0 Speaker List

News

Americans don’t believe in meritocracy – They believe in fake-it-ocracy

Niall Ferguson
 

By Niall Ferguson (Original source Boston Globe)

“Americans believe in meritocracy in principle. Polls show that significant majorities — between 67% and 70% since Gallup began asking the question in 2003 — believe that, when it comes to university admissions, “applicants should be admitted solely on the basis of merit”.

The most successful Broadway show in living memory, Hamilton, is an exuberant celebration of a self-made man — the first US Treasury secretary, Alexander Hamilton, who was born into poverty (“a bastard, orphan, son of a whore and a Scotsman”) but indefatigably read, wrote and fought his way to the top.

Unlike his wealthy rival Aaron Burr, Hamilton isn’t admitted to Princeton and has to settle for King’s College (now Columbia University). It doesn’t matter. Hamilton gets “a lot farther by working a lot harder / By being a lot smarter / By being a self-starter”. Nothing can stop this young, scrappy, hungry prodigy from “rising up”.”

Click here to see more

Get A Quote For: