The most successful idiot you know

I know a guy that didn’t finish high school, went back and got his GED, has no college experience at all, and is one of the most naturally dumb people I’ve ever met. He’s just a void of intelligence, common sense, personality, and all around brightness - a real dim bulb.

Through some weird confluence of events, he ended up in a job where he makes about $90K a year.

Who’s the most successful moron you know?

Bush, obviously.

Are you sure he is really as dim as you make out? Perhaps “some weird confluence of events” is truly random and he is just very lucky, but I think a lot of people do make their own luck. Being in the right place at the right time or having the right connections is not always completely random!

I’ve known a lot of people of average intelligence who were very succesful, but anyway, I once had a professor who was a complete moron but still got a tenured position at a major university and was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant. I think the professor was most likely hired for political/diversity reasons.

If I knew Bush personally, I might agree. I notice the banner at the top of the page says his IQ is 125 though. :smiley:

Do you really know the guy? Maybe he is shy and awkward around others, but shines at his job?

Intelligence is NOT the opposite of Idiocy. They might seem to be, but speaking from personal experience and from observation, it is indeed possible to be extremely intelligent and extremely stupid at the same time.

And on the other point, Intelligence has nothing at all to do with Success.

Indeed. Can you (the OP) give any examples of his inherent stupidity? The only thing you mention is his education, which doesn’t do anything to indicate that one way or the other. (people who are stupid are probably less likely to be well educated, but not having a great deal of education does not indicate stupidity)

As mentioned in a recent fractal thread, there’s a guy I went to grad school with who was a complete idjit. A waste of space. Now a big name in CGI movies. $90K is chump change to him.

Another student slept her way thru a degree and beyond. Really, really stupid and evil. Tenured professor, ACM lecturer, etc. Made a mockery of Women’s Rights.

I guy I knew in high school now owns a very successful auto repair business. Of course, he inherited it, but he’s successful (the OP did not limit it to self-made success) and he’s just as dumb as a cast iron pincushion. Honestly, a complete and total knob. I cannot imagine how the guy can run the business for six months without going bankrupt and can only conclude he inherited good employees as well.


We had a friend who was by no means an idiot, but was far from an academic success. I think he eventually got a GED, but am not sure. The only printed material in the family home was the TV Guide (no exaggeration). He started his own plumbing company, and finally succeeded after a couple of failures. Before he died (entirely too young, of a brain tumor) he was making more money than my husband and I together with our college degrees.

J. Ezra Merkin

And I do know him, he’s a former client.

I knew some one would come up with this, and I agree. I am also a republican.

My husband’s former boss. He’s not very good at his business, but gets by with contacts. He could be stupendously successful if he was a decent manager, but instead he is doing OK. I don’t know why he’s still in business–contacts, I guess.

Thirded. Bush’s daddy had to do everything but chew his food for him to ensure he survived long enough to get to be president. If he’d grown up in normal circumstances, he’d have a job scraping dead animals off the road while the other dead-animal-scrapers laughed at him behind his back. I’m a conservative, but I don’t vote straight republican.

Working in an academic library, I’d have to disagree that just being a professor–even with tenure–is a mark of success for a stupid person. College students aren’t all stupid, and they can spot phonies more quickly than most people give them credit for. They can make a stupid professor’s life hell if the professor’s too careless hiding idiocy. Also, stupid people would probably be miserable in an academic setting where they might be expected to do research and publish. I mean, look at Ward Churchill. He’s a fucking moron, and he doesn’t strike me as successful, and at this point, he doesn’t look happy at all.

An actual idiot would probably be better off buried in a corporation or political office working as a gopher or runner for someone with more brains and living in that someone’s wake. If he can do the shit jobs well enough, his overall idiocy could well be forgiven.

On edit: Whoops, I forgot to answer the question. I dunno. No idiot I’d met in high school really became a success. I suppose if I kept in touch with my college alums, I’d run into a couple, but I don’t, so . . . I’ve come a ways, and I’m no genius, so . . . I’d have to nominate myself.

I wouldn’t say “idiot” but I have a friend who manages a trading desk at a major investment bank and makes millions a year. He’s more like the guy that would wast an hour down on Canal street arguing with some Chinese guy in order to get 20% off on a stereo than he is the numerical genius who comes up with the models.

He’s still a moron by our standards.

Forgot to mention : Nicole Kidman.

My Dad tells the classic story of the dim boy in his class at school who left without qualifications, started a small business and ended up richer than the rest of them put together.

I know a couple of people like that, as well as someone who comes across as remarkably limited and naive, and without a devious bone in his body, yet he has been successful in a field where precisely the opposite attributes are needed.

I know someone who was born to parents with a wealthy business, took it over, married a con man who has helped her make more money, some of it in surprisingly legal ways.

If the government ever got wise, they would both lose everything and end up in prison doing hard time.