My father was a high school math teacher. My mother was an elementary school teacher. My younger sister teaches junior high mathematics. I, however, pursued a different path than my parents did. In both the military and in the financial services industry, up to 50% of the people with whom I have worked had parents who also had held similar jobs.
Even celebrities (I would include presidents and senators in this group) beget children who become celebrities. For instance, NBC recently hired both Chelsea Clinton and Jenna Bush Hager as correspondents. Senator McCain’s daughter, who is just 27 years of age, has been named a contributor to the MSNBC news channel. Somehow I doubt any of them have any major experience at a local or even a college news outlet. My sympathies go out to those journalists without an “A-list” parent, who were probably much more qualified for these positions.
Even the United States military appears to be evolving into an American warrior caste. A recent Pew Research study found that veterans are more likely than the average American citizen to have family connections to the military (70% of veterans vs. 62% of all adults). Half of veterans have a parent who also served in the military vs. 41% of the general public, and 43% of veterans reported having a sibling who served vs. 27% of all adults. Veterans are also more than twice as likely than the average American to have a child who also served.
It is also interesting to note that more Republicans than Democrats have military family ties with 73% of Republicans saying they had an immediate family member who served in the military vs. only 59% of Democrats.
I have no problem with a system that provides financial rewards to those in society who create value through innovation and hard work. I do have a major problem with a system that creates unfair shortcuts to success based not on merit but rather on pedigree. In America, talent should triumph.