I think that it is better when all people are equal, so that everyone has the same rights, and can climb the ladder in the economy as far as they want. This makes everyone happy, and does not make the lower class want to fight with a richer upper class.
While equality is a societal ideal, rewarding individuals based on their merit seems preferable. Everyone should have an equal playing field, but those who work the hardest and produce the best results should be rewarded for their work. You can not equally reward those who put forth no effort, when compared with those who put in the extra effort.
If everyone was treated equally, one would think people would be happier. Then society as a whole might be a lot more productive. People can say all they want how society is the most productive it has ever been, but that will flat line one day. They are just leaving to many people behind and that will catch up to us one day.
Meritocracy rewards people for getting things done. If everyone was equal there would be no motivation for anyone to do anything meaningful. Everyone deserves to treated as a human being but those who are intelligent and work hard deserve to reap the benefits of their work. I recognize that equality and a perfect meritocracy are both idealistic but supposing that a perfect meritocracy did exist everyone would start on the same ground and rise up due to their own efforts. And is this not equality in its own way?
Without meritocracy, we would not have the likes of Michael Jordan, Roger Federer, Apple, Google, Cars, Electricity for most, Food for most. No matter how much we all "wanna be like Mike," we are not. We cherish life and all the good things in it when we have to earn it.
While we are all people, and deserve the basics every human being does it in no way means that we as a people are all 'equal' and need to be treated the exact same way as everyone else. People are born to be different, and some achieve higher than others its the same in the animal world. If we were all CEO's, for example, nothing would be done because everyone would be CEO's and no one would be the actual business workers under the CEO and the CEO would be rendered useless. We cant all be leaders and we cant all be followers. Treating one child in a family one way isn't necessarily the best way to treat the other child.
Also, some people are just better at certain things then other people, and they deserve to be rewarded by their capabilities.
People are often very different from one another. In a system of equality we treat everyone the same despite the fact that they are unique and each have different talents. We often reward them for being unequal without expecting them to do anything to earn it. In a meritocracy, people would be judged by there abilities and rewarded for their unique talents. I feel, people would then be more deserving of what they had in life.
I believe that a meritocracy is better than equality, because there will always be inequality in equality. In a meritocracy, those who are the best deserve what they achieve and the awards they win. When people are supposedly equal, some still have to be put in charge of each other, and this can lead to very political decisions.