“If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?” If you’ve heard this question enough, this certifies that you are poor because the question is on the Why, and not the Wherefore. It may also mean that you were acting smart and your poor fellow resents.
The premise is not true. Smarts don’t guarantee wealth. I can count from my peers in grade and high school only six really smart ones. That’s from a universe of about 200, which suggests that only 3% of the population is truly smart. Only one of them is now rich. Most left this benighted country, perhaps because here it is not smarts that matter but connections. This also means that quite a few others, not so smart, got rich. This makes empirical sense because, surely, the rich in this country cannot be only 0.5% of the population. There is hope for the not-so-smart after all.
Nonetheless many believe the premise. They may even believe a variant of it to the effect that if you’re rich you must be smart. In short, they think that only the smart ones get rich. This also means that if you’re poor, you must be dumb. That seems adding insult to injury, but thinking bad thoughts is never actionable. So there, deal with it.
The strange thing is that many also believe the last variant enough that they try hard, but with little success, to get rich because they want to be smart. They might even resort to mayhem and all sorts of strange behavior even if they have connections. Some do get rich, but that doesn’t mean they were smart. They just got rich, so all we can do is to envy them their wealth; but we might laugh thinking that of course they’re still dumb.
That is, if you were smart to begin with. If not, you could attribute to Hard Work all the affluence that abounds. The smart ones will let you be.