff

            Yet you want to use the force of government in many aspects of our lives…including what words and speech are acceptable…why is the solution always more government laws when something goes wrong? Odd how you wonder why I invoke the 1st Amendment when it is the political party you support that wants to create laws to limit our speech and exercising of other rights as well (i.e. 2nd Amendment).

          • http://marknmays.com Mark Mays

            Nah, it’s you lot who want to use the government to intrude into private decisions like abortion, marijuana, etc. Moreover, no one is talking about government intervention on this subject. Go derail some other thread.

          • Jeff

            Not true, I’m a libertarian…the federal government should have no say in abortion or marijuana….leave it up to the states and within my own state I support legalized marijuana and legalized abortions.

          • BiggyDingus

            You’re a moron. So the guy uses the phrase “politically correct,” and so you blatantly and moronically straw man by attributing to him a bunch of Republican positions that he specifically states that he disagrees with, which have nothing to do with the subject of this article? Guess what, someone IS trying to derail this thread, and it ain’t him.

          • http://marknmays.com Mark Mays

            First, that’s a poor definition of a “straw man.” Second, he posited that he was a libertarian after I made the comment, which I actually expected him to do. Third, the name calling is for 4th graders.

          • BiggyDingus

            You’re thinking of “libtard.”

            You need to watch South Park. It’s highly conservative on some points, highly liberal on others, and consistently mocks PC culture. It’s spawned an entire generation of young people who think both that Rush Limbaugh is a moron and an ass, and that political correctness taken to an extreme degree can be a bad thing.

          • http://marknmays.com Mark Mays

            Well no actually I’m not thinking of “libtard.” And I watched South Park beginning with ep.1. It is interesting that you think the show has had such a great effect on the minds of a generation. It is wishful thinking.

    • hellokitty0580

      I don’t think that’s the problem. I think we do need to have frank discussions about cultural and ethnic groups and what they feel about being minorities in the United States and their relationship with producing and success. There are serious problems. And I can speak for myself as a multiracial young woman: I do feel I have to work harder to get ahead than maybe complete white people do (I say complete white people because I am part white). But do I think that my family culture or race or ethnicity is what makes me superior? No. It’s my individual characteristics of hard-work, integrity, compassion, and desire to learn that set me apart. None of that is dependent on the way I look.

      • Miss_Lilianna

        When one of the guests started talking about how our 1st generation parent have a “Our XYZ culture is the best”…I really was shaking my head. How can you say that about all of the immigrant groups? My entire family is from “elite” Latin America and NONE of them ever express that mentality. They all love the United States and want us to assimilate as much as possible. I feel like that lady was just blasting complete ignorance.

        • BiggyDingus

          The guest was talking about her mother, and segued into a discussion on how that attitude was common among Korean-American immigrant groups. I’m guessing that you stopped listening after you started shaking your head, because it wasn’t long after that she specifically discussed how not all immigrant communities felt the same way. In fact, she discussed how second and third generation Asian-American immigrants specifically rejected these attitudes as incompatible with American egalitarian ideas.

          So to answer your question: “How can you say that about all of the immigrant groups?” She can’t, because she didn’t.

          Perhaps if you had continued to listen to the program, I wouldn’t have to feel like you’re just blasting complete

  • JGC

    I prefer not to focus too much on the ethnic aspects here. One of the characteristics found to help children grow into grounded adults is “resiliency”, being able to find stores of inner strength to perservere through challenges. And one of the things found to help children develop this resiliency, is to grow up hearing a greater family narrative, which has stories that show family success and family hardship, humorous stories and tragic ones, as well. That is very important, not just the good histories of the family, but also the failures and the bad luck and how they tried to turn it around.

  • malkneil

    He who dies with the most toys . . . still dies.

    • myblusky

      No kidding. We need enough money and health care so we don’t have to worry – beyond that – it’s pointless. Life in moderation is a happier life. The Buddhist taught that. Of course we know what China tried to do with the Buddhist.

      • FrankensteinDragon

        In my experience–many many chinese dont even know what Buddhism is, and many who do practice it here–liek christais–have corrupted its true meaning into a laughable farce.

        • myblusky

          I was referring more to the government of China that was in place during the 1950s uprising in Tibet.

    • Theodore Hoppe

      Is this about “toys” or an education that will help contribute to solving the worlds problems?

      • FrankensteinDragon

        toys. we are talking about “success”–not the worlds problems–because if we were–we would be talking about the need to abolish standardized testing and define success in a much different light.

        • FrankensteinDragon

          we need to look towards italy, spain, greece, the netherlands–not asia.

  • Theodore Hoppe

    Interesting discussion but I feel much of the controversy stems from the fact that most do not understand the role epigenetics plays in the in the nature/ nurture debate. Nature provides the genetics, but nurture determines the expression of our epigenetic responses to our environment. And this can also have transgenerational effects.

    see “The Ghost in the Gene.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEzW7LWr1Ws

    • Miss_Lilianna

      I don’t have time to watch that but that man’s nose is wicked greasy.

      • Theodore Hoppe

        Another version of this video is broken into 5 parts for easy consumption

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toRIkRa1fYU

        IMO, If your short on time you can always save some by avoiding meaningless commenting.

    • BiggyDingus

      Honestly, you give most people too much credit. Most people are simply too afraid of any honest discussion of race, let alone any sort of examination on biological differences between races. There are some irrational people who are afraid of even collecting this sort of data because they are afraid it will inevitably lead to justifying a new system of discrimination, and there are other irrational people who would actually use that data to justify discrimination. (The second group doesn’t exist in anywhere near the numbers to render the first group’s opinion any more reasonable.)

  • geraldfnord

    Now I can’t help but remember the episode of the often-worthless but sometimes very worthwhile “Family Guy” in which the loutish father believes that converting his son to Judaism will make him a success. (“When You Wish Upon a Weinstein”, back when they made fun of anti-Semitism more than they indulged in it.)

  • Markus6

    A bit predictable. None of the groups who have “failed” are responsible for their own failure in any way. Alba claims it’s racism or persecution or some other reason for their failure. Not that they have single parent families or have generational dependence on government or other reasons that put some accountability on these groups. I don’t say how much is their fault – I just don’t know. But it’s apparent that he either doesn’t know the data or is disingenuous. Not surprising, given he teaches sociology, but it’s a shame he teaches.

    • http://marknmays.com Mark Mays

      Wow, I totally disagree with Chua and her husband but at least she has *some* evidence to back up her hypothesis, more than your Limbaugh talking points.

      • Markus6

        I don’t think much of Limbaugh or his talking points, though haven’t heard him in years.

        I don’t know what the disagreement is. Do you disagree that Alba put zero responsibility on the groups that were failing? Or do you think these groups are entirely victims with zero responsibility?

        My point is that the professor gave an entirely one-sided argument. It’s hard for me to understand how someone listening to the program could not see this. The evidence is what he said. And if it was one-sided, he’s not much of a teacher. But I’ll admit that my last point, that he isn’t much of a teacher is a jump in logic. But really, shouldn’t a teacher provide all sides of an argument (as well as his opinion)?

        • http://marknmays.com Mark Mays

          But you completely misstate his argument in your restatement.

          You said “Alba claims it’s racism or persecution or some other reason for their failure.”

          He never said any *groups* “failed.” He talked about obstacles for some groups historically impeding advancement in certain areas. And “arguments” are supposed to have sides. If you are making an argument you are advocating a position or idea. He was pointing out where he disagreed with the authors, not presenting a historical overview of the social advancement of American subcultures.

          And you’re asking me a rhetorical question I need not answer.

  • longfeather

    Tuned in late, but this cultural explanation, and talk of ‘impulse control’ will just not do it in Virginia. Virginia’s in groups go to private schools, and beat up on the public school systems and the teachers, and the teachers beat down the students. This is the Jim Crow culture of Virginia Gentlemen and their Pat Robertson minions wanting tax breaks for their ‘religious’ festivities’ and schools while starving children in the public schools of culture that isn’t provided by ‘the social elites’ wherein they can get awards for their service. If anyone one wants to ‘be seen to be doing good, it is the ‘suffering upper classes’ that have to put up with the ‘inferior “they will always be with us” types.
    I have overheard the ‘suffering conversations’ of these ‘charitable ladies and their ‘church groups,’ and they have been at a Jim Crow war with human nature since Scarlet O’Hara. They have no self awareness, and you can’t tell them anything. UVA UVA Wahoo Wah .

    • Floyd Blandston

      Sorry to hear of your alienation- maybe it would help to understand that their willful ignorance is almost certainly just an attempt to buttress themselves against their own fears by clinging to beliefs supporting their own superiority. Everyone does it, including you and I!

      • longfeather

        Well, as someone at Ft. Monroe said to me, I had to learn what the military definition of ‘friends and family’ was. They can be first degree blood, but if they can’t be supportive, or at least not obstructionist, than you don’t put them on your ‘friends and family list.’ They are not even ‘relatives’, they are just ‘..tivs.’

        • Floyd Blandston

          Now think about the authors argument in light of the traditional role of military service in turning ‘foreigners’ into ‘hyphenated americans’- something we’ve always referred to as a ‘cultural good’ even beyond the effects on the individual!

          • longfeather

            Floyd, maybe sometime I’ll have the time to listen to the whole program, and ‘think about’ some things, but for today, being the neuro-linguistic response type, I am walking away from the author’s sideshow” as she reminds me of ‘the Ugly Americans’ I am already familiar with., as well as Douglas MacArthur and his ilk when at home. I am the front-line, kick the social bullys to the curb type. They can stay out of my neighborhood, too, and busy themselves with their retinues response. I must get back to my Julius Ceaser….

          • Floyd Blandston

            Beware of Cassius; “…me thinks he has a ‘lean and hungry’ look.” ;)

  • Maroloh

    1. This book is a work of sociology — there may be ogther analyses, but the study of sociology is a valid one. And I don’t see this (as a sociologist and therapist) as at all racist. “Ethnic self-congratulation” is a common thing among many, many groups — and not the same as racism, although depending on what you mean it could be obnoxious!

    2. I had a friend in graduate school who did not want to be a law student, although at the time that’s what he was. His background was Italian. He had told his mother he didn’t want law school. She said, look at his cousins — “one’s a doctor, and one’s a lawyer.” He said “yes, but ma, they’re neurotic.” Said she, “Neurotic, schmerotic. One’s a doctor, and one’s a lawyer!” End of argument.

    • Floyd Blandston

      Interesting- the authors proposition of the ‘ubermensch’ sounds rather hysteric to me, all leading to support a ‘group psychosis’! This is a solution(?), oy vey! :)

  • M S

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to seeing where all of this fomented resentment take us…it doesn’t look pretty.

  • Adrian_from_RI

    In post civil rights America to NOT be a racist is to be called a racist by the professional race hustling Liberals. We should all be equal under the law; and the purpose of the law is to protect my inalienable rights as stated in The Declaration of Independence, namely, the right to my life, my liberty and the freedom to pursue my happiness as I see fit. Therefore, I am opposed to racism, including its latest incarnation of government enforced Racial Profiling and Affirmative Action which, according to Wikipedia, refers to policies that take factors including “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” into consideration. Have not we learned anything, yet?

    • Ray in VT

      I would take it by your comments that you believe that all groups have a fair shake. I do not think that that is the case, and I see nothing wrong with some of the attempts that have been made at the policy level to attempt to level the playing field for those who have been and are disadvantaged.

  • KKS2013

    I think the authors are bringing up the “elephant in the room”. I wish the discussion with the other guest had not been so attacking. He didn’t bring up any other theories as to why many of these groups were successful. I believe my family has followed the pattern the author’s discuss but I give the credit more to my parents than to my ethnic group. I plan on reading the book and will hopefully gain insight into our family’s story.

    • BiggyDingus

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed how little Alba contributed to the discussion. He raised a valid point that non-governmental discrimination and policies meant to favor certain groups, and made an interesting, if somewhat poorly organized point about subsidies for Cuban-Americans, but when he was challenged with evidence of numerous legal hurdles arrayed against the other groups, he failed to come up with even hypothetical reasons, let alone any real evidence. Considering that his entire thesis was essentially “different groups succeed and fail due to policy effects and discrimination” and that he knew the “successful” list ahead of time, he was incredibly poorly prepared if he didn’t have a single concrete example of how government policy or discrimination actually helped all of those other groups.

      As an attorney who is terrified on the rare instances I need to be in court for serious litigation, I was incredibly impressed by the authors and how well they handled themselves under attack. Chua, in particular, was great at thinking on her feet. It certainly goes against the stereotype that law professors were the ones who couldn’t hack it in actual practice.

    • FrankensteinDragon

      and than ask, what is success and did my parents push me into a lie that does nobody any good

  • Richard Jablonski

    I think many critics of “Triple Package” fail to see that “data groups” are used as statistical analytic tools to identify childhood environment characteristics that differentiate the causes of success for individual children.

  • Miss_Lilianna

    They are pretty much saying these traits are only found in a select few of these groups (Chinese Americans, Indian Americans) which is most likely based on anecdotal evidence.

  • Mine

    I have 2 points;
    1) The authors claim that they are looking at groups in a specific sliver of time and the success rate changes when those groups are of 2nd or 3rd generation of immigrants. According to this the Asian students at Stuyvesant are 1st or 2nd gen. while the white students are 3rd or 4th gen. So statistically these groups are apples and oranges that cannot be compared.
    2) Unfortunately the definition of success for this couple is only material and does not include any happiness factor, any giving back to the society anything about being compassionate about others.
    My question is; are their two daughters considered as the 2nd or 3rd generation?

    • BiggyDingus

      Apples don’t become oranges in two generations. Can you support your statement that it’s only valid to compare first generation Asians to first generation whites?

      You seem to be confused about controlling confounding variables. If the authors were trying to compare “Asian culture” to “European culture,” then it would absolutely make sense to correct for confounding variables and to compare first generation Asian immigrants to first generation European immigrants, etc. However, they are not, so there is zero reason to do so.

      The authors aren’t trying to show the value of any specific culture, they are examining three specific traits. To that end, it makes sense to break down all groups as much as the data allows, and to look at every data point.

  • Mine

    Thanks for posting this.

  • marygrav

    Being born White or accepted as white also helps. Asians are honorary whites and are given white privilege especially if they are female and beautiful and married to White men.

    The Arabs were honorary White until 9/11. Race and economic progress in America is just a game. Class is what counts now as it always has.

  • AliceOtter33

    I don’t think there is true malice in Chua’s theory. Rather it offers a myopic view of economic success as the culmination of an individual’s choices as they emerge from the context of his or her cultural values. This simply ignores the fact that systemic economic inequality is precisely what western capitalism relies upon in order to maintain the status quo.

    People are right to have a visceral reaction to influential, bestselling authors who are peddling a superficial self-help cliche of the worst kind. The “package” is good old fashioned snake oil. It promises economic success by simply swallowing an elixir known as “grit” and “resilience” long imbibed among the exotic foreigners.

    At its best, it is “Clash of Civilizations” silliness. At its worst, it is a contribution to a constellation of neoliberal delusion. You know, how greed is good and all that?

    Because isn’t that what they are really talking about? Success is pinned directly to one’s hunger for success or at least to one’s perceived starvation in a system that rewards calculated, zero-sum power grabs with cash prizes and moral trophies.

    There is an eerily familiar feel to “the package” required for success as presented by Chua and the cluster of traits commonly attributed to antisocial personality disorder (a.k.a. psychopathy). I realize the idea that capitalism encourages and rewards a kind of psychopathy is nothing new. Authors Paul Babiak and Robert Hare talk about it in Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work. Likewise Ron Johnston’s The Psychopath Test does a number on an infamously ruthless CEO.)

    But Chua’s package of traits is absolutely uncanny in its resemblance to many of the pathological traits found in antisocial personality subtypes as outlined byTheodore Millon’s “five subtypes of ASPD”(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder):

    “-Nomadic: (including schizoidand avoidant features)Feels jinxed, ill-fated, doomed, and cast aside; peripheral, drifters; gypsy-like roamers, vagrants; dropouts and misfits; itinerant vagabonds, tramps, wanderers; impulsively not benign.

    -Malevolent (including sadisticand paranoid features)Belligerent, mordant, rancorous, vicious, malignant, brutal, resentful; anticipates betrayal and punishment; desires revenge; truculent, callous, fearless; guiltless.

    -Covetous (variant of “pure” pattern)Feels intentionally denied and deprived; rapacious, begrudging, discontentedly yearning; envious, seeks retribution, and avariciously greedy; pleasure more in taking than in having.

    -Risk-taking (includinghistrionic features)Dauntless, venturesome, intrepid, bold, audacious, daring; reckless, foolhardy, impulsive, heedless; unbalanced by hazard; pursues perilous ventures.

    -Reputation-defending(including narcissistic features)Needs to be thought of as infallible, unbreakable, invincible, indomitable, formidable, inviolable; intransigent when status is questioned; over-reactive to slights.”

    The negative response to this book’s premise is not due to its “edginess” in embracing ethnic stereotypes. The backlash is a very human reaction to the cynical presentation of these stereotypes as some kind of elephant in the room.

    • Questions

      Very nice analysis- very perceptive of you!

      • AliceOtter33

        Thank you for your time reading it!

    • Floyd Blandston

      This fits in well with the explanation I provide for America’s role on the world stage. Simply put, we are a nation comprising all the worlds misfits, malcontents, and outcasts- useful, yet volatile- making internal cohesiveness even more critical than in more inherently stable social constructs. This is why equity matters, and why the authors claims, pursued as self- interest, will always meet with popular contempt.

    • BiggyDingus

      Psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder aren’t the same. Though psychopathy shares many traits, it is also characterized by a lack of impulse control that is diametrically opposed to the third part of Chua’s triad. While you make some interesting points, I would disagree that having two out of three vague traits in common should be characterized as an “uncanny resemblance,” but I commend you for actually stating your basis for that assertion and letting us decide for ourselves: That puts you far above 90% of the people here.

      If it doesn’t compromise your privacy in some way, would you mind telling me how you managed to get an advanced copy of this book? It seems like every month a book comes out, and I find myself on pins and needles waiting for the official release date.

      • AliceOtter33

        Thanks for responding.

        Clarifying the difference between antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and the term “psychopathy” is important, since the defining difference concerns impulse control – and after all, superior impulse control is one component of the “Triple Package” success formula.

        So, I guess I would go with an analogy using the ASPD definition with the traits I outlined.

        Interestingly, “Psychopathy” is not a clinical diagnosis, but better described as a cluster of symptomatic behaviors that may or may not present with ASPD (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-social_personality_disorder) – and those behaviors are characterized as having a lack of remorse/guilt, lack of empathy for others impacted, lack of impulse control to prevent these behaviors.

        Long story short, I agree my analogy doesn’t quite fit the criteria for psychopathy, since a pattern of serious lack of impulse control and remorse for its ramifications would more likely lead a person to prison before it would lead them to Harvard.

        However, its not a stretch to imagine the Triple Package as a kind of cultural ASPD that is not above exhibiting psychopathic trait, including a lack of impulse that may lead to violence in the form of abuse (Imposing the cognitively dissonant superiority-inferiority complex in one’s children can be accomplished through physical and emotional abuse that is justified in it’s lack of impulse control on the part of the parent) or “risk-taking” that can mean anything from cheating on an exam or committing financial fraud on a grand scale.

        Sorry that was long. Thanks for making me think.

        PS – I haven’t read the book. I only read the excerpt above and listened to the show yesterday.

  • Sy2502

    In college I saw first hand the results of the “tiger parent” culture. Students who only care about the grade, not about learning, and will do anything to get the grade, including extensive cheating.

    • Jon

      you’re making the same mistake made by the speaker couple – unfairly profiling group to represent their culture. same mistake been made by the GOP and Dems by selecting facts that only support their world view. dare say it’s a true american vice?

      • Sy2502

        I am simply reporting my personal experience. I can’t change how it was. If you think I should lie because it’s more politically correct, you have me and my moral principles all wrong.

        • Jon

          i wasn’t saying you not being factual. I was merely saying “it’s not the whole fact”. singling out select evidence of the whole fact can be misleading and in fact can be a mistake. agreed?

          • FrankensteinDragon

            NO. he said–tiger mom culture. he did not say Asian culture. But i will. I hav elived i China for 8 years and i can telly it is a fact–cheating is the Norm in all aspects of society–trade, business, school, politics…that is why there is so much corruption and change is so difficult. To talk about “culture” is not the same as talking about “individuals”.

            Some people take mutliculturism too far. I.e. oh, genital mutilation is par tof their culture–so who are we to judge, or oh, forced marriage is par tof thier culture–wll, it doesnt matter–in america it is a crime–it slavery, abuse, and assault…there should be NO tolerance for it. Just because something is cultural it doesnt excuse it or mean it is good or okay. Some cultures have very bad and very wrong qualities. Including many aspects of american culture.

            For example, I think chinese herbal medicine and tai-chi is a very good aspect of their culture. If i told you it is a cultural norm would you jump down my throat and say i am judging a whole culture–it IS part of their culture–and very normal. So to point out good things is okay but to point out bad things is awful and just shocking and horrendous! I am sorry but–no it is not! Some things are just bad. And I think it is okay to say so.

            Culture is not racial.

          • Sy2502

            Each one of us is shaped more by their personal experience than what they may read in a web site or a magazine, agreed?

          • Jon

            absolutely agreed. However, those narcissistic scholars still trying to preach and shape others mind like politicians and theologians, don’t you think?

      • FrankensteinDragon

        it is unfair to lump any individual into a group, but it is not unfair to speak of dominant threads in a cultural quilt, a mainstream if you will. Afterall, what is culture, except a dominant way of thinking and acting as a result of group learning and teaching. It is a fact that exam taking is a cultural norm in Asia. It is a fact that cheating is normal in Asian culture. A fact. The judgement is up to the individual. Some people dont see these facts as wrong or unethical. Others might. But it is still part of their culture.

        As wealth accumulation is part of American culture. But many of us see it as a flaw and a sickness in our culture. Many do not. But the fact remains American culture is strongly affected by corporate propaganda. And mainstream American culture is corporate culture–fascist.

    • BiggyDingus

      How strange. In the Marines, I saw the results “tiger parent” culture as well: Guys who didn’t come from a lot of privilege, but strove to be the best they could even without the advantages many others had. Guys who relied on the GI Bill to pay for college later on, and took advantage of that time to actually learn and better themselves, because they knew from their parents example that affluence and credentials were no substitute for character and ability.

      I wonder of my anecdotal evidence is more conclusive than yours.

      • FrankensteinDragon

        NO. I was in the military too and I saw a lot of people who were very comfortable living on military welfare, people who were full of prejudice and ignorance and a savage blood lust–and cheating–most guys never actually completed a rate manual on their own–exam books were passed around and copied. And there was a lot of fobbing-one by, pencil whipping, and gundecking.

        so I guess you chose to see what you wanted to.

      • Sy2502

        I am guessing college and the Marines are pretty opposite environments. And since I was discussing college and not the Marines, I have no idea what your post has to do with anything. But… uh… thank you for sharing… I guess…

    • FrankensteinDragon

      That’s right–cheating is a HUGE part of Asian culture–and they see nothing wrong with it.

    • Valerie

      you need to “learn” to get good grades. Cheating is minority. i don’t agree that school should be all about testing but I also don’t agree with American culture of “BS” and putting down people who prefer study over socializing or sports. I highly recommend Susan Cain’s “Quite: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking”.

  • Ray in VT

    I think that I can possibly see the benefit of some sort of superiority/insecurity complex. I think that having something of a chip on one’s shoulder and also feeling that one has something to prove can drive people.

  • Skeptical Observer

    Wake up America! When you and your children waste your minds on watching ‘Duck Dynasty’, ‘American Idol’, and other such shows for idiots, what do you expect? ‘Average’ Americans are well on their way to following the path of ‘Idiocracy’ and ‘Wall-E’. This is not racist; it is an indictment of ‘average’ American culture, reduced to lacking curiosity, no sense of critical thinking, and indulging in continuous fantasy that passes for ‘reality’.

    Kudos to Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld for shaking the tree and showing that the values that existed among the early American immigrant groups are important to future individual success.

    Wake up America! Turn the ‘idiot box’ (TV) off. Read a book. Learn another language (a critical skill for the future). Encourage your children’s curiosity. Travel! As Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

    • FrankensteinDragon

      The idiot box exists in Asia too. In fact it is slightly more idiotic, and everyone is watching it. Most asians get thier thinking form tv–and actually mistruct and have contempt for teachers and learning–they just want the rubber stamped certificate–” give me your stupid exam”–i will memorize all the BS you want me to remember and score high but i have no respect for you and think you are BS.” The TV is talking to me–my internet friends are talking to me–my mart phone is talking to me and that is all that matters. America is not exceptional. The idiot box is everywhere. perhaps in america asian groups are better off in this regard because TV is geared for white people so maybe they dont watch as much tv and can focus on their corporate-school exams.

      Perhaps you should take your advice and do some traveling outside the US and tourist zones. You will see that asia worships idiots too.

  • Questions

    The problem in America is we have replaced Character with a culture of Image. It doesn’t matter who we are/how we behave when no one is watching- it only matters how we look when everyone is watching.

    • AliceOtter33

      I second your “culture of Image” idea here. “Image” might also be called “branding.” What wealth-generating value does one’s image communicate in the free market? Ugh.

    • BiggyDingus

      I understand what you’re saying, but not its relevance to the subject at hand. Do you feel that material success is a measure of image, and not character?

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    …at least American Exceptionalism is coming back in vogue…. Nice to see so many come full circle. I guess it just takes the right messenger.

    • BiggyDingus

      American Exceptionalism never fell out of favor. People still love American Exceptionalism: the idea that America is unique and special, and that our unique and special traits help us to prosper. What fell out of favor, and I hope stays unpopular for a long time, is American Exceptionalism: the idea that America is special in a way that gives us moral superiority over other nations of world and bestows upon us the right… no, the DUTY, to impose our will on the rest of the world, for our benefit and theirs, and if they think that what we’re doing is actually hurting them, well, that’s because they’re not America and they’re too ignorant to realize what’s actually good for them.

      I hate the jingoism and the self-absorbed hypocrisy it takes for our country to take the sort of unilateral action against another that, if the roles were reversed, would have us clamoring for war, and then to react with self-righteous outrage that the other country would even complain about it. I hate even more the way that certain parties co-opted the term American Exceptionalism to justify this sort of behavior.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    “I’m fortunate and proud to be part of a great historical experiment in freedom and opportunity, and I can still do better than what I’m doing now.”

    What a racist idea. What is the Tea Bagger crap?

  • levrier

    These two self-congratulating self-promoters are not sociologists, whose findings are always open to criticism on research methods anyway. These 2 are lawyers and think they are successful according to some paradigm. What they are saying is bulls#%t. What else should we expect? I hope their children are OK later in life, although I’m sure they will think they are successful.

    • BiggyDingus

      I find it highly hypocritical that you are criticizing the two law professors for articulating their metric of success (even though they repeatedly stated that this metric isn’t the only valid measure of success), and then follow up with a thinly veiled slight against their children for sharing their parents’ idea of success, and not yours. Also, sandwiched in between, you malign an entire profession.

      Also, your first criticism is invalid. You differentiate lawyers from “sociologists, whose findings are always open to criticism on research methods.” This is incorrect on two counts.

      First, the methods used by lawyers are always subject to criticism, perhaps even more so than sociologists. An academic’s work MAY always be criticized, but it WILL only suffer rigorous scrutiny when someone has really wants to play devil’s advocate in the pursuit of knowledge, someone with a competing thesis wants to see who has more support behind their position, someone does not like the implications of the work, or someone just has a grudge against the academic. Practicing attorneys, on the other hand, face constant scrutiny. The adversarial system means that every mistake you make, every shortcut you’re tempted to take be used against you to the benefit of someone else, and most likely to the detriment of the client who placed his trust in you. Flawed methods to a lawyer means an inventor won’t get patent protection, a company faces criminal charges for non-compliance with regulations, an innocent man goes to jail or a guilty man walks free. It means most likely that the lawyer starves–there are very few lawyers who have a fellowship or a stipend that pays out even after they argue, unsuccessfully, for the dozenth time that the Third Amendment of the Bill of Rights guarantees Social Security benefits.

      Second, the authors are not lawyers, they’re law professors. Law professors are academics and researchers, whose findings and methodologies are also always open to criticism.

      • http://marknmays.com Mark Mays

        LOL You’re calling urself a lawyer and make the statement that law professors are not lawyers? Really?

  • longfeather

    As the kids would say to these ‘superior beings’, whatever……

  • Jon

    this so called triple package is truly american value or more precisely vice. at the late stage of these ‘chosen ones’ live, they will try to understand what ‘mindfulness’ means.

    whatever success or happiness is all personal and this culture is supposed to be ‘individualistic’. the american reality is just the opposite.

  • Sy2502

    For as much as I abhor the “Tiger Parent” method, I think they make some valid point, specifically that political correctness is now standing in the way of some groups from achieving success. Apparently it is racist and rude to point out traits that have brought some minorities to success. Pointing the way to the less successful minorities is apparently rude and racist. How messed up is that? Sometimes I wonder if the same people who feign racial concern and sensitivity aren’t actually doing more harm than good.

  • Jon

    agree with prof Alba’s selection or profile theory. this book is not a ‘fair’ or scientific study. they shouldn’t have used ‘culture grouping’ better off with ‘individual success stories’ – however they could’ve done that on purpose to sell the book – after all it’s a great american trick to success.

    • BiggyDingus

      I actually thought Alba failed horribly towards the end there, from a rhetorical standpoint. I don’t know if the authors failed to notice the flaw in his argument, or if it was just great refereeing from Ashbrook, but Alba essentially advocated the point he was condemning. The only difference was that the authors called it “culture” whereas Alba called it “a self-selected group.”

      From a lawyer’s perspective, it was rather painful to listen. It was obvious that when the authors discuss “cultural groups,” they weren’t claiming that Chinese culture–the language, the food, the spiritual traditions–was universally superior whether we’re talking about the Chinese in rural China, the British-governed Chinese of Hong Kong, or the diaspora in the U.S., Canada, Jamaica, Indonesia, and countless other countries. They were referring specifically to the self-selected Chinese immigrant community in the United States. In fact, given how many ethnic subgroups, local cultural traditions, and mutually non-intelligible languages comprise what we call “Chinese,” if two random Chinese-Americans have a lot in common, it’s more likely to be due to their shared experience as immigrants than America than the cultural traditions of their grandparents.

      Alba took pains to mis-characterize the Chua’s use of the word “culture,” implying it was somehow distinct from his profiling of “self-selected groups.” I can’t say whether this was simply typical academic blinders, or a callow and deliberate attempt to straw man the other side to score rhetorical points. In the Marines, I served with people from incredibly diverse backgrounds, who were also a highly self-selected group as Alba would say. We also had our own culture, a Marine culture, that was probably a synthesis of the traditions of the service, the common traits that drove us all to serve together, and the diverse traits that we all brought with us, and it had nothing to do with race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, or bigotry. We called it our culture. The authors would also call it our culture. Alba would call it our “profile of a self-selected group” and then intimate that we’re a bunch of racists for using the word culture and for believing that the culture of the Marines might have qualities that help us to succeed.

      • Jon

        you sound more like logician who knows how to set definition straight before making an argument.

        • BiggyDingus

          If you are trying to have a rational debate in search of truth and knowledge, failing to realize that you don’t agree on the definition of the very thing you’re debating is stupid. If you’re trying to make yourself look good to the masses, deliberately failing to acknowledge that the other side is defining that term differently is the dishonest. Either way, it’s a waste of my time to listen to it.

          • Jon

            do they train marines how to take a compliment?

  • LizinOregon

    I was listening with an open mind until the very end when the Tiger Parent told the story of the guy who felt “superior” because he had succeeded against the odds. There the Tigress lost me – why is the goal to feel superior? Why can’t it be to have a good life that doesn’t involve beating others at the game?

  • blwpyrtv

    There is a dark side to the mentality so often ascribed to Asian
    parents: physical abuse of children (strange how the question of corporal punishment is often sidestepped in the “Tiger Parent” discussion). For recent illustration, do this Google search: Chinese boy lashed. And when you read the story, take note of how onlookers responded.

    • BiggyDingus

      Then, google the murder of Kitty Genovese. When you read the story, take note of how onlookers responded. Now, I implicitly encourage everyone to take that behavior and use it to stereotype all Americans.

      • blwpyrtv

        People applauded her murder?

  • BiggyDingus

    I agree with the many, many people who feel that internal cultural traits don’t paint the whole picture, and that the authors left out a lot of relevant analysis of the complex legal, social, and economic factors that influence a group’s success in this country.

    However, one thing I notice that seems to say much more about the character of the audience than the authors is sheer volume of criticism on that issue. I went to a small liberal arts college after serving in the Marines, and my experiences serving with people from many different backgrounds drove me to take every course and devour every book examining inequality. Some focused on the impact of law and policy: literacy tests and poll taxes that primarily disenfranchised poor, uneducated blacks, the Chinese Exclusion Act and discriminatory immigration quotas, laws barring certain groups from citizenship or land ownership. Some examined overt, deliberate racism, the effect on a community when nobody would hire blacks, or immigrants, or would only hire them for menial jobs at a fraction of the pay, because of a specific refusal to interact with certain people or to give them a chance to advance. More recent books focused on internalized, almost unintentional racism: The guy who has non-white friends, and honestly doesn’t hate anyone, but because of the culture around him has internalized many racial stereotypes, so when he looks at a black player, he subconsciously doesn’t think he’s smart enough to play QB, or he looks at the Asian employee and just doesn’t think he has leadership potential. These books varied by focus and field and methodology. Some were amazing, some were hours of my life I won’t get back.
    But they had a couple of things in common.

    First, most of the good ones were focused on one area of study. The law and public policy professors examining how the government rigged the game didn’t spend any time talking about sociology or psychology. The African-American studies professor writing a book about the effects of Reconstruction on black economic success didn’t spend any time discussing undocumented Latino migrant workers, or Vietnamese refugee communities. Unlike many academics today, they were content to talk about their area of specialization, stayed away from areas they weren’t as familiar with, and trusted the audience to go to other authors, other experts to fill in the blanks.

    Second, people didn’t condemn those books for being incomplete. So many people who haven’t even read this book claim that the authors, by not talking about discrimination, or bad laws, are implicitly claiming that those things don’t exist or have zero impact on economic success. Cornel West published several books looking at the black community from multiple perspectives that did not discuss other minority groups, yet nobody here accused him of trying to claim that blacks were the only group to ever face discrimination.

    • Jon

      you have the perspective of forming a complete picture – only to raise more questions about the inequality. being success is the american dream or rather obsession because everybody is brought up believing ‘all men are created equal’. I suggest you look into this metaphysical hypothesis from which all western political philosophical logic are derived?

      • BiggyDingus

        I’m sorry, I don’t understand what the overall point you’re moving towards. My perspective is that many great books have been written that don’t tell the whole story–either because they focus on only one type of cause of inequality or on one ethnic group–and very few people accused the author of white washing, or deliberately downplaying the other groups or the other types of causes. This book focuses on one type of cause–one that hasn’t been studied so much before–but unlike previous books, in this case very many people DO accuse the authors of deliberately downplaying or white washing the other things.

        I believe that all men (and women) are born with equal rights, and that we should be treated with equal dignity. I believe that after we are born, choices and a whole lot of luck will make us unequal in terms of ability and success. I believe that the way we treat one another can make us better or worse morally. After all, few would argue that Ted Bundy was a better human being than Dr. King, or Mother Theresa.

        • Jon

          who gives you rights?

    • http://marknmays.com Mark Mays

      West, a professor of AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES has written about the African American experiences exclusively in the past and no one expected his book to discuss other minority groups. Your point is meaningless.

  • BiggyDingus

    One point: Unless someone is being deliberately dishonest, statistics on Asian-American family income most likely do account for multiple family members bringing in income.

    Asian-American individual and family income have both been heavily studied. Note for example the studies comparing Asian and white individual income that adjust for level of education (degree wise) and even field of degree. If I wanted to see whether the typical Asian with a BS in EECS made more than his white counterpart (as overall average Asian individual income statistics would imply) or less than his white counterpart (as reality implies), the raw data is available and has already been heavily segmented by other researchers. So the only reason somebody would mix data on, for example, Asian multigenerational households with 2-4 bread winners to white nuclear families with only 1-2 incomes, is to deliberately mislead the audience.

  • FrankensteinDragon

    1. How do we define success? Does it mean wealth or 6 figures? Money isn’t everything.

    2. We are talking about individuals. In no way can you say “Asian people” as a group are more successful than any other. There are a lot of Asian people who are not successful, but few who are actually. So what is this conversation about?

    3. Doing well on standardized exams is not a measure of intelligence, creativity, understanding or human quality by any means. It does suggest a mechanistic (uncreative standardized mode of thought–it suggests something anyways–but nothing of great importance or value. Studies show and people will tell you they do not retain the information after the exam is complete–nor do they necessarily care or know how to think critically. Multiple choice guessing is not a good measure of education.

    Asian cultures (still fresh form the motherland)–are exam-taking cultures–always have been. It is NOT a superior form of education and DOES NOT emphasize critical thinking–ever–NEVER! What it does do is stress memorization skills.

    With books, and libriairies, and calculators, and the internet–we don’t need people who can memorize questionable facts (often bias according to the over-class power-structure)–what we need are critical and creative thinkers who can analyze and synthesize said information. Anyone can look up a word in a dictionary. memorizing “facts” is no education. But corporations do want obedient spineless brown nosers–not people who will question there sad life and slavery or the destruction they reap on the world and humanity.

    5. Money isn’t everything. And anyone who stresses that it is is not a well-rounded human being. Those who chase money often lack empathy–a fact. We live in an evolving human society–not a corporation. How often do you see wealth driven people (these “Asian groups”, especially) involved in community building, organizing, or activism? how many are protesting pollution or dedicated to helping others–how many even care? Few–because tiger moms don’t stress community–they stress wealth accumulation and high scores on exams–not holistic thinking or human welfare–fact. When wealth and the bottom line is everything–everyone suffers. I would say this is not good for America or the world. So what are they cheering for? They are part of the problem.

    Tiger mom style child-rearing is poisonous to human development. Suicide rates in Asia are extremely high. Constant tutorials and classes is no way to learn anything–learning requires rest, time to contemplate, and dreaming. Children deserve rest and play. The mind will not retain all that information–ally you are doing i burning the brain out–making learning a punishment, a painful ordeal. The pressures these families place on their children is almost criminal. It makes me sick. And it makes my Chinese students sick too. As a teacher in China, I know first hand that few are capable of developing any thought whatsoever. And all most of them care about is high scores on exams–and what is on the exam–ask them to think in an exam (rather than multiple choice) and they fail miserably. They just cant do it! It is a culture of mimics and copy-cats. They are very good and that. Is it possible for some to think? Of course, but not the majority, not as a “group.” If Asian culture is so superior why did they come to America?–where free thinking creative thinkers created an environment conducive to free thinking innovation–not exam taking robots. For that–stay in Asia–they are very good at that.

    So what ever these people are trying to say–it is nonsense.

    Capitalism is the problem in America. A culture that emphasizes wealth accumulation over everything else is the problem. These people are the problem. They have NOTHING to be proud of and everything to be ashamed of. The image they portray in these profile pictures is sickening too–so shallow, so vain.

    Everyone dies, few people live. Life is not an exam. And you cant take your toys with you when you die.

  • 1Brett1

    If Ms. Chua’s book–which she mentions in almost every one of her statements as being replete with fascinating data and valuable information–actually has something of value in its read, it is unapparent in her hawking of the book on the show. She didn’t articulate her ideas well. She and her husband just didn’t sell their ideas of the “triple package.”

    If one were to judge the book based on what she said on the show, the book is a mish-mash of junkyard philosophy and pseudo-science. It seems she and her husband have completely discounted external societal factors (e.g., governmental assistance programs) that have benefitted certain ethnic groups in the US. They also didn’t factor in how certain eras have contributed to generational success as much as cultural behaviors, e.g., post-World War II economic benefits.

    As far as racism goes, her argument that one can’t have a frank discussion about these cultural ethnic attributes because one gets accused of racism was really a way to herself shut discussion down and avoid a frank discussion about how old racist views get repackaged over and over as something new and valid. She doesn’t seem capable of discussing how what she is promoting can be viewed as potentially having racial overtones.

    Her ‘tiger mom’ book perpetuated a stereotype about Chinese parents’ behavior and child-rearing methods. While stereotypes have some truth in them, they run the risk of attempting to define a group based purely/absolutely on cultural ethnicity…She could have written a book about her personal methods of raising her children, but she chose to put it in the context of “this is how Chinese parents raise their children and it is superior.”

    [humor] I think we should all be exceedingly disappointed in Ms. Chua. She has inarticulately and superficially attempted to put ethnicity into a limited set of behaviors, attributing those behaviors to certain ethnic groups simply because of the ethnicity of the groups. She is a person who ostensibly had promise but has not effectively used her knowledge and skills to fully bring forth her ideas. In the process, I’m sure she has disappointed her parents and shamed her family. Frankly, her book and tour have revealed someone of inferior competitive drive; she needs to try much harder if she hopes to leave a legacy of being a great examiner of cultural phenomena.

  • Markus6

    I didn’t hear much real science in here, though the authors did refer indirectly to numerous studies. So, maybe they’ve used them, maybe not. With only 60 minutes to discuss such a polarizing topic, it’s hard to get into the details of the studies to determine whether they’re valid or whether it’s just a bunch of anecdotes.

    However I do give them credit for taking the heat for addressing something that most NPR listeners will automatically attack. It’s probably self-serving as they’re selling a book, but can’t blame them for that.

    I’m convinced that you can’t have a discussion on the topic of one culture or race or gender doing better than another, unless it’s the white race doing worse or being the persecutor. That is too bad because if you’re can’t look at these things objectively, you can’t fix them.

    • longfeather

      If only the school systems would have listened to the anecdotes of senior citizens about children doing better when they had recess and could move around. Ever since these ‘standards of learning’ fanatics required that there be ‘no more interruptions to their agenda’ and got rid of recess and morning and afternoon breaks, the school systems have been violating the laws of nature on every child in every public school that deprived their kids of recess. The brain operates on physical metaphors and this has been known in ‘anecdotal, metaphorical, common wisdom’ since the beginning of raising children. No, the US preferred their own version of the madrasa, from school opening to the bus ride home. Even in the Cafeterias in Norfolk Schools, there was a flashing red light that went off if it got ‘too loud.’ The children of Norfolk have been abused since the 1980′s and I suspect in all Virginia Schools.

  • Avril111

    My Uncle James recently got a new black Mazda MAZDASPEED3
    Hatchback by working at home online. you can try here B­u­z­z­3­2­.­ℂ­o­m

  • Karen

    It’s interesting to hear how some ethnic groups are doing better in this country now but not so that we can emulate it. It reflects the downward slide of this country. Due to the dire economy and competition for top college slots and jobs, some people are doing whatever it takes to get ahead. I can’t even blame them.
    But if every “group” ethnic or otherwise thinks their superior, more racism and division is coming our way. If every “group” does whatever it takes to get into college, more cheating on SATs and college essays, and cheating in college are coming our way.
    If children are forced to control every impulse, forced to do things they have no interest in, and act like little adults, more mental illness is coming our way.
    These people are competing with my children who
    grew up in a family where hard work and education are stressed but also values such as honesty, compassion, and acceptance.

  • Michael Wang

    I am a Chinese researcher in US, and for the past 3 years, I presented several talks and discussions about child education to Chinese parents both in US and in China. To my understand, “feeling superior” is teaching child to build happiness solely on beating others in all aspects. More and more parents felt “feeling superior” was narrow minded and toxic to our children: they will never know how to enjoy happiness. A recent published study “Does “tiger parenting” exist? Parenting profiles of Chinese Americans and adolescent developmental outcomes.” examined 444 Chinese American families in California over 8 years revealed that: “tiger parenting is not the most typical parenting profile in Chinese American families, nor does it lead to optimal adjustment among Chinese American adolescents.”

  • ExcellentNews

    Great program. It rings true. I haven’t seen the data, but my casual observations over 4 decades of life in different countries gel with the “triple package” thesis. At the group level, certain behaviors translate to success.

    People commenting below need to cool down and remember that these are group statistics, so they don’t mean that much at the individual level. And while we may argue what is “success”, I think most people would consider that the money that comes from professional accomplishment and the recognition of your peers is a pretty good metric. The latter correlate with family endurance and children viability BTW.

  • Sandra

    This was the most frustrating interviews I’ve ever heard on On Point. Tom was not listening, only playing one side, and just needed to come out with his bias. Also, I don’t see what the issue is here. From my understanding, they looked at the CROSS-CUTTING characteristics of immigrant groups that make them successful. They also emphasize that these characteristics come and go over time in these groups. How is that equivalent to claiming one ethnic group is better than others?

  • Ray from Harlem

    This is an interesting study/interview. Without discrediting
    their study, from an African-American perspective, it is difficult for us to feel a sense of acceptance from other American ethnic groups. In my personal opinion, it is easier for other ethnic groups to feel a sense of acceptance because American (White) society welcomes their foreign culture, traditions,
    values, and achievements. Our values are rooted from our American history, like our white brothers and sisters however, we were segregated from the mainstream American society. You cannot ignore the fact that laws and policies were
    created (many abolished) to prevent us from succeeding. Many immigrant groups have benefited through financial policies created and promoted by the government to other minorities groups (minus African-Americans) to benefit socially and economically. (Example: The Progression Movement) Even though my ancestors are of African descent, I am American. Before any other ethnic groups immigrated to the United States, there were White (English immigrants) and Blacks slaves. Since we are too the foundation fathers of America (though unnoticed and unacknowledged), should I have a superior attitude towards others? I mean we were here first. (Native Americans do not count) – Just a thought. And what exactly is “traditional American values”?

  • Kathy W.

    Not sure that I agree with the pseudo-psychological argument
    that historically underprivileged immigrant groups are able to “make it” in America because of the three “personality” factors underlined by the authors. The idea that the small number of minority groups who are achieving some semblance of “success” in this country is mainly due to the groups’ superiority
    complex, feelings of insecurity, and ability to control impulses only makes sense if it were true that every member of those groups has the freedom of choice, a bourgeois concept. While it’s an optimistic notion that success is driven by a group’s sense of superiority, it naively ignores the real and damaging effects of discrimination and racism that minority groups have to contend with every day. The notion that groups have an innate design to succeed because of a sense that they’re too special not to succeed loses sight of those who’s health and mental fortitude are invariably damaged by the all too menacing messages broadcasted by our government and others in position of power. The message that immigrants don’t belong and should just give up is all too difficult to ignore. It seems that the ‘superiority’ that Chua and Rubenfeld talk about has more to do with the fact that members of oppressed groups feel a sense of responsibility to
    their group, as they are left with NO CHOICE but to prove their worth. And through generations of struggle, it seems that the best way to communicate one’s worth in a capitalistic society, where the language of power is not composed of words, but dollars, is to accumulate wealth. What is ignored still is that the wealth amongst minority immigrant groups still does not have much
    credence in the realms in charge of influencing a group’s public image. Most blatantly, we can see that heads of government and corporations are still predominately made up by white men. By talking about the feeling of superiority as a driver of success amongst racial ethic minority groups is counterproductive to the social reform conversation, as it takes the responsibility off the groups in power to assess their own sense of superiority and frequent abuse of power. With respect to the factor of insecurity as a vehicle for success for immigrant groups, it has little to do with “having a chip on one’s shoulder”. Rather, first and
    second generation groups in this country are forced to be resourceful in their attempts to dream. They are able to make due with little and are thus more reliant on their creativity to problem solve. Finally, delay of gratification is not really a matter of choice either. When immigrants are forced to choose between eating lavishly for the week and having a roof over their heads for the month, there is no surprise in which will win out. Practicality and a hierarchy of needs are more or less drivers of survival, and success is really a byproduct of one’s tolerance of long-term deprivation. Even within this scheme, not all “move on up” within the most “successful” of groups. This seems to explain why later generations are seemingly less likely to control their impulses – they simply have a choice to be impulsive. In the end, this book misses the most obvious question: Could it be that the groups described in the book are supposedly moving up the economic ladder because there’s really no other option but to go up from where they were? The formula to the success of immigrants in this country has to include more than a contrived list of one-dimensional personality traits, but include socio-political factors that allow some to succeed and others to fail so miserably.

  • Rachel

    It sounds like Amy and Jed are trying to justify and even promote unloving parenting (again), which I believe is what many people are reacting to. And if unloving parenting is one way to make our kids successful, are there other, better ways to get the similar results, maybe minus the self-hate it produces?
    I am “successful” by their standards (college degree, aerospace engineer), and I can say that my drive came from a deep hole in my heart that has taken much therapy and self-work to heal. I’m happy that I have a comfortable life with my bills paid. But did I have to go through so much pain to get here?
    I think it would be much more productive if we concentrate on the case studies of people who created balance, security and peace in their lives – out of love for themselves, not a void in their heart – and look to exemplify that, not this hardship that Amy and Jed are promoting.

  • Bill

    I love On Point. This is the most discouraging event in my experience of On Point. I absolutely love/adore Tom Ashbrook but this was really the worst show. I feel bad that he gave them a platform to speak. Oh well, won’t really matter in the long run but I just wanted to voice my opinion. Thanks Tom for everything (except this interview :-)

  • Regular_Listener

    I agree with Shannon from Tennessee. There is an inherent problem here that is baked into the cake of living in a competitive society. For somebody, or some group, to succeed, others must fail – or if not exactly fail, at least not succeed to the same degree. If one ethnic group piles up the accolades and the cash, that means another does not. Yes, you can explain it away, as Prof. Rubenfeld does by, pointing out that success is defined by the individual. And ultimately that is so, we ourselves and something higher are the ultimate judges of our value. But that is not the kind of success that Tiger Mom and Pop are talking about here – they are discussing worldly, financial, individual, ego-driven success.

    I am not sure what the answers are, but I am pointing out a problem. Perhaps we live in a world that is too driven by images of success and wealth – that is not a new insight, I know, but that doesn’t make it inaccurate. I personally would like to see less inequality, but also reduced population growth, and less of this stuff about how the American Dream and great success are open to all and there for the taking. It is true only to a degree. If we all read this book and try to follow its suggestions, we still can’t all be successful in the way that is being discussed. Perhaps the widely accepted definition of success is what deserves greater scrutiny rather than the path of how to get there.

  • Bryce

    Haven’t read the book but it seems clear to me that they have analyzed stats and present them. Seeing as our current culture is obsessed with being PC over seeing things honestly I am not at all surprised at the backlash. I am happy there are individuals who acknowledge truths regardless of how uncomfortable they may be. Of course different cultures have different qualities…otherwise we wouldn’t be different would we. And of course some qualities are more likely to produce different outcomes. As an individual who is not a member of one of the cultures they present as having characteristics conducive to economic dominance…I totally support them and can clearly see the rationale in their message.

  • Regular_Listener

    Another thing that seems to be missing from these kinds of discussions is any mention of the kind of people that I have spent a good part of my life with – artists, intellectuals, educators, counselors, healers, and political activists – people who are not primarily motivated by achieving wealth or admiration or other generally accepted indicators of conventional success. These kinds of conversations seem to assume that what everyone wants is lots of money, comfortable surroundings, and the feeling that they have succeeded in their efforts to get into the upper or middle classes of America, that they have climbed to the top – or close to the top – of the pile and left the others down below. But not everybody feels that desire, and some have lived that life and found it lacking.

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Apr 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.  (AP)

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Apr 18, 2014
This undated photo provided by NASA on April 2, 2014 shows Saturn's moon Enceladus. The "tiger stripes" are long fractures from which water vapor jets are emitted. Scientists have uncovered a vast ocean beneath the icy surface of the moon, they announced Thursday, April 3, 2014. Italian and American researchers made the discovery using Cassini, a NASA-European spacecraft still exploring Saturn and its rings 17 years after its launch from Cape Canaveral. (AP)

Oceans in Space. The new discovery on a moon of Saturn, and the possibility of life there.

 
Apr 18, 2014
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a nationally televised question-and-answer session in Moscow on Thursday, April 17, 2014. President Vladimir Putin has urged an end to the blockade of Moldova’s separatist province of Trans-Dniester. Trans-Dniester, located in eastern part of Moldova on border with Ukraine, has run its own affairs without international recognition since a 1992 war. Russian troops are stationed there.  (AP)

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