Are We Responsible for How Successful We Are?

By KBJR News 1

April 20, 2012 Updated Apr 20, 2012 at 10:25 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) - How responsible are we, in American society, for how successful we are?

One assistant professor, who spoke at UMD, said today that depends on our ethical conceptions of responsibility.

There are factors we cannot control, such as how well-off our parents are, and there are factors where we chose our path, such as whether to gamble our money.

He says statistics show, when it comes to social mobility, there is a sharp decrease in children being able to do better than their parents, despite people working longer and harder.

So how responsible are we really?

"Most people, left and right within the United States, believe that citizens should, in some sense, be responsible for their situation, and that in fact a just society be one in which people were held responsible, so my work basically focuses on,... what it would mean for someone to be responsible for their social position," said Dr. Joshua Broady Preiss.

Preiss went on to recommend policy changes he believes would make personal well-being something people can be more responsible for in our society.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike