America is a country that is no stranger to racial stereotypes. These stereotypes range from an inability to keep rhythm to being a billionaire. The latter stereotype of success most notoriously affects the so-called “model minorities”: Chinese Americans, Indian Americans, and American Jews. However, there are some less-visible minorities who make the same strides of success with minimal recognition. In The Triple Package by Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld, the authors examine insecurity, as well as superiority and impulse control, as a crucial common factor of the success of the nation’s most wealthy cultures.
One of the first lesser-known successful ethnic groups is Cuban American exiles. Cuban exiles, who were often members of the upper class in Cuba, came to America and faced a wealth of discrimination in the 1960s. They faced housing segregation and businesses that refused to serve them. This discrimination coupled with a sudden dramatic loss of social status may account for the “chip on the shoulder” that has helped fuel so much of Cuban American success and motivation. The Exiles according to “A History of Political Organization” by Ferdinand R. Amandi, “…were from the top echelons of society and brought their politics, skills, and motivation with them.” This ethnic group now has a higher median income of $50,000, compared to the $48,000 of non-Hispanic whites.
A similarly successful ethnic group fueled in part by insecurity is Iranian Americans. Iranian Americans, many of whom came to America as refugees of the 1979 Revolution, suffer from an onslaught of discrimination brought on by America’s 9/11 terrorist attacks. Iranian Americans now stand as some of the most successful members of the business world. “Iranian-Americans have founded and held senior leadership positions in major U.S corporations, many in the Fortune 500 including EBay, Google, General Electric, Verizon, and AT&T,” says Prestige Magazine.
The Triple Package does well to identify what composes the gap between the successful minorities and the mediocre masses. It aptly proves impulse control and insecurity and pride in being a minority as factors of their success. Without the fueling need to prove oneself that is common to all these groups, there would have been no success about which to write this book.