The likelihoods of IQ, long life, and income all show distributions that peak in likelihood at about the same incomes. While long life tends to follow IQ, the likelihood for income crosses around the median income. Long life and IQ then do not increase at the same rate as increasing income. When you are $25,000 income, you gain 15% longer life for an $10,000 income increase, but at $150,000 income, you only gain 1.9% longer life for the same $10,000 income increase.
The basic dilemma of inequality is not really in progress, which is rapidly occurring in any event, but rather in how much social responsibility people have in reducing the unequal distribution of progress. Civilization has long struggled with the dilemma of inequality given the fundamental natural inequality as a result of variation of human ability across each competency. That is, individuals have their own free choices for education, health, and income, but individuals also have a socially responsible free choice for reducing the inequalities of opportunity for education, long life, and income. All outcomes are unequal because human abilities are unequal, but those inequalities can be exacerbated from limited access to education, health care, and to free and fair markets for creating new wealth, i.e., equality of opportunity. Inequality that is largely a result of the large natural variations in individual quality of life, ability to learn, and of course, ability to create wealth is simply human.
There are a total of 14 competencies that completely define people’s free choices: education, health care, housing, transportation, food, energy, environment, tools, communication, security, leisure, risk, administration, and money. While education and health care both relate directly to progress, the progress for income and wealth distribute across all 14 competencies as wealth that people earn as income or spend as consumption. Money represents wealth and facilitates commerce among competencies and people make money by specializing in the products of a particular competency and then tend to distribute that wealth to a limited set of competency products. People produce in some competencies and consume some of the 14 competency products and this commerce is therefore the most important reason for innovation and progress across all competencies.
These 14 competencies make up the macro economy and each individual creates wealth in one competency and then distributes that wealth as consumption among the other 13 in order to survive. While the 14 competencies are a very rational description of the way civilization is, people basically do not really make rational decisions, people make free choices based on their feelings. Feeling is the root of free choice and the result of a set of five emotion complements and subconscious archetypes. It is by feeling that we make our decisions and not by rational thought and so the archetypes that we learn early in life are what guides free choice in our lives.
Others persuade us into free choice as we grow up by acting like we act and then persuading us to act like we see others act as well. By this persuasion, we acquire the grand narratives and archetypes of civilization as free choice. Free choice and feeling either bonds us into cooperation with others or separates us from others with conflict. We adopt a set of unconscious archetypes that are then how we feel about others and feeling is how we make free choices.
Even though outcomes all have causal precursors, it is not possible to know all precursors even though they do exist. This is fundamentally because both the precursor and we have quantum phase and that phase limits what we can know about quantum superposition. This means that fundamentally each free choice that we make is for one of many possible outcomes and we can only know the precursors within some uncertainty. The outcomes that we choose are not then determinate and instead, there are many possible outcomes that are subject to quantum uncertainty.
This does not mean that outcomes are random, but rather means that outcomes simply have some unknowable precursors even though they can have fairly rational precursors. If you are hungry, it is certain that you will eventually eat or you will not survive very long. However, when, where, and what you will decide to eat are all free choices that really have unknowable precursors. If you are lonely, you will likely seek companionship, but with whom, when, and where are all free choices and not random at all.
Census.gov, Table A-2. Selected Measures of Household Income Dispersion: 1967 to 2017