Nepotism in the US

Oct 2010
5,190
DC
#41
Why is meritocracy better ? Well imagine the surgeon who is going to operate on you, or the pilot who is going to fly the plane you are in, have been selected due to nepotism and have no real qualifications....Or do you prefer them to be properly selected , trained and tested before they are allowed to operate on you or fly your plane ?
I would add a dental surgeon to your list as well.

I think there needs to be a separation between public and private sector in the discussion, I do believe private entities are entitled to make their hiring decisions based on their needs and wishes as long as they are not breaking any laws. If I am grooming my children to take over a factory of mine, a restaurant of mine, ..etc , I believe that is a fair thing to do.

Of course nepotism has been around for a long time, it is the reason why we have so many laws that encourage hiring of people without prejudice against their background and health.

It is interesting that the middle class is brought up in these discussions when they are the victims of Nepotism and hiring/retention laws especially the ones that use non-merit based tie-breakers for hiring and salary evaluations.
 
Apr 2018
979
Upland, Sweden
#42
Well you can demand (and some do, see the "Gilets Jaunes" movement in France).... but why would those who hold power and privileges care about your demands (other perhaps than a few cosmetic gestures of the "panem and circenses" variety to avoid large scale disturbances) ?
But this is a problem in all socieities. I am saying that the elites must be made to care about the Common Good somehow. This is why character (combined with real checks on power, trying to make sure rulers have an interest to actually care about the Common Good) are so important, rather than "merit", which I don't think works.

Character is important but it does not come from being born in a privileged family (arguably the less privileges one had at birth, the more chance to get better character)... It has been noted that in several european countries there used to be a class of civil servants devoted to their country..... whereas nowadays they are devoted to money..... when a former president can make "lectures" and be paid several 100K$ per hour for each, something is clearly wrong.... (no one pays that kind of money just to listen to a former politican talk -they can listen for free on any news channel-.... so they are either paying for services already rendered or for influence peddling)
I agree that privilege is certainly no guarantee of character. If one wants to be misanthropic I think you could say the upper class is decadent and arrogant, the middle class is overly obsessed with what the neighbours think and lack independence of mind, the lower classes are slovenly, easily manipulated and blame all their problems on everybody else. Etc.

Your analysis about European civil servants and politicians and their increasingly corrupt nature is interesting, and I broadly agree. Why have we seen this development though? Has society become more or less managed, regulated and bureaucratic? Are incentives and backgrounds for our elites more or less homogenous today than 50-60 years ago? For me the answer is clear, and I do not think more "meritocracy" is the answer.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,753
#43
Your analysis about European civil servants and politicians and their increasingly corrupt nature is interesting, and I broadly agree. Why have we seen this development though? Has society become more or less managed, regulated and bureaucratic? Are incentives and backgrounds for our elites more or less homogenous today than 50-60 years ago? For me the answer is clear, and I do not think more "meritocracy" is the answer.
I'd say that the notion that "cash is king" and the trend to judge success by how much money one has , has become more prevalent since the 80s... Before that , the 60s and the 70s at least, people were more focused on "spiritual" achievement, and before that there were other values (community, family) that tended to come first... But since the 80s , as exemplified by the wall street crooks, its all about getting more money for oneself... (such people of course existed before , its just that it was a small circle and they did not represent a desirable model for most of the other people)....
 
Apr 2018
979
Upland, Sweden
#44
I'd say that the notion that "cash is king" and the trend to judge success by how much money one has , has become more prevalent since the 80s... Before that , the 60s and the 70s at least, people were more focused on "spiritual" achievement, and before that there were other values (community, family) that tended to come first... But since the 80s , as exemplified by the wall street crooks, its all about getting more money for oneself... (such people of course existed before , its just that it was a small circle and they did not represent a desirable model for most of the other people)....
You could be right. That seems like it could be a parallell phenomenon to many other cultural trends in the West.