"Smart parents are more likely to have smart children, and their greater intelligence will be reflected, on average, in higher incomes. Of course, IQ is only one dimension of talent, but it is easy to believe that other dimensions, such as self-control, ability to focus, and interpersonal skills, have a degree of genetic heritability as well."—Greg Mankiw, former economic adviser to President George W. Bush and Not-President Mitt Romney, in a new paper entitled "Defending the One Percent."
At long last! Finally someone BRAVE ENOUGH to defend the One Percent!
(As you may recall, Mankiw is also a stupendous comedian, who's got some great material about the social safety net.)
You know, leaving aside the total bullshit of IQ being an effective measure of some arbitrary definition of intelligence, I just love the bootstraps-flavored idea that the US rewards intelligence, diligence, and interpersonal skills with wealth. Sure. If there's one thing I always say after meeting a privileged corporate CEO who spends more time on the golf course than in the office where his average employee annually makes a fraction of his hourly wage, and whose primary long-term contribution to the firm will be a PR disaster after he's fired by the board for ethics violations and sent on his way with a seven-figure golden parachute, it's: "What an intelligent and diligent worker with great interpersonal skills that fancy gentleman is! Couldn't we pay nurses less to give him more money?"