Key choices made early in life shape our youth’s future in more ways than we imagine. This information-filled and complex book looks at what leads to income imbalances through our geographic, educational, career and marital choices and suggests how knowing that information can help lead to success.
The author, a physician and father of four, uses as examples his own teen children and dire economic statistics from the state of West Virginia to explore choices and consequences. In explaining his premise and conclusions, he further incorporates information from enlightened thinkers, including Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto (who proffered his principle of balance) and George Zipf (who wrote about the mechanics of human behavior) to demonstrate that “a few secret rules invisibly direct this inequitable game we call life.”
Throughout, LaRoque aims to show that people can direct themselves toward a happier and more financially satisfying life by understanding what factors lead in that direction and what is likely to drag you down. “Make your life full of win-win choices and everything else will naturally follow,” he says.
While the title might seem to indicate a self-help-style manual, the book is rather dense and often academic, devoid of step-by-step guidelines. Pages include copious and often lengthy footnotes. While they add much supplementary detail, they will be daunting to those looking for a more conversational discussion.
Readers should also note that although the author’s discourse may apply to families of some financial means, it isn’t likely to help children from impoverished families, who struggle simply to get through the day with food and shelter, much less have the luxury to choose the best education at the right schools in the best states.
A less dense text would be more likely to attract a larger audience, parents looking to guide young minds. Still, for those happy to navigate the depth of detail, the book offers intriguing information and some thought-provoking ideas.
Also available as an ebook.