Why are some Americans richer than I am? Do they work harder to succeed, or are they more talented than I am? Why are others poor: Are laziness and bad moral character primarily responsible for poverty or are lack of education and social and economic discrimination? Are the situations of the rich and the poor fair or unfair? And how am I to understand my own position in society? Perhaps my degree of economic well-being reflects my basic worth as a person, or perhaps I have experienced unusual barriers that have unfairly held me back from greater achievements. In the long run, do welfare programs or affirmative-action policies aid the disadvantaged, or do they undermine motivation and weaken the basis of the economic system? How much discrimination do racial minorities or working women experience today—isn’t discrimination largely a thing of the past?