I know it’s no longer a new article (October 16, 2010), but I just read and want to comment around Jonathan Haidt’s What the Tea Partiers Really Want, from The Wall Street Journal. Karma is the word he thinks describes how tea partiers and conservatives view the world. “The law of karma says that for every action, there is an equal and morally commensurate reaction. Kindness, honesty and hard work will (eventually) bring good fortune; cruelty, deceit and laziness will (eventually) bring suffering.”
I read a letter to the editor the other day where the writer criticizes the Occupy Wall Street protesters for their sense of entitlement, and explains that anyone can be in the top 1% through hard work, motivation, and talent. If people have achieved success, it is because of their efforts; very much like the law of karma as Haidt states it.
David Brooks ennumerates his 5 favorite books in an interview with The Browser. Included in his list is Jonathan Haidt’s The Happiness Hypothesis. Also included is James J. Heckman and Alan B. Krueger’s Inequality in America. The blurb starts off with, “Heckman is an economist who looks at the first few years of life. It turns out that already at age four, you can predict with about 77 per cent accuracy who is going to graduate from high school. He focuses on non-cognitive skills like personality which, unlike cognitive skills such as IQ, are hard to measure.”
It would appear, then, that 77% of our karma is already set by the time we reach the age of 4.