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Myth of meritocracy

One obvious approach is to examine enrollment figures at those universities which for one reason or another may follow a different policy. Each year, America picks its five strongest students to represent our country in the International Math Olympiad, and during the three decades since , some 34 percent of these team members have been Asian-American, with the corresponding figure for the International Computing Olympiad being 27 percent. In sum, it is important to recognize that individual achievement occurs within a context of unequal educational opportunity. It is intriguing that the school which admits students based on the strictest, most objective academic standards has by a very wide margin the lowest Jewish enrollment for any elite university. This is a significant trend since the United States became a world power based on its industrial strength, which supported a large and relatively prosperous working and middle class. At the same time, more Americans are getting more education, especially higher education. In academia, as with the world outside, there is a tendency to overlook that discrimination , harassment, and violence occurs and, further, to minimize it when it is acknowledged.

Myth of meritocracy


Between and , only 11 percent of the winners of the Computing Olympiad had Jewish names, as did just 8 percent of the Siemens AP Award winners. All of these measures would reduce the overall extent of inequality in society and at the same time allow individual merit to have a greater effect on economic outcomes. Bowles, Samuel, and Herbert Gintis. Sure, you have other slots on your committee. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Ironically enough, the methodology used to select these NMS semifinalists may considerably understate the actual number of very high-ability Asian students. Mill's position has great plausibility: Chinese Legalism According to scholarly consensus, the earliest example of an administrative meritocracy, based on civil service examinations, dates back to Ancient China. As a consequence, university leaders could honestly deny the existence of any racial or religious quotas, while still managing to reduce Jewish enrollment to a much lower level, and thereafter hold it almost constant during the decades which followed. Yet the qualifying NMS scores are based on math, reading, and writing tests, with the last two both corresponding to verbal ability, and without any test of visuospatial skills. Included among these nonmerit advantages are high standards of living from birth, inter vivos gifts gifts between the living such as infusions of cash and property bestowed by parents on their children at critical junctures in the life course going to college, getting married, buying a home, having children, starting a business, etc. There has to be more to the story than that. As such, although he did try to study in private, Hong was ultimately noncompetitive in later examinations and unable to become a bureaucrat. Jewish ability tends to be exceptionally strong in its verbal component and mediocre at best in the visuospatial, 57 so the NMS semifinalist selection methodology would seem ideally designed to absolutely maximize the number of high-scoring Jews compared to other whites or especially East Asians. Some service jobs, such as customer service and computer programming, are also being moved to foreign countries in increasing numbers. First, it is not clear which particular mix of attitudes, outlooks, or frames of mind are associated with economic success. The highly skewed distribution of economic outcomes, however, appears quite in excess of any reasonable distribution of merit. Math Olympiad began in , and all the names of the top scoring students are easily available on the Internet. It is generally acknowledged that a pure meritocracy is probably impossible to achieve. Only those with a relevant education and work experience should be allowed to vote, rather than just anyone who has reached the age of 18 or And the best single means of becoming such an economic winner is to gain admission to a top university, which provides an easy ticket to the wealth of Wall Street or similar venues, whose leading firms increasingly restrict their hiring to graduates of the Ivy League or a tiny handful of other top colleges. Just a few years ago Pulitzer Prize-winning former Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Golden published The Price of Admission, a devastating account of the corrupt admissions practices at so many of our leading universities, in which every sort of non-academic or financial factor plays a role in privileging the privileged and thereby squeezing out those high-ability, hard-working students who lack any special hook. Just as we might expect, the roster of New York NMS semifinalists is disproportionately filled with Jewish names, constituting about 21 percent of the total, a ratio twice as high as for any other state whose figures are available. White-collar crime in the form of insider trading, embezzlement, tax fraud, insurance fraud and the like is hardly evidence of honesty and virtue in practice. Second, the direction of influence is not always clear.

Myth of meritocracy


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