Merit, Luck, and the Importance of the Free Market

“Merit itself is, in large part, the result of luck” and, “Meritocracy is not only wrong; it’s bad” argues Mark Clifton in his recent article for Aeon. That’s a tough pill to swallow for Americans, for whom merit is not just part of our cultural identity, but our economic structure. Indeed, merit is a key part of our complicated fiscal system and a necessary ingredient of all free markets. If we want to be neither “wrong” nor “bad,” should we toss both merit and the free market out the window?