Living off of the efforts of our foreparents seems to be our modus operandi. So we are arrogant because our recent ancestors accomplished a lot. The fact that we are a nation that justifies privilege and advantage fits right into this explanation. Merit is just an after thought that must be accepted grudgingly by those who want greater status based upon heritage and not self accomplishment. I say that where there is arrogance there is no humility because humility is what is missing on our society in general. We place so much emphasis on competing against each other that winning at all costs has now become our rallying cry.
It isn't enough to just win but we must do whatever it takes to win. Our less learned citizenry is having a hard time telling the difference between an honorable person and a dishonorable one who would step on your neck if they felt they could get an advantage. I highlight humility as a priority because it is the genesis of our intent. When we are humbled by our good fortune or success from our efforts it expresses humanity at it's best, not the skulduggery of selfishness and narcissism. Until our educational system improves and humility is our reflection back to the world we will continue down the road of becoming a lesser society.