Ben Cheever

The problem here is that all people are not created equal, though America is driven by this noble falsehood, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Stirring and instructive nonsense, but nonsense nevertheless. We aren’t equal. We don’t all have the same capabilities, the same chances, or the same luck. We don’t even have the same inclinations.

Here’s the idea: Everybody thinks he or she might be president or CEO. Here’s the benefit: Everybody works hard. Here’s the problem: Many of us will not become president or CEO. Many of us will become bitter.

If we are not at the top of our field, then we are forced to come to one of two agonizing conclusions: We haven’t worked hard enough, or we’ve been cheated.

I think that most Americans take both positions, which leaves them either acutely disappointed in themselves, or furious at anybody who has surpassed them.

Differentiation is crucial for advancement. So is brotherhood and the desire to work for the greater good. Huge wealth is a problem and a responsibility.

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