Repost-Jesse Walker At Reason Links To Ross Douthat: ‘”The Meritocracy As We Know It Mostly Works To Perpetuate the Existing Upper Class’

Douthat’s column here.

Full post here

Walker quoting Douthat:

“…elite universities are about connecting more than learning, that the social world matters far more than the classroom to undergraduates, and that rather than an escalator elevating the best and brightest from every walk of life, the meritocracy as we know it mostly works to perpetuate the existing upper class.”

The WASP work ethic is still there, somewhere.  I still believe it’s possible to salvage a core educational mission and maintain economic dynamism and greater social mobility, but many people attracted to higher ed and entrenched there will naturally not agree.

From the comments section at Reason, which captures the sentiment nicely, and is wonderfully typical of comments at Reason:

‘Because there’s a large sector of our economic and cultural life dominated by nonprofits, foundations, and quasi-governmental organizations that are insulated from competition, have an outsized impact on economic and political policy, and are dependent on their own perceived intellectual prestige for influence.

Those organizations are infested with Ivy League graduates.

Destroy that sector by eliminating its funding, its tax advantages, and its connections to mixed-economy state policy, and I won’t care who goes to the Ivy League.’

We’ve backed our way into a lot of this.  I suppose there are always some sour grapes involved with State school, land-grant folks like myself.

Interesting reads:

-Kenneth Anderson at Volokh, during Occupy!: The Fragmenting Of The New Class Elites, Or, Downward Mobility

-Thoughts about our political class: Francis Fukuyama And Walter Russell Mead At The American Interest: ‘None Of The Above’

-Angelo Codevilla’s polemic: America’s Ruling Class-And The Perils Of Revolution.

-Megan McArdle at The Daily Beast: America’s New Mandarins

Related On This Site:A Few Thoughts On NPR And Current Liberal Establishment Thinking Under Obama…Hate Is A Strong Word-Some Links On The BBC, The CBC, & NPR

,,Ron Unz At The American Conservative: ‘The Myth Of American Meritocracy’

The Hoover Institution Via Youtube: Charles Murray On ‘Coming Apart’

The libertarian angle, getting smart, ambitious people off of the degree treadmill…or the very few for whom college doesn’t work:  From The American Interest: Francis Fukuyama Interviews Peter Thiel-’A Conversation With Peter Thiel’ I think it’s going too far, trying to apply libertarian economics onto education, but Milton Friedman on Education is thought-provoking.

A deeper look at what education “ought” to be:  A lot like it is now?: A Review Of Martha Nussbaum’s ‘Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education.’

Harvard is no place for Larry Summers, at least running the place: Repost-Revisting Larry Summers: What Did He Say Again?From The Harvard Educational Review-