20 Sep '11, 4am

Judging someone by how much he or she earns is a view of the mediocre, says our reader. Do you agree?

MRS NURHIDAYAH Hassan-Le Neel offered a superficial analogy by comparing two children of differing backgrounds and assuming rhetorically who would be more successful ("Address the problems of meritocracy"; Sept 10). First, there is no single definition of success. But for the purpose of discussion, we may limit it to comparing incomes. Child A's parents earned $1,000 a month. Child B's parents earned $10,000 month. If Child A ended up earning $9,000 and Child B $12,000, is meritocracy a failure? A's family has made tremendous advancement while B only made marginal progress, even though B supposedly had more advantage. Ceteris paribus (Latin for "all things being equal"), the gap will narrow over time under meritocracy into insignificance. Second, and more importantly, the differences listed by the writer are not decisive factors for success. If Child A has the ambition and...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/STForum/OnlineStory/STIStory_...

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