The Is The Meritocracy Myth?

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Meritocracy is the “idea that positions are earned through hard work and personal achievement and through no resources other than one’s own” (Shapiro 78). This is both an unproved and a false collective belief which leads to the creation of the term the meritocracy myth. Many Americans have fallen short of furthering themselves economically because of this ideology and were raised to believe in a stringent model of meritocracy even though life has proven how false and misleading this ideal truly is. It has been proven through examples such as the top 1%’s existence and the fact that “95% of children born to parents in the bottom 6% of wealth holders will end up poor as adults” (McNamee and Miller 96). On the other hand of the spectrum, many Americans use the term economic inequality quite frequently when talking about politics in social affairs. However not many grasp either of these terms correctly when using them with this context. Economic inequality is displayed by individuals’ contrasting situational positions within the economic distribution of income and wealth. Examples of this inequality fall into categories of either income, pay, or wealth. There are many scholarly papers that demonstrate the social issues created by these two terms and their relation to our society. The meritocracy myth is the main underlying cause to the social issue of economic inequality. Robert Reich has made it clear that America’s scales of income distribution and wealth are unevenly
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