The End of Merit. By Joel Kotkin.
Woke educators, like San Francisco’s School board member Alison Collins, claim that “merit, meritocracy and especially meritocracy based on standardized testing” are essentially “racist systems.” Some among the new racial cadres even denounce habits such as punctuality, rationality, and hard work as reflective of “racism” and “white privilege”.
A society that denigrates hard work and rationality cannot possibly succeed. … The main reason why the United States easily outstripped Europe and Asia in economic growth and cultural influence in the 19th and 20th centuries is that we were a meritocracy. Talent and hard work prevailed over privilege of birth and adherence to established ideologies. Sadly, we have lost that advantage. … The Left’s war on standards has resulted in a dumbing down of our educational system and our culture. None of our competitors has been this stupid, and China, in particular — despite ostensibly being a Communist country! — is a ruthless meritocracy where it counts.
Joel Kotkin again:
Only 5 percent of American college students major in engineering, compared with 33 percent in China; as of 2016, China graduated 4.7 million STEM students versus 568,000 in the United States, as well as six times as many students with engineering and computer science bachelor’s degrees. … The skills shortage may be even more profound on the factory floor. Due to an aging workforce, as many as 600,000 new manufacturing jobs expected to be generated this decade cannot be filled. The percentage of the skilled manufacturing work force over the age of 55 has doubled in the last 10 years to 20 percent of active workers. And there is no deep bench of talent waiting to replace retirees — 50 percent of the active workers are above the age of 45. The current shortage of welders, now 240,000, could grow to 340,000 by 2024. Manufacturing employment is expanding more rapidly than in almost four decades but there are an estimated 500,000 manufacturing jobs unfilled right now.
And John Hinderaker again:
The conclusion is obvious. If America is no longer a meritocracy, but rather a cynical left-wing spoils system, we no longer have a meaningful reason for being.
America is rapidly becoming un-serious. So post-modern. In today’s America more than half the population goes on to college — where most run up large debts, and many learn to sit around and belly-ache about fictitious systemic racism. But, so woke! Possibly related: