Well: hamster !
Somehow, one of many hamsters in the back o' me sponge (I imagine my subconscious mind as a bunch of hamsters in wheels they are spinning like mad) bursts into my conscious mind screaming out: "hey, they are talking about an intertwingularity problem !"
Since I tend to not fight any of them hamsters, I surrender and figure okay, let me rewind Smerconish's discussion with his current guest, Daniel Markovits, about Markovits' book:
The Meritocracy Trap:
How America's Foundational Myth
Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class,
and Devours the Elite.
There's a system, and we are all caught in it. Everybody is responding to the incentives that they have, trying to do the best for themselves and their families, but the system is one that favours some and harms others, and that's the problem that we need to focus on correcting.
Among those who invest the labour to benefit from meritocracy,there are some who exclude others.
Daniel Markovits gives Uber as an example. To quote/paraphrase him (I find transcribing a hard thing to do!):
Think about taxi cabs.
To be a cab driver, you had to know the city. In fact, to be a cab driver in London, you had to study the streets for about a year and a half to acquire the knowledge. The job was merit-based. A cab driver needed the knowledge of the streets to do the job, and was rewarded for that knowledge.
With Uber, a small number of individuals are rewarded to create algorithms for smart phones, which Uber drivers use to navigate the streets. Because the many drivers do not need to know the streets, there is no knowledge to reward. So knowledgeable cab drivers are being pushed out by Uber drivers.
Instead of the reward (i.e. $$$'s in income) going to many drivers, the reward is now going to fewer people (a smaller elite group of individuals who write the algorithms and apps for smartphones used by Uber drivers,) and there is no opportunity for Uber drivers to work their way up to better jobs in Uber.As per the bottom caption on Smerconish's show:
Meritocracy, the so-called merit system, feeds inequality.
We could say that's an unintended consequence. Some might say that was built-in by design (man, I hope not!)
Me, I look at it as a case of we strange critters having yet again dumbed things down (in our "design" of meritocracy), as per our nature, to make things nice and tidy, and so easy to understand and implement. I.E. :
What we have here is a failure to intertwingulate ???
Intertwingulate: to consider all of the deeply intertwingled things related to the topic/concept/system/whatever at hand?
That's my thought out of left-field for today. Cheers !