Saturday, September 07, 2019

Markovits: "The Meritocracy Trap", previewed on CNN, will be available Sept. 10

Today, Sermconish, on CNN, interviewed Yale professor Daniel Markovits, author on “The Meritocracy Trap: How America’s Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite” (Penguin Press, 448 pages, 2019, released Sept. 10).

The New Republic, in an article by Sarah Leonard, reviews the book and discusses his ideas in the article “The Fall of Meritocracy: Ultra-educated, overworked, highly paid elites are not partners in the struggle to reform an unequal system” (paywall). 

Markovits appears to continue a line of argument from part of Daniel Callahan’s “The Cheating Culture” (2004), where he notes that wealthier parents are in a position to give their progeny advantages over other kids with private schools and lessons and coaching.
It’s also true that wealthier parents live in better public school districts (like how Richardson and Plano schools are so touted in the north Dallas area), so redlining matters.
Children of parents in academia or engineering, tech, or even science teachers seem more likely to excel.  This sounds like John Fish’s story in Ontario (his father is a physics teacher, and he was able to explain quantum entanglement in a technically well-done video by age 15).
Forbes has a perspective on the Andraka brothers from 2013.  

Taylor Wilson, now a nuclear scientist at the University of Nevada, however, had working class parents in Arkansas. 
Yet I had written a reductive argument about meritocracy on my legacy site back in 2005, and it offended some people.

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