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Opinion | The Meritocracy Is Ripping America Apart
Sept. 12, 2019 | - The New York Times | By David Brooks.

savage exclusion tears the social fabric.

There are at least two kinds of meritocracy in America right now. Exclusive meritocracy exists at the super-elite universities and at the industries that draw the bulk of their employees from them — Wall Street, Big Law, medicine and tech. And then there is the more open meritocracy that exists almost everywhere else.

In the exclusive meritocracy, prestige is defined by how many people you can reject....The more the exclusivity, the thicker will be the coating of P.C. progressivism to show that we’re all good people.

People in this caste work phenomenally hard to build their wealth......People in this caste are super-skilled and productive.....These highly educated professionals attract vast earnings while everybody else gets left behind......Parents in the exclusive meritocracy raise their kids to be fit fighters within it....affluent parents invest on their kids’ human capital, over and above what middle-class parents can afford to invest......the Kansas Leadership Center. The center teaches people how to create social change and hopes to saturate the state with better leaders. But the center doesn’t focus on traditional “leaders.” Its mantra is: “Leadership is an activity, not a position. Anyone can lead, anytime, anywhere.” The atmosphere is one of radical inclusion.....People in both the exclusive and open meritocracies focus intensely on increasing skills. But it’s jarring to move from one culture to the other because the values are so different. The exclusive meritocracy is spinning out of control. If the country doesn’t radically expand its institutions and open access to its bounty, the U.S. will continue to rip apart.
Accomplisher_Class  Big_Law  caste_systems  Colleges_&_Universities  David_Brooks  elitism  exclusivity  hard_work  human_capital  inequality  law_firms  leadership  medicine  meritocracy  op-ed  parenting  political_correctness  social_classes  social_exclusion  social_fabric  social_impact  social_inclusion  social_mobility  society  technology  values  Wall_Street  winner-take-all 
september 2019 by jerryking
‘White guilt is failing black kids’ - spiked
For me, the best thing that we can do for all of our inner-city kids, whether black or white, is get them off social media. It exacerbates all their problems. It reduces the size of their world.
social_mobility  social_media  subjectivity 
january 2019 by dolan_cummings
Opinion | The American Renaissance Is Already Happening - The New York Times
May 14, 2018

In many of the cities the local library serves as an all-purpose community center. In Bend, Ore., the library has a few dozen local partnerships — AARP volunteers help people do their taxes in the library; Goodwill workers teach résumé writing. In Charleston, W.Va., and Columbus, Ohio, the libraries zero in on programs for infants to 3-year-olds, so children enter school ready to learn.
social_mobility  David_Brooks  libraries  civics  James_Fallows  renaissance 
may 2018 by jerryking
Opinion | How to Level the College Playing Field
April 7, 2018 | The New York Times | By Harold O. Levy with Peg Tyre. Mr. Levy is a former chancellor of the New York City public schools. He wrote this article with the education journalist Peg Tyre.

Despite the best efforts of many, the gap between the numbers of rich and poor college graduates continues to grow.

It’s true that access programs take some academically talented children from poor and working-poor families to selective colleges, but that pipeline remains frustratingly narrow. And some colleges and universities have adopted aggressive policies to create economic diversity on campus. But others are lagging. Too many academically talented children who come from families where household income hovers at the American median of $59,000 or below are shut out of college or shunted away from selective universities.....The wealthy spend tens of thousands each year on private school tuition or property taxes to ensure that their children attend schools that provide a rich, deep college preparatory curriculum. On top of that, many of them spend thousands more on application coaches, test-prep tutors and essay editors. ......
(1) Let’s start with alumni. It is common to harbor fond feelings toward your alma mater. But to be a responsible, forward-looking member of your college’s extended community, look a little deeper. Make it your business to figure out exactly who your college serves. What is the economic breakdown of the current student body? Some colleges trumpet data about underrepresented minorities and first-generation students. But many don’t. And either way, there are follow-up questions to ask. How has that mix changed over the past 10 years? What policies are in place to increase those numbers?
(2) Legacy admission must end.
(3) shorten the college tour.
(4) cities and states should help students who come from the middle and working classes with programs that provide intensive advising, money for textbooks and even MetroCards
(5) Refine the first two years of some four-year liberal arts education into an accredited associate degree.
(6) Stop acting like everyone already has the road map to college plotted. The college application system has become costly and baroque. Make it possible for high schools to hire, train and deploy enough guidance counselors.
(7) stop giving to your alma mater. Donors to top universities are getting hefty tax deductions to support a system that can seem calculated to ensure that the rich get richer. If you feel you must give, try earmarking your donation for financial aid for low-income, community college students who have applied to transfer to your alma mater.
Colleges_&_Universities  accessibility  legacies  roadmaps  admissions  op-ed  unfair_advantages  social_mobility  meritocratic  alumni  hereditary  nepotism  education  self-perpetuation  super_ZIPs  opportunity_gaps  college-educated  upper-income  compounded  low-income  elitism  selectivity  follow-up_questions 
april 2018 by jerryking
Can we ever knock down the walls of the wealthy ghetto?
Jul. 15, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | DOUG SAUNDERS.

Fifty-two years ago, sociologist John Porter demonstrated, in his bestseller The Vertical Mosaic, that Canada's economy, its politics and its culture were controlled by a cloistered elite from the same schools and neighbourhoods, and only 3 per cent of Canadians had any access to this circle. Social mobility has improved dramatically thanks to half a century of immigration, growth and better social policies. But the top ranks remain closed and self-protective.

There are two factors in particular that make Canada's cycle of privilege a closed loop that excludes outsiders.

The first is Canada's lack of an inheritance tax. Estates (including houses) are taxed as income upon their owner's death, then can be passed on to children – removing incentives to put that wealth to better and more productive use. As a result, the higher rungs on the ladder are less open to people who have developed creative, profitable companies and ideas, and more so to people who have simply had the right parents.

The second is Canada's lax policy on private schools. The 6 per cent of Canadians who attend fee-charging schools are overwhelmingly there because their families are wealthy (studies show that their advantages are entirely found in their connections, not in their academic performance).
Canada  Canadians  high_net_worth  privilege  Doug_Saunders  cumulative  social_mobility  social_classes  private_schools  inheritance_tax  elitism  compounded  inequality  geographic_sorting  college-educated  super_ZIPs  self-perpetuation  upper-income 
july 2017 by jerryking
How We Are Ruining America
JULY 11, 2017 | The New York Times | David Brooks.

Over the past generation, members of the college-educated class have become amazingly good at making sure their children retain their privileged status. They have also become devastatingly good at making sure the children of other classes have limited chances to join their ranks.....Over the past few decades, upper-middle-class Americans have embraced behavior codes that put cultivating successful children at the center of life. As soon as they get money, they turn it into investments in their kids......Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution recently published a book called “Dream Hoarders” detailing some of the structural ways the well educated rig the system.

The most important is residential zoning restrictions. Well-educated people tend to live in places like Portland, New York and San Francisco that have housing and construction rules that keep the poor and less educated away from places with good schools and good job opportunities.....second structural barrier is the college admissions game. Educated parents live in neighborhoods with the best teachers, they top off their local public school budgets and they benefit from legacy admissions rules, from admissions criteria that reward kids who grow up with lots of enriching travel and from unpaid internships that lead to jobs.....the structural barriers emphasized are less important than the informal social barriers that segregate the lower 80 percent (e.g. being aware of cultural signifiers around, say, gourmet food)

.......American upper-middle-class culture (where the opportunities are) is now laced with cultural signifiers that are completely illegible unless you happen to have grown up in this class (i.e. excelling at being socially graceful). They play on the normal human fear of humiliation and exclusion. Their chief message is, “You are not welcome here.”
David_Brooks  social_mobility  Colleges_&_Universities  socially_graceful  inequality  geographic_sorting  college-educated  super_ZIPs  self-perpetuation  values  opportunity_gaps  upper-income  social_exclusion  books  structural_barriers  admissions  elitism  social_classes  zoning  restrictions  social_barriers  cultural_signifiers  privilege  gaming_the_system  unfair_advantages  ruination  rituals 
july 2017 by jerryking
We can’t afford not to launch rural youth into college success
Great article on social mobility and why “expanding college access for rural is a national imperative”
ProCC  Rural  Social_Mobility  Access  from twitter
june 2017 by josephmichaelesquibel
What Does It Take to Climb Up the Ladder? - The New York Times
Thomas B. Edsall MARCH 23, 2017

What drives success? Cognitive skills are important, but so are harder-to-measure strengths that fall under the heading of what is sometimes called character......In a 2014 paper, “The Character Factor: Measures and Impact of Drive and Prudence,” Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution, and two co-authors, Kimberly Howard and Joanna Venator, focus on what they call “performance character strengths” and the crucial role played by noncognitive skills in educational attainment, employment and earned income. These character strengths — “perseverance, industriousness, grit, resilience, curiosity, application” and “self-control, future orientation, self-discipline, impulse control, delay of gratification” — make significant contributions to success in adulthood and upward mobility.

As the accompanying chart demonstrates, upper-income kids perform well on tests of noncognitive skills, but there are substantial numbers of low-income children who do well also.
movingonup  social_mobility  perseverance  industriousness  grit  resilience  curiosity  hard_work  self-control  forward_looking  self-discipline  impulse_control  delayed_gratification  character_traits  up-and-comers 
march 2017 by jerryking
Why I’m Moving Home
MARCH 16, 2017 | The New York Times | By J. D. VANCE.

" The economist Matthew Kahn has shown that in Appalachia, for instance, the highly skilled are much likelier to leave not just their hometowns but also the region as a whole. This is the classic “brain drain” problem: Those who are able to leave very often do.

The brain drain also encourages a uniquely modern form of cultural detachment. Eventually, the young people who’ve moved out marry — typically to partners with similar economic prospects. They raise children in increasingly segregated neighborhoods, giving rise to something the conservative scholar Charles Murray calls “super ZIPs.” These super ZIPs are veritable bastions of opportunity and optimism, places where divorce and joblessness are rare." ......“The sociological role [colleges and universities] play is to suck talent out of small towns and redistribute it to big cities.” There have always been regional and class inequalities in our society, but the data tells us that we’re living through a unique period of segregation....This has consequences beyond the purely material. Jesse Sussell and James A. Thomson of the RAND Corporation argue that this geographic sorting has heightened the polarization that now animates politics. This polarization reflects itself not just in our voting patterns, but also in our political culture...JD Vance has decided to move [back] home-to Ohio....."we often frame civic responsibility in terms of government taxes and transfer payments, so that our society’s least fortunate families are able to provide basic necessities. But this focus can miss something important: that what many communities need most is not just financial support, but talent and energy and committed citizens to build viable businesses and other civic institutions."
sorting  segregation  compartmentalization  neighbourhoods  polarization  geographic_mobility  brain_drain  super_ZIPs  cultural_detachment  Rust_Belt  midwest  Red_states  whites  political_partisanship  political_polarization  working_class  J.D._Vance  industrial_Midwest  Appalachia  cities  engaged_citizenry  talent  Charles_Murray  civics  social_mobility  self-perpetuation  values  opportunity_gaps  college-educated  geographic_sorting  regional 
march 2017 by jerryking
The Decline of Social Mobility in America - The Atlantic
This lack of mobility holds even for people with a college degree, the researchers found. Many college-educated workers started their careers at higher earnings deciles than those before them did, but also tended to end their careers in a lower decile than their predecessors.
Education  social_mobility  neoliberalism 
december 2016 by jstenner
Adair Turner - The Skills Delusion | Project Syndicate - Oct 2016
LONDON – Everybody agrees that better education and improved skills, for as many people as possible, is crucial to increasing productivity and living standards…
economic_growth  economic_models  economic_history  inequality  social_mobility  education-higher  education-training  skills  Labor_markets  wages  student_debt  from instapaper
october 2016 by dunnettreader

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