17 September, 2015

An hereditary meritocracy | The Economist

An hereditary meritocracy | The Economist: "More than 50 years ago Michael Young warned that the incipient meritocracy to which he had given a name could be as narrow and pernicious, in its way, as aristocracies of old. In America some academics and thinkers on the left are coming to similar conclusions. Lani Guinier of Harvard speaks for many when she rails against the “testocracy” that now governs America. Once progressives saw academic testing as a way of breaking down old structures of privilege; there is now a growing sense that it simply serves to advantage those who have been schooled to excel in such situations. Heirs to Andrew Jackson on the right have their own worries about the self perpetuation of an American elite, but no desire at all to use government as a leveller. Both sides can agree that the blending of merit and inheritance is un-American. Neither has plausible ideas for what to do about it.


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