Reihan qualifies the term:
I'm perfectly happy to concede that the idea of meritocracy is "largely mythical," not least because, like all good Hayekians, I'm skeptical of the idea that we can construct a coherent metric for merit or desert; this is part of the case for decentralized markets: it reflects the pluralism of highly complex societies. The argument for decentralized markets is in large part a negative argument: while we can imagine a wide array of schemes for assigning a coherent metric for merit or desert, it is far harder to imagine a scheme that wouldn't unravel under the real-world pressures of evolving tastes, values, and perceived social needs.
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