Hardships Against Success In Outliers

June 23, 2022 by Essay Writer

Malcolm Gladwell, in his book, Outliers, explains how even people from the most unfortunate backgrounds can become successful. In the article, “Used to Hardship, Latvia Accepts Austerity, and Its pain Eases”, Andrew Higgins describes Latvia’s economic disaster, and how the country survived. Even though the people in the Outliers felt like they had limitations, Latvia’s economy demonstrated that their crisis had very large obstacles to overcome.

For example, many Latvian’s lost their jobs and developed financial problems. When the crisis hit, “the government laid off its civil servants, slashed wages for the rest and sharply reduced support for hospitals” (Higgins 33-34). Lots of people faced poverty because the government had to reduce wages in order to keep the country finances down. Interestingly, many citizens accepted what was happening to them instead of protesting as others would assume. Another serious problem was that the collapse of Latvia’s largest bank in 1995 wiped out many people’s savings (Higgins 56). As a result, many of the population was forced to live on very little. Both unemployment and the loss of savings were big factors to the downfall of the economy. Without jobs, Latvian’s became poor and, for a while, were not able to fix the problem.

In addition, a multitude of Latvian’s moved to a different country in hopes of finding better opportunities to sustain themselves. A citizen from Latvia said that “several of her good friends have emigrated to Britain and Ireland to look for work” (Higgins 75) Unemployment triggered Latvians’ to look elsewhere for their source of income. For their sake, they had a better chance to rebuild their life in a different country than they would in their own. To be more specific, “42,263 people moved abroad, a huge number in a country of 2 million” (Higgins 78-79). A small portion of the country emigrated to other places, many of them were young people. This not only hurt the Latvian government, but it showed that Latvia was not stable if it caused the migration of its people. Moving may have improved the lives of the Latvians’, but it also could’ve made their situation worse.

Some may argue that the number of people who endured hardship before achieving success in the Outliers was significant; however, it is apparent that the number of Latvians who encountered deprivation was more considerable. Kids from poor backgrounds constantly feel like they “do [not] have the same inherent ability to learn as children from more privileged backgrounds” (Gladwell 256). Children from these kinds of backgrounds find it hard to be successful when they are not able to receive the same type of education as a kid from a well-off family. There are many areas in the country that have these types of problems. While the number of kids who feel disadvantaged is quite large, “30.9 percent of Latvia’s population” was deprived. Over a quarter of the population was hurting. Compared to the underprivileged kids, Latvia’s entire country paid the consequences. Latvia’s situation is an example of what can happen to a country when the economy fails.

Given these points, more people from Latvia experienced hardship than the people form the Outliers because it was the whole country that faced the repercussion. From being unemployed to losing savings in the bank, Latvians’ tolerated much in the years of their economic crisis.  


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