Perhaps one of the biggest myths is that hard work equals success. This is a concept strongly held in Western tradition, despite its historic and present day inaccuracies. The hidden assumption behind the hard work trope is that the “worker” will be able to enjoy the production value behind his/her own hard work. This is often not the case for most workers today. Especially in economies where most citizens are employees or those with a history of forced labor. It means wealth is accumulated from the hard work of others.
Just this year, a report on CEO-to-employee pay ratios was released indicating that American CEOs are paid 361 times more than staff. According to the report, Western countries (in contrast with other cultures and civilizations) tend to pay their CEO vastly more in comparison to staff. This means the production of the collective staff is parsed in such a way that individual production value is not fully realized by the producer.
This phenomena can be seen in sub-Saharan Africa, where people work long and hard for a pittance—and where natural resources do not directly benefit individual citizens in African states. The wealth inequity in African states is vast because production value has been decapitated from the producer. Along with the built-in inequity of fiat currency; which robs the average “developing economy” of the production value of its labor, goods and services. This is why the need for greater entrepreneurship, small and medium business enterprises, world currency reform and other models are essential to help nations regain control of the production value of their national labor force.
An example of this, is the comparison between the compensation of a typical South African miner and the CEO of a diamond company. According to Bloomberg Research, the average salary of a DeBeers CEO typically runs into the six figure range; not including stock options and bonuses which can push salaries into or near millions. Contrast that with the average South African miner, who makes a little over $15,000 USD–and those numbers fall drastically for minors in currency poor nations where local fiat currency is grossly pegged under the dollar. It’s not how hard you work, but how much of the production value of that labor you get to keep. You won’t get rich by working hard if you are not able to keep that production value and leverage it through business, strategic relationships, partnerships and other instruments to create wealth. Please, stop telling your children if they work hard they will get rich. Instead teach them if they can create better systems that allow them to leverage their money, labor and partnerships they can be wealthy!