America is an outlier: here it’s commonly accepted that if you succeed or fail you deserve it. We believe we make our own luck. And we blame ourselves for what’s really random bad luck. But that’s counterproductive, according to the research of social welfare professor Mark Robert Rank of Washington University. His new book is The Random Factor: How Chance and Luck Profoundly Shape Our Lives and the World Around Us. Europeans prepare their citizens for moments of bad luck at the front end. It’s far more costly when we wait till the back end. Give a listen.

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