Over at TCS I try to parry the thrust of this Matt Yglesias blog post. I argue that it is in fact possible to deserve what once has worked for, and that there are in fact self-made men who deserve credit for their achievements. I don't believe these are controversial propositions, aside from a few sholastic dissenters. But I think this is a case where it's worthwhile bolstering common sense.
[NB: I have nothing to do whatsoever with the red donkey illustration.]