Sunday, February 15, 2015

America's new aristocracy of merit was caused by the success of America's egalitarianism

One of the most surprising conclusions of genetics is that the more access to nutrition, schooling, common culture and other basic resources is equalized the more heritable traits dominate status. Traits like physical beauty, height, intelligence, persistence and disposition become the sole differentiators even if the proportion of these attributes that is inherited is much smaller than it apparently is.

Thus the paradox of egalitarianism is that it produces a perfectly unequal society. One in which no one can legitimately believe that they really would have done better had they had a "fair shake".

I wonder if that state of knowing will be good or bad for social cohesion? Is a little social inequality useful in maintaining the fiction that "anyone can grow up to be President"? The Economist magazine chronicles the increasing effects of America's egalitarianism here.

Ironically the greatest source of meritocratic inequality is assortative mating where high capability people marry others with elite talent. And of course the institutions most responsible for what scientists believe is fully one quarter of all income inequality are none other than the oh so "egalitarian" elite left wing colleges who ferociously screen their applicants for the right stuff and then provide the winners a (relatively safe) platform for socializing and sexual experimentation with their cognitively elite peers.

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