This post responds to this one. Darcy, displaying true procapitalist zeal, starts a whole new string instead of 'following' (how sheep-like, perhaps) a chronological sequence...
: You said that the fact that few people were involved in science or entertainment and were therefore statistically irrlevant meant that arguments related to these peolple were also irrlevant.
This point has been dealt with admirably by Farinata.
Does superior ability in some specific area (such as basketball) determine general superiority?
Such as: the man who jumps high hoops gets a fortune, the woman who takes care of children professionally doesn't merit health care?
I mean,what if the basketball player was expected to take care of children for a living? If he fell short of the ideal, then shall we deny him health care (though he can still jump high hoops)?
In Darcy's world we would.
What if we lived in a society that rewarded one skill over another?
Say, jumping hoops was valued, raising children well wasn't.
Can we assert---as Darcy does---that jumping hoops EXCEPTIONALLY WELL merits a fortune, yet taking care of children EXCEPTIONALLY WELL merits only $7 an hour, no benefits?
We can only assert that in a society in which the rulling elite has already made the decision on everyone's behalf.
: You also ignored my points about the environment in which Smith was writing ... He may have been refuting the categorising of people at birth as lower, middle or upper (as every sane person would)...
No, no, no.
If you look at the quote, you'll see that Smith explicitly says that all children are (potentially) equal, it's the process of education that determines their 'careers.'
And this process is determined NOT by people, but by people's incomes (ability to purchase higher education).
Plus it's determined by the production 'free market'---i.e. by already existing jobs that capitalists need to have filled. As I demonstrated before, according to Business Week, 75% of these jobs require NO higher education.
That's the issue.
: Finally, you said that if I was right "smart people wouldn't need to go to college". That's a very silly comment indeed. There is an enormous difference between ability and knowledge. A bright person will still need to study to become a doctor; he may have the ability to understand medicine but medical knowledge is obviously not inherited and will have to be acquired through college education. Similarly, an entirely ignorant person due to lack of education could be, naturally, very bright.
But would you want that uneducated, but 'naturally very bright' person operating on you?
No?---then, that 'naturally very bright' person lacking a formal degree will probably end up behind a cash register, mopping floors, tending to children in a day care center, or waiting tables BECAUSE those are the sorts of jobs available to most people---however 'bright' they may (really) be.
Supply and demand (with supply, not demand, calling the shots).