The end of American meritocracy

American meritocracy 01

from The Economist

Edward Luce

Published in the Straits Times (originally in the Financial Times)

May 10, 2016

What is in a word? When it is packed with as much moral zeal as “meritocracy”, the answer is: a lot. A meritocrat owes his success to effort and talent. Luck has nothing to do with it – or so he tells himself. He shares his view with everyone else, including those too slow or indolent to follow his example. Things go wrong only when the others dispute it.

Now magnify that to a nation of 320 million people – one that prides itself on being a meritocracy. Imagine that between a half and two-thirds of its people, depending on how the question is framed, disagree. They believe the system’s divisions are self-perpetuating. They used not to think that way.

Imagine, also, that the meritocrats are too enamoured of their just rewards to see it. The fact that they are split – one group calling itself Democratic, the other Republican – is detail. They are two sides of a debased coin. Sooner or later, something will give.

Read more here.


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About gptuitionsg

A dedicated English and GP tutor with First Class Honours from the National University of Singapore, Steven Ooi retired from the profession after a 14-year career during which he was one of the most sought-after private tutors in Singapore. He is the recipient of the Minerva Prize from NUS, which is awarded to the top English Language honours student of each cohort. This website, which has consistently ranked among the top 10 on Google and has received over 530,000 hits, has now been converted into a GP resource site cum listing of recommended tutors. If you are a GP or English tutor who wishes to be listed here, please email Steven Ooi at stevenooi18 @ (remove the spaces). Interested parties will be assessed and interviewed by him, and qualifications will be checked. These procedures are necessary to uphold quality standards. DISCLAIMER: While every reasonable effort has been made to assess the competence and verify the qualifications of recommended tutors here, no guarantees are made and you engage them at your own risk. By using this website, you agree that you will not hold the webmaster Steven Ooi responsible for any consequences — direct or otherwise — that occur in relation with your use of this website.
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