Gatekeepers and Scarcity Will Always Exist

Errata: In yesterday’s post on NRx, it should have been ‘secession’ instead of ‘succession’ for #3.

From tressiemc: The Logic of Stupid Poor People

And not intermittently poor or formerly not-poor, but born poor, expected to be poor and treated by bureaucracies, gatekeepers and well-meaning respectability authorities as inherently poor.

To be honest, many gatekeepers bar the upper-middle class, too. Being poor may make you eligible for ‘sympathy points’, financial aid, and other programs, whereas those who are well-to-do but not super-rich may find themselves being snubbed and having to compete with everyone else.

But overall, there just seems to be a general misconception that everyone who isn’t poor is privileged and just coasts by, and that’s hardly true unless you’re in the top .015% or something.

America is drowning in financial aid, and elite universities such as Brown and Princeton are practically waiving tuition for anyone who isn’t in the top 1% of household income:

Getting accepted is the hardest part, obviously, and no amount of financial aid will change that, given that these colleges only accept the top 5% or so applicants by IQ (test-score equivalent), and then even after eliminating those who fail to exceed the IQ threshold, they still have more applicants than slots. The same for almost everything though – publishing houses, academic journals, and many job openings – all, to some extent, screen for IQ (average-intelligence people, unless they are already famous, typically do not get book deals, prestigious ‘creative class’ jobs, or papers published). Unless you have enough money to buy a publishing house, being well-to-do still won’t get a math paper or economics paper published or a book published, if the quality isn’t up to standards. Nor will it guarantee admission to prestigious schools if your scores are not high enough, unless you have enough money to make a ‘donation’.

In a hypothetical post-scarcity economy, where all essential services – and more – are paid for, status and prestige will always be scarce. Gatekeepers will always exist – some gatekeepers tangible (competitors, such as in self-publishing), others biological (based on one’s biological limitations such as IQ, in which insufficiency leads to failure).

The cruel twist of post-scarcity, where it backfires for the ‘left’, is that by eliminating one barrier (financial), another (biological) takes over. The left is fighting an uphill battle, in their effort to eliminate all barriers. This is explains why the left wants to discontinue the SAT or dumb it down to such an extent as to render it useless at identifying top talent. But, finally, there is the ‘economics barrier’ as measured by individual socioeconomic outcomes and differences, and of course the left, through redistributive policy, is trying to erode that one, too.