The Self-Made Myth and the Truth about how Government helps Individuals and Businesses Succeed
by Brian Miller and Mike Lapham
Based on findings in the US but generally applicable, in The Self-Made Myth Brian Miller and Mike Lapham examine the widespread belief that successful people in America are “self-made” with little outside help.
While hard work, creativity and sacrifice play significant roles in success, success involves a broad array of actors and forces, many of which are supplied and financed by society as a whole. Miller and Lapham believe that “self-made” is a myth and that “built-together” – a reality in which individuals and businesses succeed through collaboration with taxpayer-supported institutions – is the truth.
How people feel about policy issues depends on which of these views of success they hold. Miller and Lapham believe that the anti-government narrative that comes from believing the self-made myth is dismantling the social contract that once bound the US together.