The 1900s were full of many events that were induced by discrimination. For the greater part of the 20th century, America was not a meritocracy. The definition of meritocracy is when someone is treated based on how hard they have worked. Many people of color did not live in a world with meritocracy. Mexicans saw meritocracy as an unrealistic view. The dominant race usually treated other races as inferior, based off the color of skin. For this reason, many minorities suffered from discrimination and injustices. Many Americans violated the Fourteenth Amendment which gives citizens the right of not getting deprived of privileges. Two scenarios, the Lemon Grove Incident and the Mendez case point to a pattern of institutionalized discrimination
Situations like these create problems and make it hard for all people to move up in society, which is something that Alger does not point out. For years, many people continue to work hard in order to one day to reach the upper class. However, for most of us making high amounts of six figures or better is really a dream and never shapes into reality.
In The Merits of Meritocracy, by David Brooks, Brooks discusses the lives of middle-class children growing up in America. He opens up with an anecdote about his daughter, to lead into one of his main points: middle-class children have busy and protected childhood, filled with many opportunities supervised by adults (193). For instance, his daughter has four different helmets for biking, pogo sticking, skateboarding, and playing baseball (193). She is a prime example of how the middle-class is presented with opportunities and busy lives; because of this, Brooks claims the general middle-class parent fears their child is too spoiled by abundance, and will never have to commit to one thing (194). Another large fear Brooks states they have, is
In the essay The Merits of Meritocracy David Brooks mentions, that meritocracy is the social system that gives opportunities and advantages to people on the basis of their abilities rather then reasons such as wealth or seniority. He believes that people more or less deserve what they get, those people who do not work hard or build up their skills should not expect rewards. He also argued that in school and in the workplace Americans need to focus on achievement, dedication, continuous improvement, and hard work. People have to succeed through there performance: those who work hard should win praise those who don’t work hard will suffer the consequences. A persons country of origin should be no excuse at all.
The higher class individuals have more opportunity because of their wealth. They are able to pay their education funds and pay their way through the system. Whereas, lower class people have a difficult advantage because they don’t have enough money to fulfil their dreams. According to Semuels, “the distribution of that growth is more unequal, and more benefits are accuring to those at the top. Those at the bottom, are not able to achieve as big a share as they once did.” The economy is growing, so wealth is an important factor to achieve in America. Wealth is a major key to making through life in America. If they are born into wealth, most likely they will continue the legacy. Seldomly, the individual will
We live in a world where every day we wake up trying to make a living and get onto the next day repeating the same thing over and over. Waking up each day and realizing that you are not able to survive in this world without any money can have a huge impact towards any goal you are trying to reach. In some cases we tend to set the bar high but there is only one problem, how are we going to get enough money to pay for our future goals? Growing up in the working class has been a ride to remember. Experiencing poverty can also have a great affect in your life. After reading three amazing articles one by Richard Rodriguez the second by Barbara Ehrenreich and the last one by Bell Hook, I have learned that there is so much more than to be classified into a class (working class, middle class, and poverty).
To Hayes the failure of meritocracy comes from its focus on equality of opportunity over equality of outcome. Thus, as inequality escalated, the meritocracy ended up becoming so entrenched and isolated that it is no longer even much of a meritocracy. Hayes cites his elite NYC alma mater, Hunter College High School, as a prime example. The only admissions requirement is passing its entrance exam, yet the percentage students from minority and low income backgrounds has been steadily declining due to the expensive test taking prep courses that more affluent students can afford. Meanwhile the increasingly wealthy “meritocratic elites” isolate themselves from the rest of us in the 99% by living and traveling privately – in gated communities, exclusive clubs and resorts, corporate jets, etc., blaming the masses rather than themselves for societal woes.
Income inequality has been seen throughout different societies. It has always been separated with the poor on bottom and the rich on top. Most societies in past and present have had little to no movement between the separations of classes. The reality for the poor in most of those societies is that they can almost never get to the level and quality of life of the rich. America compared to other societies in our past and present is a society that strongly believes in the idea of “The American Dream”. The American Dream gives hope to some people below the rich that they can someday be as prosperous as the rich if they work hard enough for it and show that they are capable. This idea implies that it is possible for anyone whether the person is middle or low class. It is not possible for low-income workers in America to move to the upper class because they lack the resources for better jobs, they are racially or ethnically discriminated in the workforce and the upper class takes most of the income in the US.
The myth of meritocracy has been proven true in multiply sources. Studies have hypothesized this before when relating to upward mobility. Upward mobility in the last forty years has been more and more unlikely for years and years now. Factors like race, socioeconomic status, household makeup, and economic conditions of this country play a big role. I will go more indepth about this study by showing more facts in the following paragraphs.
This topic is incredibly relevant to today’s society in America, because that exact thing is happening all around us. Everything caters to the top one percent. This is being protested by the ninety-nine percent movement and more specifically, a former Democratic presidential primary candidate by the name of Bernie Sanders. Despite these protesters, America is slowly becoming a case of extreme
How to minimize the hurts of non-white children once their belief on the theory of a society is fair and equality is completely collapsed when the reality is happening in the opposite. In the reading “Why the Myth of Meritocracy Hurts Kids of Color” Mildred Boveda, an assistant education professor at Arizona State University, said: “I will admit that it sometimes felt risky to tackle these difficult conversations, but this [research] underscores why we cannot equivocate when it comes to preparing our children to face injustices.” I agree with her opinion. Because finding the proper solutions to fully empower and equipping the best knowledge that can help children cope better is not easy, but it is the responsibility of the family, the school, and society. The three elements need to act and work together in an effort to dare to speak about the truths mentioned above.
Do Americans believe meritocracy exists in America? Do talented people who work hard earning the reward that they deserve? Do talented people have enough challenges for their promotion that they merit? Living in the United States, many people think meritocracy exists because people expect about the opportunities to learn, to work, to earn, and to deserve. People also think they may have chances to earn what they deserve because the trusting of meritocracy. However, talented people do not receive any adequate reward as they expect. Meritocracy does not exist in America and becomes a myth for many debates. Moreover, most talented people in America who work hard still have fewer resources, less promotion,
All men are created equal – that is, unless you subscribe to Andrew Carnegies ideas put forth in the 1889 essay “The Gospel of Wealth.” Carnegie (2010) wrote that some people are “unworthy” while others are “the highest type of man, the best and most valuable of all that humanity has yet accomplished” (p. 395). Carnegie’s (2010) belief in social Darwinism and “survival of the fittest” (p. 393) seemed to convince him that because he had achieved wealth, he was the most fit or qualified to determine the best distribution for it. However, Carnegie’s ideas on wealth distribution do not address many
Meritocracy, the system where each person's progression is due to their achievements, is seen constantly throughout society and it is suggested to be in Australian higher education. This essay will argue that rural students who attend or plan on attending university challenge this suggestion of meritocracy in Australian universities, as rural students are unequal compared to urban students. This essay will show that universities are not based on merit alone, as rural students are disadvantaged in areas such as distance, family & community values, course availability and university availability.
The racial income gap illustrates that the United States is not a meritocracy society. A meritocracy society would be an area where everyone no matter what color or background they are from have the chance to succeed based on their own ability. Although it is certainly appealing and a magnificent way of viewing our society, in reality no society can ever truly function as a meritocracy and therefore having no control at birth and the environment where we grow up, and who we get surrounded with puts major races, especially in the United States in disadvantage, a country that is far from meritocratic compared to other nation.