A major pitfall of our competitive meritocracy has caught up to us: the "1 percent" versus the "99 percent" has been extended to education. The 1 percent can afford an elite private education or property in a good school district while most of the 99 percent go to lesser schools with fewer resources. This sets up the 1 percent for better postsecondary education and future jobs, perpetuating and widening the gap. Though schools offer incentives to lower income students, the problem is more systemic.

This culture of hyper-accomplishment and quantifiable superiority is saddening. It encourages a constantly goal-oriented, results-driven, future-obsessed character. This isn't wrong, but it seems that the 1 percent is almost forced to be that person while the 99 percent, in many cases can't be. They may have neither the resources nor the encouragement (which the 1 percenters have too much of) to do so.

Perhaps even more interesting is quantifying the magnitude of untapped potential in this 99 percent of the population. If we are living witnesses to the accomplishments of that 1 percent, what if we tapped the ingenuity of the 99 percent?

That we are living in a world largely influenced by the 1 percent is evident in our national politics. Many of the candidates came from very wealthy, 1 percent backgrounds. They certainly worked hard, but they had the resources and encouragement to excel. The 99 percent often don't have those factors.

Among others, the issue brings up this interesting question: who is more meritorious, one who has achieved something great or one who has achieved something less but with more modest means?

If we are not adherents to the pseudo-Darwinian conjectures advocating the ingrained intellectual limits of our species, then all individuals truly do possess similar intellectual capacities and truly can bring about innovations given adequate environments. This argument is in itself not radical, but its implications are. If we were to simply double the sector of our population able to access advanced resources to 2 percent, societal growth is imminent. Obviously, it’s not an easy problem to solve, but it’s one worth tackling. Who’s to say where that next big idea may come from?

See this link for the article that inspired this post: http://nyti.ms/wlDdf4