‘There Is No Meritocracy’ — College Admissions Scandal Exposes Systemic Rot Benefiting Freeloading Wealthy Progressives Say

A wake-up call for people who have fallen for the lie the wealthy earned what they have stolen from working families.

By Eoin Higgins
Common Dreams (3/13/19)

The most far-reaching college admissions plot ever prosecuted, revealed on Tuesday by federal investigators, provides a window into how wealth and power operate in American society, progressives say.

The scheme involved getting the children of wealthy people into the colleges of their dreams, often by manipulating sports scholarships, disability allowances on tests, and by inflating resumes. Per Democracy Now!,

“50 people were arrested, including 13 college coaches, for taking part in a scheme where wealthy parents paid exorbitant bribes to secure spots for their unqualified children in elite schools that included Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, UCLA, University of Southern California and Wake Forest. Prosecutors have charged 33 parents, including Hollywood stars Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin; Loughlin’s husband, the fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli; and Bill McGlashan, a founder of TPG Capital, one of the largest private equity investment firms in the world.”

The scope of the scandal, and the fact that it’s snared well known figures, made it front page news. But for a number of politicians, journalists, and commentators, the scheme exposed a deeper, uglier truth about the lack of meritocracy in America and how power works.

“I hope it’s a wake-up call for people who have bought into the system that people become wealthy because they have worked hard,” Ivory Toldson, professor of counseling psychology at Howard University, told Democracy Now! in an interview Wednesday. “It’s a deception that’s pervasive in our society.”

Exposed rot

Toldson joined a chorus of people pointing out the rot exposed by the scheme.

Twitter user @dlnodots mused on whether the people arrested Tuesday would face the same kind of consequences as black parents whose children attend out of district schools.

Alexis Nedd, a reporter with Mashable, was wryly amused by the “fumbling” attempt at crime on the part of the parents.

New York City public defender and criminal justice advocate Rebecca J. Kavanagh noted the difference in bail for Huffman and one of her clients, a 16 year-old boy.

And Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) compared the scandal to access in American politics. Both, said Ocasio-Cortez, are examples of how money can get you “in.”

At Splinter, writer Libby Watson used the scandal as a teachable moment.

“There is no meritocracy,” wrote Watson. “Just remember that the next time someone tries to sell you on any vision of America’s future that includes a supposedly benevolent and productive wealthy class, instead of just taxing them on the money they clearly have no idea how to spend.”

(This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.)

Link to Story, Pointed Tweets and 1+-Minute Video

(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link toe www.thecommonercall.org )


Ivanka Trump’s Husband Jared Kushner Got Into Harvard After His Daddy Made A Hefty Donation To The Elite School

By Gavin Fernando
news.com.au (3/13/19)

As you’ve no doubt heard, some of America’s wealthiest parents have been charged over an elaborate college entrance scam.

Actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman are among the 50 people facing jail time following a massive crackdown on a widespread bribery scam involving some of the most elite and selective colleges in the US.

“It was a little bit disappointing because there were at the time other kids we thought should really get in on the merits, and they did not.”

But the case has also renewed the spotlight on nepotism and preferential treatment in general, with the resurfacing question of how White House senior adviser Jared Kushner — son-in-law of Donald Trump and husband of the US President’s eldest daughter Ivanka — got into Harvard.

In his 2007 book The Price of Admission, journalist Daniel Golden conducted an investigation into how the nation’s wealthiest got into prestigious schools.

In 2016, he wrote a story for ProPublica focusing on Mr Kushner gaining access to Harvard, noting a legal $US2.5 million donation made by his father, Charles Kushner, to the school.

The young Mr Kushner was accepted shortly after. …

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  • Celebs Charged With Fraud In Buying Their Children’s Admission To Top Colleges — Federal authorities on Tuesday charged 50 people, including actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin and college coaches and administrators, in an alleged scheme to win admission to prestigious universities for the children of wealthy parents. … Read the Rest


College Cheating Scandal And Paul Manafort’s Sentencing: A Closer Look


Late Night With Seth Meyers (3/13/19)

Seth takes a closer look at how a massive college cheating scandal and the sentencing of the president’s ex-campaign chairman have exposed corruption at the highest levels of society.

Link to 7+-Minute Video