The Myth of Meritocracy by James Bloodworth

By James Bloodworth

The top jobs in Britain at the present time are overwhelmingly performed by way of the offspring of privileged mom and dad. in the meantime, it's more and more tough for vivid yet negative teenagers to go beyond their conditions. This scenario usually are not simply fear the terrible. It hurts the center sessions too, who're more and more locked out of the head professions through these from filthy rich backgrounds. And, in a grossly unequal society, the privileges of the fogeys unfailingly develop into the privileges of the children.

James Bloodworth is a columnist for the International enterprise Times and has written for The occasions, The Guardian, the Wall road Journal, and the Daily Beast.

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Extra resources for The Myth of Meritocracy

Sample text

10 In the eighteenth century, Adam Smith, champion of the free market and author of the influential The Wealth of Nations, argued along similar lines in favour of educating the poor. For proponents of the free market, nepotism and Britain’s rigid social order were impediments to an efficient economy. The best jobs invariably went not to those in possession of the most brilliant minds but to the well-connected or to the progeny of the wealthiest families. The problem for free marketeers wasn’t so much inequity as inefficiency.

To the left, New Labour emphasised that the world had changed, and highlighted the ease with which a globalised financial elite could pack their bags and leave Britain when assailed by higher taxes. This, along with grim electoral reality, made the pursuit of economic equality a political dead end – or so argued New Labour’s architects. What mattered instead was improving the lot of those at the bottom of society. To the right, New Labour claimed to be able to run the meritocracy more effectively than the increasingly incompetent Conservatives.

What mattered instead was giving those at the bottom a leg up so that they too could enjoy the glittering prizes on offer in Labour’s socially mobile meritocracy. Under New Labour, those who prospered would do so based on merit; however, once they had scaled the dizzy heights they would be cheered on by Labour grandees as they guiltlessly enjoyed the increasingly dazzling rewards. 12 ‘Margaret Thatcher’s greatest achievement: New Labour’, Conor Burns, Conservative Home, 11 April 2008. 13 The Future of Socialism, Anthony Crosland, Jonathan Cape, 3rd edition (1956).

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