The Finer Points of Merit
And Why That Is Valued in the United States
Merit means to be judged by your skills and accomplishments. To be judged on merit also implies you are judged by the content of your character. Merit means that you can rest assured that hard work is rewarded. Jobs hire based on merit, not looks. Merit means that you get into an educational program of your choice based on your hard work, not your affirmative action clauses. We would like to build a society based on merit exclusively and not how much money you have. As it is now, we are eroding our civilization by not relying on merit.
It is not about how famous you are or how many pairs of shoes you have. It is about whether or not you are a good person with integrity. Merit is all about knowing where you stand with a company based on your accomplishments. Billionaires keep their money to themselves out of greed since the 1 percent grows daily while whittling away at the 98 percent. We find ourselves losing money daily to the 1 percent-ers. This cannot go on because it is a plague. If wealth were more evenly distributed, we could destroy poverty in a few generations give or take the fact that somebody takes it upon themselves to do something about it.
If we evolve as a society, we can build our interest in becoming a real meritocracy. This can change if we do not view ourselves as people who value merit. It is not a lack of belief in merit that makes you suffer, as it is obvious that wealth and class struggles are part of the American landscape. The elite are only awarded by having the ability to advance at times when they throw their money around. This is evident during high school for some people because they see that they are not selected by the in-crowd, the elite group of students that get the good grades because they are rich.
Money can get you places in American society. Being low-income means you are doomed to repeat the cycle of low-income. Meritocracy means that everybody in the workplace has the right to express their opinions, but democracy means that everybody has a vote. It is best to combine the meritocracy with democracy and make sure everything is fair for everybody. Merit means your ideas get listened to and heard accurately. This is hard to do sometimes when only a select group of people are listened to because they work hard.
The elite are the elite because of their power and wealth. Merit means that the essay with the best work attached to it will win the essay contest. Poetry can be judged on the lines, besides judging on the name attached to the author. Writing can also be used to further one’s ambitions based on your words, not the social status of the author. True merit means accomplishments matter. Real democracy is about allowing everybody a voice as well as an accomplishment. Sometimes people are kept from accomplishing through politics and mean people getting in their way.
The solution is to combine merit with democracy, allowing individuals to succeed because of skill, not because of ambition. In an ideal world, we would be able to handle discussions on merit as intertwined with democracy. Merit has value and people have value. We cannot just throw out ideas that are not from the elite group of idea generators. To include everybody means to foster an inclusive society. Are these ideas radical to you? Yes, but we have had 40 years since the civil rights era to integrate this idea of merit into our culture.