I agree. Clever people tend to have clever children. Stupid people tend to have stupid children. In a society where birth counts for everything, there will be a gradual tendency towards an even distribution of intelligence among the classes. In any reasonably open society, however, clever people will rise from the bottom. Over time, there will be a decline in the average intellectual quality – among much else, perhaps – of the lower classes. Welfare policies that subsidise the proliferation of the unfit will make things worse.
I am willing to accept a system in which those who are able to pass certain rather stiff examinations can go to university, and receive financial assistance if their own family means are insufficient. Indeed, though my own interest is not necessarily a guide to what is right, I am a beneficiary of this system. But I see nothing but national harm and individual shame in the system we now have. SIG
“In an open society, people will be recruited to jobs largely on the basis of their ability. This means the brightest people will tend to be found in the higher occupational classes. These people will tend to produce relatively bright children so, in the next generation, middle-class children will be over-represented in the higher positions. In a meritocracy, therefore, we should not expect equal success rates among children from different class origins.”