What is the Triple Package?

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Every one of America’s most successful groups has a superiority complex—a deep-seated belief in its own exceptionality. For example, most Nigerian Americans prize the unique lineage and prosperous history of their Yoruba and Igbo ancestry. In 2013, though making up less than 1 percent of America’s black population, Nigerian Americans—many from modest backgrounds—made up 20 to 25 percent of the black students at Harvard Business School and are starkly overrepresented in America’s top investment banks and law firms.

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In a study of almost 4,000 freshmen at 28 selective American colleges, Asian American students reported the lowest self-esteem of any racial group even as they racked up the highest grades. Asian parents express much lower levels of satisfaction with their children’s academic achievement than the average American parent. Yet Asian Americans’ SAT scores are 140 points above the national average, including a 63-point edge over whites, with the gap increasing.

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Strict self-discipline is a fixed star of Mormon culture, manifest in Mormons’ two-year grueling missions, their temperance, their churchgoing, and their sexual conservatism. Mormon businessmen are well known for not having a beer at the firm barbecue or going out for even a one-martini lunch. Their clean-living approach to business is paying off. What do the current or recent CFOs or CEOs of American Express, Black & Decker, Citigroup, Dell, Fisher-Price, Deloitte, Huntsman, Jet-Blue, Marriott International, Sears, Skullcandy, Sam’s Club, and Madison Square Garden have in common? They are all members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Copyright © 2013 Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld