In his column, “If I Were a Poor Black Kid,” Forbes writer Gene Marks notes the advantages conferred upon him and his children by being white and financially secure. He asserts that black kids in poor urban neighborhoods with struggling schools have a harder situation, but that with hard work and perseverance, they can successfully graduate high school, go to college, and get a good job. Essentially, he’s calling for kids in tough situations to be resilient, or, in other words, to do better than expected in adverse circumstances.
This year, Nouriel Roubini, the economist known to the general public as Dr. Doom, Prophet of the Financial Apocalypse, spent the early hours of Mardi Gras on the floor of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. It was only 11 a.m., but the party was rollicking. Traders careened around the floor, hooting and honking, dressed as dragons and devils and convicts. Rock music roared overhead, and no one seemed to care that, by the bye, the market had tanked.