The idea of the certified genius—which usually means someone who is in the 98th percentile on IQ tests—evokes stereotypes of business tycoons and unconquerable chess players riding the trajectory of their inevitable success. They are the World's Smartest People and we've been conditioned to expect great things from them. But data collected from high IQ societies—such as Mensa and Triple Nine —shows something quite different: People with exceptionally high IQs come from and fall into all walks of life, and are just as likely to be found managing a restaurant as they are theorizing about the early universe.
The wealth we are born with plays a role in our future financial success
Many people in this world are born with wealth. They are born with a great capacity for learning. They are born with a great physical beauty. They are born with a set of personality traits which are valued by society (hard working, persistent). But what has to be remembered is none of us got to choose what we were born with.
Just as people do not get to choose their race, their gender, they do not get to choose their personality traits. Some people in this world are born with the trait to make them try to out work everyone around them in a competitive way. Some people are born with an ability to have photographic memory, or music talent, or athletic talent, or to just be very smart or athletic.
Any of these traits can be considered forms of wealth. Society determines which forms of wealth have greater value within the context of the culture and which have lesser value. Athletes have great value in society, but so do scientists, and in general it all starts with what people are born with and develops from there.
Poorer people often have high IQs, work ethic, physical beauty, athletic gifts, yet still fail to achieve financial success
By talking to various people a lot can be learned and it can be seen that many of the homeless people, or people who live in the slums, have wealth. Why is it that people born under difficult conditions with natural wealth fail to be able to achieve financial success? The opportunity to translate natural wealth into financial success is what is scarce, not the wealth. Wealth is widely distributed in the form of natural wealth, in the form of traits like beauty, intelligence, athleticism, and work ethic. Yet the vast majority of people born into difficult circumstances fail to overcome circumstances even with talent, hard work, beauty, intelligence.
Circumstances are determined by luck and by social biases in society
A person does not get to choose the conditions of their birth. Even a person born with good genetics, with natural gifts, can be born into a broken home, a single parent home, have parents who are drug addicts, have the odds stacked against them at birth. And of course there is the possibility that a person can have some really good traits but be missing a critical trait required by society. For instance a person can be born with the capacity to be a genius but naturally be unambitious, dispassionate, low will power and motivation. The amount of push a person has is determined by dopamine levels and having just the right amount is possibly luck, possibly childhood nutrition, but it's not a result of nurture. For the most part, you don't get to choose the life you are born into but can only make the best of whatever that is.
Why many smart people don't do well in structured environments like the academic and or corporate environment
In addition you can have a person born with natural ability to learn but who has ADD, and once again it is possible that intelligence doesn't necessarily mean academic performance. Intelligence could express itself in the form of high scores they got in video games, or strategy games like chess, yet they might to terrible in school and in regular life. This is because society has a certain kind of personality type it favors, as does academia, and not everyone is a fit for it even if intelligent.
Why some traits are more valued than others by the economy
The economy values traits in humans which it can monetize easily. This doesn't mean these traits are actually valuable to society but it does mean these traits are easily monetized. The trait to be hard working was rewarded because for a long time factory work required it, the type of jobs being created required that kind of work ethic, and for many generations farmers, coal miners and others required it. As the economy changes the traits which go in fashion, which are in demand, also continue to change. Certain kinds of athletes might be more popular in different centuries as different sports gain or lose popularity. Having natural wealth is great but being able to monetize that wealth seems to be part of the key to success.
Our births were a roll of the dice. We either were born in the right place, to the right family, with the right traits, allowing us to become like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, or we weren't so lucky. The vast majority of people born today statistically speaking aren't going to be so lucky and have an uphill battle to survive going into the future. The people who do have gifts which is perhaps most of us posting here on Steemit, have to recognize that even if we weren't as lucky as Bill Gates and some others, we are still very lucky to be born when we were. And of course, with the right technology, treatments/enhancements, (cyborgization) many people who weren't born with certain gifts will be able to develop gifts. These technologies give us extrasensory capacity beyond what nature's lottery provides, and we can use that.
Wealth inequality (natural inequality) will always exist because it exists in nature. What doesn't have to exist is the inequality of opportunity. The fact that luck determines so much is exactly why it is important to not become elitist. Any trait or gifts a person is born with by luck is no different than a person born with a financial inheritance by luck. The gifted, the smart, the beautiful, the athletic, the hard working, all have to recognize that these are gifts granted by luck and remember not to look down on others who do not have the same exact gifts or same number of gifts.