Bryan Caplan says that jock/nerd conflict explains history, but Ilya Somin modifies the theory slightly by labeling it the cool kid/nerd theory of class conflict. In either event, Caplan nails the prime point:
With the Jock/Nerd theory firmly in mind, this sentence takes on a deeper meaning:We don't take steps to redress inequalities of looks, friends, or sex life.
Notice: For financial success, the main measure where nerds now excel, governments make quite an effort to equalize differences. But on other margins of social success, where many nerds still struggle, laissez-faire prevails....
Punchline: Through the lens of the Jock/Nerd Theory of History, the welfare state doesn't look like a serious effort to "equalize outcomes." It looks more like a serious effort to block the "revenge of the nerds" - to keep them from using their financial success to unseat the jocks on every dimension of social status.
I agree that the opponents of nerds are typically the cool kids, not just the jocks, but I think the main idea is sound.