Monday, March 12, 2007

Horatio Alger

Horatio Alger, Jr. (January 13, 1832July 18, 1899) was a 19th-century American author who wrote 135 dime novels. Many of his works have been described as rags to riches stories, illustrating how down-and-out boys might be able to achieve the American dream of wealth and success through hard work, courage, determination, and concern for others. The widely held view involves a significant simplification, as Alger's characters do not typically achieve extreme wealth, but middle-class security, stability, and solidity of reputation — that is, their efforts are rewarded with a place in society, not domination of it. He is noted as a significant figure in the history of American cultural and social ideals. Though often repetitive, Alger's novels remain popular. As bestsellers in their own time, Alger's books rivaled those of Mark Twain in popularity.

The Horatio Alger myth in the modern era takes on a different sort of light. We are regularly inundated with "rags to riches" stories, but rarely given the context of that story. The "self-made man" is a story that, upon closer inspection, rarely holds up to scrutiny. In fact, the stories themselves don't make financial sense.

If there was ever an excellent example of a fraud, it would Donald Trump, who started out rich and ended up rich. His show "the apprentice" regularly churns out the most vile, ridiculous examples of business backbiting and "sink or swim" management. You get one chance, no feedback, and if you win that makes you the best.

Take a closer look at Kendra Todd, one winner of the apprentice, the simpleton from Florida who purportedly at the age of 26, owns a real estate development company. I would be interested to see how it came to be, and whether, as it is likely, her rich family had something to do with it.

Yahoo has now given this idiot a forum to spout her nonsense about getting rich in real estate. She mocks the bubble, tries to offer sophisticated advice on the topic, and in the end just ends up looking stupid.

The secret to her success may not have been who she is, but who she did...
Partner divorced over Kendra, ex-pal says: She was called a winner by Donald Trump, who picked her as his new hire at the end of The Apprentice 3, but Boynton Beach Realtor Kendra Todd is being called something else these days, and it's not home builder. A well-placed Todd watcher is telling Page Two that the tough-as-nails Trumpette is the main reason her business partner and boyfriend, Charles Andrews, divorced his college sweetheart just nine months after marrying her.

"When you work together into the night like Charles and Kendra, things happen," said Leo Miller, a Boca Realtor who gave Todd her start in the house-selling biz in 2002. Miller, who hosts The RE/MAX Advantage Plus Real Estate Radio Show on WBZT-AM 1230 Thursdays, said he knew Andrews, Todd and Andrews' ex-wife, Carolyn Vanderzyden, well until a financial dispute broke their friendship. He still talks to Vanderzyden routinely.

"Carolyn is devastated," Miller said. "She knew Charles for seven years. She's also a Realtor, and she routinely broke bread with Kendra." (Is Kendra a home-wrecker or is Andrews a scumbag? Maybe the two deserve each other.). LOL


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