the bassist does tend to be someone seen as less talented than the lead guitarist
i'm not aware of that. while there may be some naive and ignorant individuals that do genuinely believe that the bass is a "poor mans guitar", its certainly not a widely held belief by any stetch of the imagination.
but if you look at reggae the most talented player in the band is usually the bassist.
the skill of the musician depends a lot on the type of music that they play..... hence, what level of musicansip is expected of them.
genre's like jazz require a very high
level of musicianship from all the musicians. the level of musicanship required from the bass player in jazz is a lot more than is required from the guitarist. in rock, its mainly the guitarist thats central. as you quite rightly say, in genres such as reggae and funk, its the bassist who is central and requires much more skill than is required from the guitarist.