We’re often told that wealthy and successful people are heroic visionaries who achieved their positions entirely on their own. The Self-Made Myth challenges the by-your-own-bootstraps narrative enshrined in American tradition, and beloved by antigovernment activists, to offer a more realistic, but no less inspiring, view of the sources of success. While honoring the importance of hard work, creativity, and leadership, it highlights several crucial, often unrecognized factors, with a particular emphasis on the ways government and society help individuals.
How we view the creation of wealth and individual success shapes our choices on taxes, regulations, public investments in schools and vital infrastructure, the legitimacy of extravagant CEO pay, and more. The Self-Made Myth acknowledges and celebrates the truth of society’s contribution. It takes a village to raise a business—it’s time to recognize that fact.