Wait a moment. Why should a smart person be rich? Or a rich person smart? That is, assuming ‘smart’ means ‘above average in intelligence’ (And exactly what is ‘intelligence’?). Is there any statistics that shows income and intelligence are correlated? Or otherwise related? Does the relation hold across all income ranges? Or does it cease to hold in the stratosphere? How about the gutter?
Till someone enlightens me of this, let me indulge in some numerical hocus-pocus:
- The Nobel is about $ 1.5 million.
- According to one site (http://www.careerjournal.com/salaryhiring/industries/engineers/20061115-eng-region-tab.html), an US engineer makes between $ 92,712 and $ 74,970 last year. One wonder though what ‘engineer’ means.
- And the Fortune 500 executive took home $ 8.4 million in 2005.
Which, of course, means that the scientist who makes the fundamental discovery probably makes the least money; the engineer who turns this into something of practical value makes considerably more; but he’s a beggar compared to the executive. (This wonderful piece of inference proves that I have the makings of a front-rank scientific socialist.)
I suppose the poor scientist can’t become the rich executive even if he wanted to. And vice versa. And that this may have far more to do with personality traits (whatever they mean) than with brains. And that phrases like ‘If you are so smart, why aren’t you rich?’ are as unsubstantiated as they are insulting. But why bother if you can fling them around to make people shut up.