Would someone please explain to me what meritocracy is exactly? I've received some conflicting information.
For a fantastic examination of the efforts (and failure) of many American university officials in the mid-20th Century to build an American "meritocracy," you should read Nicolas Lemann's "The Big Test." It's ostensibly a history of the SAT, but it's also an examiniation of American social hierarchies and the ways in which they have been shaped by and reflected in higher education. It's great.I believe Lemann argues in the book that the closest thing you'll find now to a functioning meritocracy is the French system in which almost all students go to public school, then are shuttled to various secondary and post-secondary schools based on abilities, after which they are shuttled into professions suited to their abilities and skills (the smartest become professors, the next smartest become policy makers, the next smartest become professionals, etc.)As a sometimes liberal (on those days when I don't consider myself a progressive, a radical, or a social democrat) I think I can say that liberals strive for a true meritocracy rather than hating it. however, we think that society will not be meritocratic until we have actually overcome certain historical inequities tied to race/class/etc that significantly hamper the ability of certain people to compete with others. Hence, the need for non-meritocratic institutions like affirmative action.
and the need to just throw money at people on welfare? I was aiming more at some of the disfunctional social welfare programs advocated by many liberals (progressives? what a BS euphemism for a liberal!). I wasn't going after AA and don't want to go into it (it stirs far too much hatred).
Hence progressive policies that reward the kind of behavior that benfits society - such as tax breaks on mortgage interest to encourage home ownership, tax credits and gov't loans to assist with the cost of education, child tax credits, etc.
Quote from: mrs_malaprop on December 02, 2004, 12:39:32 AMHence progressive policies that reward the kind of behavior that benfits society - such as tax breaks on mortgage interest to encourage home ownership, tax credits and gov't loans to assist with the cost of education, child tax credits, etc.Didn't you just make a glowing argument for exactly what the current administration has done and is planning to do?
meritocracy = rule by the people who are most competent to rule. A lot of people confuse comptence to rule with SAT scores. In fact, they are inversely correlated.