"The Triple Package": A Tiger of a Book

By:  Thomas Sowell
03/19/2014
       
"The Triple Package": A Tiger of a Book

The Triple Package tells us much that we all need to know about America — especially if we want to keep the welfare state ideology from destroying the American Dream.

Professor Amy Chua of the Yale law school is better known as a "Tiger Mom" because of her take-no-prisoners, tough love approach to raising children. She and her husband Jed Rubenfeld (a fellow Yale law professor) have written what may turn out to be the best book of this year. It is titled The Triple Package because it argues that three qualities are found in spectacularly successful groups in America. These three qualities, they say, are a superiority complex, insecurity and impulse control.

Whether you buy their theory or not, you will be enormously enlightened by their attempts to prove it. In the process they shoot down many of the popular beliefs about upward mobility in America and about the kinds of people who succeed.

At a time when so many in academia and the media are proclaiming that the poor are no longer able to rise in America, Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld point out that a major research project on which that conclusion has been based left out immigrants.

In their own words, "Although rarely mentioned in media reports, the studies said to show the demise of upward mobility in America largely exclude immigrants and their children. Indeed, the Pew Foundation study most often cited as proof of the death of upward mobility in the United States expressly cautions that its findings do not apply to 'immigrant families,' for whom 'the American dream is alive and well.'"

Some immigrant groups have risen spectacularly, even when they arrived here with very little money and sometimes with little knowledge of English. "Almost 25 percent of Nigerian households make over $100,000 a year" in America, the authors point out, compared to just 11 percent of black American households.

Other groups that have risen dramatically over the years include Mormons, immigrants from India and Iran, and refugees who fled Cuba when Fidel Castro took over there, back in 1958.

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