Work: Which is more important—Hard work? Or, luck? FOR A 4-LEAF CLOVER?Why do people get ahead?
Some say it’s hard work, but there’s barely a majority of Americans who say so, as we discussed yesterday. What about luck? Do people get ahead because of lucky breaks and help from other people?

A new Reason-Rupe survey asked Americans these questions. How do you think people of different political persuasions answered them?

When forced to make a choice between hard work versus lucky breaks and help from others, Tea Party members overwhelmingly chose hard work (89%). Republicans were a close second at 86%. Democrats were the least likely to choose hard work, but still three-quarters (74%) made this choice.

(All of these percentages in support of hard work are higher than the 58% reported yesterday because respondents to this poll were given only 2 choices, compared with the 11 choices in the World Values Surveys.)

Some people might get ahead because of lucky breaks, but believing in luck can be harmful to your financial health and well-being. People who believe that luck influences their financial well-being recognize their need to save, but are less likely to actually save money, according to research by economist Stephen Wu, reported in The Berkeley Electronic Press.

Do you trust hard work?

Do you bank on luck and help?

What do you think of the poll findings?


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Originally published at, an online experiment in civil dialogue on American values.

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