The smartest/most efficient of us, are a tiny minority. I'd think catering to them wouldn't be the worst idea. Give them more resources and keep them more free of politics, within reason of course. The things that the majority of that minority typically end up doing for everyone are worth it.
1. Efficiency is always at the cost of human lives. Humans aren't built for efficiency and top efficiency will always cost lives. That's why humanity only works with a bunch of compromises. Like democracy, which is one of the least efficient forms of government, because it's just a compromise.
2. There is no evidence in the last 20000 years to support that the elites will do anything to properly advance or even handle humanity. In fact there is plenty of evidence against it, especially in the US. A meritocracy does not work and will not ever work. At least not if your goal is to bring a good life to a majority of people.
We already know that the Republicans have no interest to better the lives of the majority.
If you demand respect or gratitude for your volunteer work, you're doing volunteering wrong.