Monday, February 26, 2007


Kudlow and Company is my new favorite show. After 9 years in the Academy it reminds me of the soulless growth at any cost SOB I used to be.

But, seriously finance guys are a fun lot. I have noticed, however, that my sense of fairness has evolved over the years and I am now neither firmly on the left or right.

On reflection I think the two sides make inverse mistakes.

The left believes that if the US were a true meritocracy then things would workout fairly. However, things do not work out fairly and so the US must not be a true meritocracy.

The right believes that the US is a true meritocracy and since merticocracies induce fairness, things in the US must work out fairly.

The problem of course is that meritocracies are anything but fair. They are productive. They are stable. They are the best social organization thus far devised, but they are not fair.

Some people are quite simply more talented, more beautiful, more charismatic, and more inspirational than others. As if that wasn’t enough, all of those qualities tend to cluster into the same people or at minimum the same families.

This isn’t fair but its true.


Nathan Smith said...

Is a meritocracy a system in which the talented rule, or in which the talented get most of the goods? "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" would be a meritocracy in the first sense, but not the second.