People differ

By | June 3, 2018

Matthew Stewart’s claim that the top 9.9% of Americans form a new Aristocracy contains a telling phrase: “The neighbors, seeing that the rough-cut teenager had something special, pitched in to send him to [college]”. Some of us show early promise (“something special”) through traits like ambition, charm, intelligence, drive, confidence, and ability to defer gratification, and society and mentors spontaneously want to help. With these rare traits we are given opportunities to shine (and make millions of bucks).

Nobody chooses to be driven or ambitious (or, in Donald Trump’s case, vain, ego-driven, thin-skinned and narcissistic); it’s just who you are from an early age. We’re each allocated traits by lottery. (One can imagine a trait assignment roulette wheel during pregnancy; innate doesn’t mean genetic.)

It follows, then, that outcomes acquired by lottery should be leveled. Private schools should be outlawed in favor of universal attendance of public schools, everyone should make the same salary (although they could still own stock in companies without receiving dividends), private healthcare should be outlawed in favor of universal healthcare, etc.

In other words, if we accept that people differ by chance, through no fault of their own, perhaps even innately, fairness dictates that the government levels the outcomes.

Speaking of “ability to defer gratification,” the famous marshmallow test demonstrated that kids who could resist eating a marshmallow for 15 minutes had, later in life, higher SAT scores than kids who couldn’t defer gratification, and impulsively gobbled up the marshmallow immediately.  This is also an innate trait that you receive by lottery.  That’s not to say that “ability to defer gratification” is genetic, but if you spend 9 months in the womb of a woman with a college degree and high income, you’re more likely to pick up her specific epigenetic tags to propel your development.

Politically correct researchers have tried to show that the marshmallow test is invalid, by re-running the experiment and tightly controlling for variables like household income, education level of the parents, etc.  However, as these variables are already correlated to the outcome, by controlling these variables you will find only “limited support” for correlation of the experimental variable with the outcome. This is a typical trick used by PC professors who believe, along with Karl Marx, that there are no innate traits.  This false and destructive belief continues social inequality by failing to acknowledge that people differ naturally, different outcomes in pay and benefits are therefore not fair, and outcomes should be leveled.

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