The ideal of meritocracy is attractive: individuals obtain wealth, leadership roles, and social status based upon talent and hard work, rather than by virtue of their position in the aristocracy or their family connections. Sometimes framed as “equality of opportunity” or even “the American Dream,” meritocracy has for decades garnered widespread popular support in the United States, becoming more embedded over time. Yet, mounting empirical evidence from social scientists demonstrates that our country is not really a meritocracy. Some wield massive advantages from the beginning; others, no matter how talented and hardworking, have little hope of obtaining a coveted spot at an Ivy League institution or even a decently paying job.
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Power Struggles – The Tyranny of Merit and the Degredation of Work: Comment on M. Sandel's The Tyranny of Merit,
Am. J. L. & Equal.
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