Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, September 15, 2019

For affluent, white-collar Americans, higher learning is something close to sacred. We bask in the sunshine of enlightenment that prestige universities radiate and we speak of them in the language of dreams, of religious veneration.

But now comes Daniel Markovits, a professor at Yale Law School, to tell us that far from solving economic inequality, higher education is one of the central forces driving our yawning class divide.

Top universities are the central but not only element of what Markovits calls "The Meritocracy Trap."

On the surface, meritocracy seems fair, but in reality, Markovits writes, what we call merit is "a pretense, constructed to rationalize an unjust distribution of advantage." ... It is "a mechanism for the concentration and dynastic transmission of wealth, privilege and caste across generations."

The results are ugly but undeniable.

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Per the article ...

In some ways, however, Markovits pushes his thesis too hard. Yes, smug professionals sit atop our class system, but they aren't the only winners up there. There are also self-made oil billionaires, retail billionaires, real-estate billionaires and so on.

But in other ways Markovits doesn't go nearly far enough. When he squares off against the meritocratic elite, he keeps pulling his punches, assuring us that its members' educational credentials really are excellent, that their skills are real and that they work extremely hard.

A more resolute critique would zero in on the fraud and folly and hubris that always seem to accompany the deeds of the best and the brightest.

A fuller account of the last real-estate bubble and the global financial crisis would have been helpful here; or the story of the Wall Street bailouts, when one set of high-achieving professionals simply forgave the sins of another ...

or a comprehensive discussion of the 2016 presidential election, when the Democratic team of geniuses managed to lose to the most unpopular presidential candidate of all time.


So long as Dems refuse to acknowledge why working and middle-class voters went for Trump in the first place, Dems will continue to pay lip service to these voters -- and Dems will lose more often than they win.

#1 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2019-09-15 10:27 AM | Reply

Per the article ...

The book's most unfortunate blind spot is the past.

Markovits asserts that the oligarchic situation we are in today has "no historical precedent," by which he seems to mean there has never been a social order in which the people on top were there because they worked so hard and thus appeared to deserve what they had.

However, the idea that the economy rewards the able and the diligent " and that therefore the successful deserve their riches " is one of the oldest and most familiar of American illusions.

I bring this up because if we're going to do something about inequality, we need to recall that this country has confronted seemingly merit-based class systems before, and we have seen through their falsehoods, and we have taken them apart.

Until that day arrives, we have this book, which forcefully interrupts the comfortable bath of self-flattery in which our well-graduated professionals pass their hours.

We are so enlightened, they tell one another; we care so very much; we wish we knew whom to blame for our toxic, embittered society " and Markovits drags them to the mirror and bids them open their eyes.


America is in it's SECOND Gilded Age, which is what Thomas Frank is reminding us without using that phrase ...

And as we see now, with Democrats arguing what is the best way to beat Trump, we have yet to hear in concrete terms how to deal with class warfare ...

While Warren will at least mention class warfare ... www.c-span.org

Bernie wants to fully push back ... [no link, just go to Bernie's website]

#2 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2019-09-15 10:38 AM | Reply

You know that Thomas Frank was the writer who coined the phrase "Party of Martha's Vineyard," right?

#3 | Posted by nullifidian at 2019-09-15 10:48 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

You know that Thomas Frank was the writer who coined the phrase "Party of Martha's Vineyard," right?

#3 | POSTED BY NULLIFIDIAN

You are right -- Frank coined the phrase.

I added the above 11-minute where Frank rips Democrats for throwing workers and middle-class overboard for white collar professionals who have helped create the massive inequality we're facing today.

I've been checking out all the lectures I can find by Thomas Frank the last couple of weeks -- and I'm totally on board with everything he says, I can't find anything that I disagree with him on.

#4 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2019-09-15 10:59 AM | Reply

I added the above 11-minute where Frank rips Democrats for throwing workers and middle-class overboard for white collar professionals who have helped create the massive inequality we're facing today.

The massive inequality is due to decades of unmitigated illegal immigration.

Find any study on when wages stopped growing, and then look at the rise if illegal immigration.

Keep allowing poor, unskilled labor into the your country and presto, inequality; its in the equation.

Why do you think the most Democratic, the most illegal immigration, State also has the most wealth inequality. Its right there in the data if you care to look objectively.

#5 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-09-15 11:06 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

America is in it's SECOND Gilded Age,

No its not ... this is where you ability to see historically what has happened in the FIRST Gilded Age.

There isn't anything a Billionaire can do, that any of our bottom 20% can't do.

You want to talk about the RoW then that's something else. But Billionaires can't things much different than you or I.

This wasn't true in the FIRST Gilded Age.

#6 | Posted by AndreaMackris at 2019-09-15 11:09 AM | Reply

The massive inequality is due to decades of unmitigated illegal immigration.

Find any study on when wages stopped growing, and then look at the rise if illegal immigration.

It's funny how closely you brush up to casting the blame where it belongs, corporations and greedy investors, but never quite yet there.

#7 | Posted by jpw at 2019-09-15 11:38 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

No its not ...

#6 | POSTED BY ANDREAMACKRIS

Yes it is.

GOP Celebrate American Wealth Inequality in Baltimore Hotel
drudge.com

The above link is what America's second Gilded Age looks like.

#8 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2019-09-15 03:06 PM | Reply

Post #8 has the wrong link.

Here's the correct link ...

GOP Celebrate American Wealth Inequality in Baltimore Hotel
drudge.com

#9 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2019-09-15 03:16 PM | Reply

#10

This thread deserves double digits.

#10 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2019-09-16 08:08 AM | Reply

Inequality is directly related to union busting. Unions were the blue collar workers answer to not having a college degree.

#11 | Posted by danni at 2019-09-16 10:56 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

A college degree used to mean you had a skill. A union was setting artificial wages to people with no skills. Unions were for people who were envious of the wages that people with college degrees had.

#12 | Posted by boaz at 2019-09-16 03:51 PM | Reply

"A college degree used to mean you had a skill."

It means you are motivated to jump through the hoops and do whatever is asked of you, for four years.
Employers like workers like that.

#13 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-09-16 03:54 PM | Reply

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