January 31, 2010
Re: "Plan is raising banks' anxiety," Jan. 27: Manny Korman of Buckingham Research Group can't be serious when he says that large investment banks "are meritocracy-oriented organizations that like to have a free hand to make their own fortunes." The concept of meritocracy flew out the window when the Big Boys ran their companies into the ground, giving the federal government the choice of using our money to bail them out or allowing the entire U.S. economy to go into free fall.
September 1, 2008
Re "Admitted but broke," Opinion, Aug. 24 The cost of college is staggering. However, the price range is broad. Zoe Mendelson worries that her middle-class friends cannot afford the pricier colleges. Affording only inexpensive institutions, according to Mendelson, "undermines the meritocracy that we claim as a nation." The truth is that her friends could learn just as much and likely would receive equivalent or, depending on their majors, better educations at less-expensive schools.
October 7, 2005 |
OF ALL THE despondent conservative reactions to Harriet E. Miers' Supreme Court nomination, my favorite came from National Review editor Rich Lowry, who quoted a source he described as a "very pro-Bush legal type." The source complained that Miers is "not even second rate, but third rate," and proceeded to despair that "a crony at FEMA is one thing, but on the high court it's something else entirely." The Supreme Court, you see, is important. What bad could come of having a crony at FEMA?
June 22, 2003 |
The informal potluck lunch had just begun at a gentrified farmhouse outside Oxford when that age-old British preoccupation with class surfaced. The parents were drinking cocktails, and many of our children from a local, private elementary school were playing rugby on a beautiful field of grass. Most of the adults had met each other at the school during Sunday services or at sporting events. That's why my wife was surprised to realize that an acquaintance was sneering at her clothes.
October 24, 1999 |
Nicholas Lemann tells many fascinating stories in "The Big Test," and he tells them with an unusual combination of lively prose and discerning intelligence. But the subtitle of his book is misleading. The stories he relates are not all that secret, they do not add up to a coherent history and only some of them are about the American meritocracy. Just as democracy means the rule of the people, meritocracy means rule by the talented.
February 16, 1997
After reading professor Judy B. Rosener's attack on the idea of a "meritocracy" ("Standards of Meritocracy Don't Add Up," Times Board of Advisors, Feb. 2) in which she promotes the idea of "subjective standards," I have to wonder whose oxymoron will be gored if she gets what she wants. Although she says "it's possible to establish standards that consider subjective as well as objective criteria," how can you have "standards" that are not themselves objective? In fact, any system that does not include generally agreed-upon objective standards will be subject to the very same charges of prejudice, favoritism and cronyism that we all want to avoid.