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Thursday, November 29, 2012

"The Myth of American Meritocracy"

An extremely interesting article by Ron Unz at The American Conservative, with the subtitle, "How corrupt are Ivy League admissions?"

Unz, who is Jewish, makes the case that Jews are way overrepresented at Ivy League universities relative to their academic performance in high school, while Asian-Americans and Anglos are underrepresented.

Unz himself got a BS in physics from Harvard. He then went to Stanford, but dropped out before getting his doctorate in theoretical physics. While at Stanford, he wrote software for mortgage securities, and eventually founded a company called Wall Street Analytics, which was eventually sold to Moody's in 2006.

He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for Governor of California in 1994, getting 34.3% of the Republican vote to Pete Wilson's 61.4%. In 2007 he was named the publisher of The American Conservative. He is also a large financial contributor to Wikipedia.

Unz claims to have an IQ of 214. I can't ascertain that, but his resume is certainly that of a brainiac. And if you read the article linked above, you'll see his intelligence shining through on every page.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

For the benefit of the few JUSTNOTSAID readers who didn't make it through the entire article :-), a good summation paragraph near the conclusion of Unz's article:

"Many of the Jewish writers who focus on the history of elite university admissions, including Karabel, Steinberg, and Lemann, have critiqued and rebuked the America of the first half of the Twentieth Century for having been governed by a narrow WASP ascendency, which overwhelmingly dominated and controlled the commanding heights of business, finance, education, and politics; and some of their criticisms are not unreasonable. But we should bear in mind that this dominant group of White Anglo-Saxon Protestants—largely descended from among the earliest American settlers and which had gradually absorbed and assimilated substantial elements of Celtic, Dutch, German, and French background—was generally aligned in culture, religion, ideology, and ancestry with perhaps 60 percent of America’s total population at the time, and therefore hardly represented an alien presence.(footnote cited) By contrast, a similarly overwhelming domination by a tiny segment of America’s current population, one which is completely misaligned in all these respects, seems far less inherently stable, especially when the institutional roots of such domination have continually increased despite the collapse of the supposedly meritocratic justification. This does not seem like a recipe for a healthy and successful society, nor one which will even long survive in anything like its current form."

Unz proposes an inner (20%) and outer ring method of admissions to the most influential US universities as a potential solution to the admissions fairness problem. The inner ring would be a core group based solely on merit of highest academic achievement. The outer ring would be selected randomly from the remaining applicants who, based on merit, could reasonably be expected to accomplish the work at the university. A further outcome would be graduates from elite universities who are more representative of the US population.

Unz also writes "if it were explicitly known that the vast majority of Harvard students had merely been winners in the application lottery, top businesses would begin to cast a much wider net in their employment outreach, and while the average Harvard student would probably be academically stronger than the average graduate of a state college, the gap would no longer be seen as so enormous, with individuals being judged more on their own merits and actual achievements."

So, why would Harvard, Yale, Princeton dilute their prestige by adopting Unz's proposed admissions solution?

- Ed

John Craig said...

Ed --
Thank you for pointing that out. I'm afraid you are one of the few to make it all the way through the article.

I like Unz's proposal too.

Anonymous said...

Unz looks at three groups attending Harvard - non-Jewish whites, Asians and Jews. He quantifies the disproportionate representation at Harvard by looking at the ratio of each group’s percentage enrollment at Harvard vs. the group’s percentage among PSAT National Merit Scholars (who represent the top .5% of academic achievement in high school). The answer – non-Jewish whites 28%, Asians 63% and Jews 435%. Unz states “As a consequence, Asians appear under-represented relative to Jews by a factor of seven, while non-Jewish whites are by far the most under-represented group of all, despite any benefits they might receive from athletic, legacy, or geographical distribution factors”.

Unz describes the admissions system as “Ideology and Diversity tempered by Corruption”.

Unz’s proposed inner and outer circle method of admissions will never be voluntarily adopted by Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc. because it would undermine their prestige, as Unz indirectly pointed out.

The elite universities might be forced to change their ways, and the inner and outer circle would be a good method to do so, if they were ‘outed’ on the massive unfairness and discrimination against non-Jewish whites and Asians. The means to do this would be the press – since the press can effectively communicate to the masses and influence their opinions, outrage, etc.

However this will never happen – since the Jews are the favored group at Harvard and other elite Ivy universities, and as Unz points out in his article “…Jewish ownership of America’s major media organs, including all three television networks, eight of nine major Hollywood studios, and many of the leading newspapers, including both the New York Times and the Washington Post.”

If this is in question, consider workplace law / rules and the reasons for them. It is illegal for the majority (whites) to discriminate against non-whites and most companies have anti-nepotism policies. Why? Because tribal / family loyalty is natural, and workplace law / rules are designed to mitigate that. When a minority attains control of an industry like the press, tribal and family loyalty are also a problem, it would be naïve and obtuse to believe otherwise.