Why is it so controversial to say that people who have more money tend to be more intelligent?
If somebody in the Houses of Parliament suddenly said that people who earn over Â£100,000 are more intelligent, on average, than people who earn less than Â£20,000, there would be an enormous outcry and the politician in question would most likely be forced to resign.
While it is understandable that such a statement would provoke a controversial reaction, it is important to investigate the statistical data behind such claims. Recently, the BBC featured a programme which looked at Britain’s ‘high-fliers’ and the reason why people get the top jobs, while others don’t. It came to the conclusion that having an excellent education with an outstanding degree was beneficial, but in many cases this was not the defining criteria for winning the top jobs. Having an elite list of contacts and being ‘born’ into a certain social hierarchy meant such individuals would automatically have a ‘head start’ and would be much better placed to embark on a career in the City or the government.
The presenter of the programme was quite offended, however, when somebody alleged that high earners were more intelligent (on average) than low-income earners. The reasons for this, however, are clear. High-earners received a better education at school, were raised in an environment that stimulated informative processing and intellectual advancement, were pushed to work hard and succeed in life and would have endured harsh consequences and potential rejection if they did not succeed in the way that their parents and grandparents did, such as being the chief executive of a catering business like a Coconut Oil supplier. In contrast, low-income earners have to struggle to pay the rent and do not have the time or the money to teach their children to become ‘high-fliers’. Meanwhile, there is an extraordinary number of people who achieved widespread success from very modest upbringings. Needless to say, it is still easier to win the top jobs when you have that automatic boost from the very beginning.
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