~ WBOTCG? ~ What’s Become Of The Common Good?

~ WNTAWTSTOFP-ITLMFB-TPOM-O-TSACGBTSATS ~ We Need To Ask Whether The Solution To Our Fractious Politics – Is To Live More Faithfully By – The Principle Of Merit – Or – To Seek A Common Good Beyond The Sorting And The Striving

~ B-TRORNRH-ITE-IINETR-MWNERTTMC ~ But – The Rhetoric Of Rising Now Rings Hollow – In Today’s Economy – It Is Not Easy To Rise – Most Will Not Even Rise To The Middle Class

~ T-TCWT-HM-TTBTWT-GE-TATR-IS-DLO-TSOP-TOAT=E=HC-A-OR-TEPTSITWOW ~ Today – The Countries With The – Highest Mobility – Tend To Be Those With The – Greatest Equality – The Ability To Rise – It Seems – Depends Less On – The Spur Of Poverty – Than On Access To – Education – Health Care – And – Other Resources – That Equip People To Succeed In The World Of Work

~ ASRTTGBRAPMRDWIOPAW-RT-RCWTPOHPSUALWRGFAFA ~ Any Serous Response To The Gap Between Rich And Poor Must Reckon Directly With Inequalities Of Power And Wealth – Rather Than – Rest Content With The Project Of Helping People Scramble Up A Ladder Whose Rungs Grow Father And Farther Apart

~ M-IIUWTTDTORTM-DSLOTS-TWCTMI-A-MITCOTPP-OTMQ-TAISMPP:TMAATMEP-ATWAAATL-ATW-IGH-ATL-HAR ~ Morally – It Is Unclear Why The Talented Deserve The Outsize Rewards That Market-Driven Societies Lavish On The Successful – Those Who Celebrate The Meritocratic Ideal – And – Make It The Center Of Their Political Project – Overlook This Moral Question – They Also Ignore Something More Politically Potent: The Morally Attractive Attitudes The Meritocratic Ethic Promotes – Among The Winners And Also Among The Losers – Among The Winners – It Generates Hubris – Among The Losers – Humiliation And Resentment

~ TPCIATTOM-A-TCIJ ~ The Populist Complaint Is About The Tyranny Of Merit – And – The Complaint Is Justified

~ TNT-TSR-TAHW-ETW-TCTSTOD-AMOTV-A-TLDUTLFTT-MH-RTTOWTITDOTS-TFT-CAGF-THTOTW-IIT-SC-OT-WLOT-TTDTF-A-T-TOTB-DTT ~ The Notion That – The System Rewards – Talent And Hard Work – Encourages The Winners – To Consider Their Success Their Own Doing – A Measure Of Their Virtue – And – To Look Down Upon Those Less Fortunate Than Themselves – Meritocratic Hubris – Reflects The Tendency Of Winners To Inhale Too Deeply Of Their Success – To Forget The – Luck And Good Fortune – That Helped Them On Their Way – It Is The – Smug Conviction – Of Those – Who Land On Top – That They Deserve Their Fate – And – That – Those On The Bottom – Deserve Theirs Too

~ T- T-CG-IUMI-ET-IILACSODTBOC-TA-SCP-AMBT-GDP-TMFA-IPD ~ Today – The – Common Good – Is Understood Mainly In – Economic Terms – It Is Less About Cultivating Solidarity Or Deepening The Bonds Of Citizenship – Than About – Satisfying Consumer Preferences – As Measured By The – Gross Domestic Product – This Makes For An – Impoverished Public Discourse

~ WPF-PA-TD-CEO-NMTT-WINO-OE-SM-IWPTPOAWRL-C-ATPS-FT-EPD-FAD-TRSTTAO-RPD-DNMTNPABD-ISMTABDE-OOPV-B-AA(OCBTITR)-B-CBABM-B-CL-W-CC-BIWPO ~ What Passes For – Political Argument – These Days – Consists Either Of – Narrow Managerial Technocratic Talk – Which Inspires No One – Or Else – Shouting Matches – In Which Partisans Talk Past One Another Without Really Listening – Citizens – Across The Political Spectrum – Find This – Empty Public Discourse – Frustrating And Disempowering – They Rightly Sense That The Absence Of – Robust Public Debate – Does Not Mean That No Policies Are Being Decided – It Simply Means They Are Being Decided Elsewhere – Out Of Public View – By – Administrative Agencies (Often Captured By The Industries They Regulate) – By – Central Banks And Bond Markets – By – Corporate Lobbyists – Whose – Campaign Contributions – Buy Influence With Public Officials

~ FD-O-M-DG-H-HOPD-DOC-A-PAPB ~ Four Decades – Of – Market-Driven Globalization – Have – Hollowed Out Public Discourse – Disempowered Ordinary Citizens – And – Prompted A Populist Backlash

~ B-IIOTTHPRFAM;IISETATWA-EOU-WRFOLIL ~ But – It Is One Thing To Hold People Responsible For Acting Morally; It Is Something Else To Assume That We Are – Each Of Us – Wholly Responsible For Our Lot In Life

~ TNTOFROM-RDIT-MI-O-WC-IRTBTTMUIAIAWTAPWMASWW-T-MWOT-GRTHATTWSM-TMATS-TGTSTTVHBIOH[H]~ The Notion That Our Fate Reflects Our Merit – Runs Deep In The – Moral Intuitions – Of – Western Culture – It Reflects The Belief That The Moral Universe Is Arranged In A Way That Aligns Prosperity With Merit And Suffering With Wrongdoing – This – Meritocratic Way Of Thinking – Gives Rise To Harsh Attitudes Toward Those Who Suffer Misfortune – The More Acute The Suffering – The Greater The Suspicion That The Victim Has Brought It On Himself[/Herself]

~ MOTF-TS-WFL-AAFAMPOV ~ Many Of The Factors – That Separate – Winners From Losers – Are Arbitrary From A Moral Point Of View

~ TMWVOAS-MAS-S-TLLWATCFTFOTLFTO-IMSIMOD-TFMBTF-TLMMCOC-TSANOPRFOFMIHTIOIOPS ~ The More We View Ourselves As Self-Made And Self-Sufficient – The Less Likely We Are To Care For The Fate Of Those Less Fortunate Than Ourselves – If My Success Is My Own Doing – Their Failure Must Be Their Fault – This Logic Makes Meritocracy Corrosive Of Commonality – Too Strenuous A Notion Of Personal Responsibility For Our Fate Makes It Hard To Imagine Ourselves In Other People’s Shoes

~ TROR ~ The Rhetoric Of Responsibility

~ FD-ME-ITMT-TW-WHAPBTR-CRAFATTWTT-TDNNTFT-SATBOSTSA-T-ROR-WLAPTAT ~ For Decades – Meritocratic Elites – Intoned The Mantra That – Those Who – Work Hard And Play By The Rules – Can Rise As Far As Their Talents Will Take Them – They Did Not Notice That For Those – Stuck At The Bottom Or Struggling To Stay Afloat – The – Rhetoric Of Rising – Was Less A Promise Than A Taunt

~ C:TLAP ~ Credentialism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice

~ ‘SVD’- BTD-EOI-C-L-‘JVU’-O-‘RVW’ ~ “Smart Versus Dumb” – Began To Displace – Ethical Or Ideological – Contrasts – Like – “Just Versus Unjust” – Or – “Right Versus Wrong”

~ T-‘STTD’-A-PTA-POS-IR-TDNDO-MC ~ The – “Smart Thing To Do” – Always – Pointed To A – Prudential Or Self-Interested Reason – That Did Not Depend On – Moral Considerations

~ TNT-‘TBATB’-ABAG-TT-L-C-FC-I-AMBOMH ~ The Notion That – “The Best And The Brightest” – Are – Better At Governing – Than Their – Less-Credentialed – Fellow Citizens – Is – A Myth Born Of Meritocratic Hubris

~ P-TO-RW-I-RME ~ Parties – That Once – Represented Workers – Increasingly – Represented Meritocratic Elites

~ WMFAMITEHAECTCTLOS;IHNTSAHFATROTLSB-T-MI-INA-ROI-IIA-JOI ~ What Matters For A Meritocracy Is That Everyone Has An Equal Chance To Climb The Ladder Of Success; It Has Nothing To Say About How Far Apart The Rungs On The Ladder Should Be – The – Meritocratic Ideal – Is Not A – Remedy Of Inequality – It Is A – Justification Of Inequality

~ AT-AOG-BRWTT-W-C-IDNFMOW-PI-B-WRASASSOWTP-W-EASCALS ~ Although The – Age Of Globalization – Brought Rich Rewards To – The Well-Credentialed – It Did Not Nothing For Most Ordinary Workers – Productivity Increased – But – Workers Reaped A Smaller And Smaller Share Of What They Produced – While – Executives And Shareholders Captured A Larger Share

~ OTLSD-TIT-TMWMRTVOOSC-HBDE ~ Over The Last Several Decades – The Idea That – The Money We Make Reflects The Value Of Our Social Contribution – Has Become Deeply Embedded

~ M-FA-HRTP-EG-TDPATEI-SP-MTDOTWEAL-P-U-GAS-IT-RE ~Much – Financial Activity – Hinders Rather Than Promotes – Economic Growth – The Disproportionate Prestige Accorded Those Engaged In – Speculative Pursuits – Mocks The Dignity Of Those Who Earn A Living – Producing – Useful – Goods And Services – In The – Real Economy

~ A-PA-TRT-DOW-WUT-TS-TRTEOEB-DS-A-HPL ~ A – Political Agenda – That Recognizes The – Dignity Of Work – Would Use The – Tax System – To Reconfigure The Economy Of Esteem By – Discouraging Speculation – And – Honoring Productive Labor