Over at Vox today, Roge Karma examines the book “The Meritocracy Trap,” which posits that meritocracy — the idea that social and economic rewards should track talent, effort, and achievement — “produces radical inequality, stifles social mobility, and makes everyone — including the apparent winners — miserable.”

Author Daniel Markovits explained in an interview with Vox’s Ezra Klein:

“Fifty, 60, 70 years ago, you could tell how poor somebody was by how hard they worked. Today, that relationship has been completely reversed. Elites work for a living. They work harder than they used to. They work harder in terms of brute hours than the middle class on average, and they get most of their income by working.”

The rich today are no longer an indolent “leisure class” but what Markovits calls a “superordinate” working class: they work harder, longer, and perform more high-skilled work than ever before. As a result, Markovits calculates that three-quarters of elite income now originates from labor rather than inherited capital.

So we should get rid of it?