Privilege and Luck

I was at the optometrist about a month ago and I overheard a conversation a customer had with the clerk. Apparently, frames are not taxed. In response, the customer right in front of me and I communicated to each other that we didn't know that.

After a short conversation about the topic, I said, "I don't really think about what's taxed."

She responded by saying, "That's privilege."

I nodded. (To be clear, I don't think she was trying to single me out. I suspect she was expressing that we were both privileged.)

This experience got me to realize that I prefer the term "luck," because it can't be earned, whereas privilege can be. And the fact that I'm not that poor is largely due to luck. I just happened to be born in a middle class family, in a developed country, in the 20th century. In the context of every human being that has ever been born, my luck probably puts my quality of life in the top .01%.