By referring to the rich as "privileged," Brian Harmon has unknowingly dubbed the poor as "under-privileged" ("Sense of entitlement," Aug. 13). In his worldview, riches are either inherited by birthright like some 19th century aristocracy or attained by immoral means. Therefore, the pursuit of wealth is inherently wrong. What chance does anyone have of improving his financial state with this view?

There are countless examples of children born into wealth who throw it all away, as well as children born into poverty who become successful. While environment certainly plays a role, individual choices ultimately determine our fate.

A child born to a single mother in a rough neighborhood with no money can still rise above and make something of himself. Though more difficult, it is absolutely possible, if one believes it to be so. There is an old adage: "Whether you believe you can or that you can't — you're right." In the case of Harmon and those who subscribe to his class warfare ideology, his belief is unfortunately a self fulfilling prophecy — "Because of immoral, undeserving, privileged rich people … I must remain an impoverished, bitter victim!"

Ryan Phillips