None of this is easy. But the truth is that it's increasingly impossible to sell people transparently self-promoting fairy tales that plainly don't reflect how the real world works. If you want them to believe that hard work and discipline are important, then hard work and discipline have to really be important. Not just modestly helpful. Not mere drops compared to the obviously undeserved piles of so many of the super rich. If we want people to believe, we have to believe too. We have to believe that America should be a country where everyone prospers, not just the cognitive elite and the super lucky. Until we all believe this — until conservatives believe this — the notions of responsibility and discipline that conservatives talk about so much are probably going to continue fading. In recent decades they've simply dedicated too much of their lives and too much of their energy to patent unfairness to be surprised any longer that belief in being fairly rewarded is on the wane.
That's the lesson of Occupy Wall Street.
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