December 22, 2015
Supreme Court of The United States Scrutinizes Affirmative Action Again
Affirmative action is before the Supreme Court yet again. This time it is the University of Texas in the hot seat; soon it might be Harvard defending itself against credible charges that its admission policies discriminate against Asian applicants.
The essence of these cases is whether everyone is to be treated the same in college admissions or if some people are to be treated differently.
[. . .]
The crucial difference is this: You’re either born into it or it is earned.
Since colleges serve a crucial sorting function in American life, what happens there is extended into American society at large. Is America a meritocracy, as we were all taught and would like to believe, or is it just another aristocracy? Increasingly, we seem to be going down the European aristocratic road, with predictably decadent and degenerating results visible to all insightful observers of our distant ruling class.
[. . .]
Nothing destroys motivation and a belief in the fairness of the system like an entrenched aristocracy.
Elite colleges like to portray themselves as meritocracies.
[. . .]
Eliminating aristocratic preferences based on race also means eliminating aristocratic legacy preferences for the children of alumni and the children of the rich and well connected. Fair is fair. It’s the same thing: awarding people things based on the luck of whomever they happen to be related to.
December 19, 2015
College admissions: aristocracy or meritocracy?
By Bonnie K. Snyder