In other countries, merit means special skills, talents, abilities, or exceptionally hard work. In our country, you have "merit" if:
- Your dad owns the company.
- Your mom was alumni.
- Your uncle has lots of connections.
- Your fraternity got copies of the answer sheet.
- You made a large donation to the committee.
- The sheriff is your poker buddy.
- Your local representative accepts large "donations" to the cause.
- You're obnoxious, borderline retarded, and have buck teeth, but gosh-darnit, people just LIKE you.
- Your marketing machine was slightly more depraved and unethical than the other guy.
- The city council wants your tax revenue, and repealed the building ordinance which would have prohibited your new construction.
- You have your back scratching cronies drop your name to head honchos and "suggest" stories about yourself to the local newspapers.
- You have the appropriate political or social orientation, along with the proper styling.
- You fund large scale, only moderately skewed studies to find the information which will allow you to market that experimental chemical for public use.
- You attempt (and often succeed at) incriminating, villifying, and attacking the character of the researchers who find evidence to the contrary.
- No one else can afford the cost of legal fees to challenge you.
- You threaten your competition with personal attacks, insipid or open harassment, and bodily harm in order to get them to drop their cause.
- Most people relate to your low brow humor.
- You lead people to believe that you will provide (miniumum wage) "careers" to the community that you end up plundering and pillaging.
- You conduct business within the letter of the law, while violating every ethical consideration imaginable.
- You buy out the competition and fire everyone.
So it is, that in a capitalistic society, merit = capital. In other words talent, skill, and general all around virtue are essentially useless unless they are marketable. The public does not want to support romantic ideas like truth, equitability, freedom of information, and honesty in reporting. The public wants well styled mediocrity that they can relate to, and after all, it is public support from consumers that keeps a corporation in business.
You're just another American who is willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick being shoved up your asshole every day... The owners of this country know the truth... it's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it! ― George Carlin