Hi, this is Mike from Yelp, the voice would say. You've had three hundred visitors to your site this month. You've had a really good response. But you have a few bad ones at the top. I could do something about those.
Carnegie and other self-help writers have missed the point the last few decades. Getting ahead in life isn’t about making people like you. It is about getting them to serve your interests.
Success depends, more than anything, on an inner ruthlessness. As anyone who has spent much time with chief executives will know, they are mostly an unpleasant bunch.
They bully, cajole, threaten and fume. There are very few examples of them flattering or charming their way to the top. They are more likely to be shouting and raging at people, demanding the impossible, and casting old friends and colleagues aside the moment they become an inconvenience. The accumulation of wealth requires an ability to crush rivals, stamp on employees, and sweep aside all opposition. Charm doesn’t come into it.
The economist Andrew Oswald has demonstrated that in both the United States and Europe, those places with higher homeownership rates also suffer from higher unemployment. Homeownership, Oswald found, is a more important predictor of unemployment than rates of unionization or the generosity of welfare benefits. Too often, it ties people to declining or blighted locations, and forces them into work—if they can find it—that is a poor match for their interests and abilities.
Thirty years ago, educational attainment was spread relatively uniformly throughout the country, but that’s no longer the case. Cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Austin, Raleigh, and Boston now have two or three times the concentration of college graduates of Akron or Buffalo.