Marginal Revolution links to a nice piece on meritocracy, as in the decline of. It's good, though a bit light on solutions to our problem of declining mobility.
I may have done this before (the problems of a blogger with a faulty memory) but it's possible we have a shortage of vice in the country. After all, if we want people to rise in socio-economic class from one generation to the next, and I do, we equally want people to fall in class. I can't get into the Four Hundred unless one of the existing elite disgraces himself. With that perspective, one of our problems may be there's not enough vice, not enough ways in which the idle rich can go to hell, or the dogs, not enough ways to dissipate wealth.
It certainly seems as if society is getting more conservative in some ways: less crime, less divorce, less flaunting of wealth.
So my sermon for today is addressed to the 1 percent: go forth and sin some more.