Anyway, "merit" is the dumbest concept possible, and an absolute weasel-word.
WTF_Man, you're not making $10MM a year. Khloe Kardashian, meanwhile, is earning somewhere between $15MM and $20MM a year.
Are you dumber than Khloe Kardashian, or lazier than her? I mean, clearly she merits exponentially more than you make.
For me personally, I make as much as 8 or so average families of 4. Am I smarter than them? I'd guess that, within that 64 people, some are at least as smart. Do I work harder than them? I dunno, look at my posting history today and see how frequently I've been here. Your average construction worker definitely works harder than I do. Maybe something else happened in my life, other than just smarts or how hard I work, to get me where I am.
As do all the other people who basically fall into money, likely from inheritance. Because the American Dream isn't really about being an entrepreneur, as few of the 0.1% are, but about inheriting money. Takes money to make money!