G.L.Piggy [at] gmail.com
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1. A great article on the mismatching caused by affirmative action. The authors cite many interesting statistics including the fact that black law school students fail the bar exam at four times the rate of white students. The authors argue that degree is important. They focus on “large” versus “small” preferences. At the University of Texas, for example, the average black student scores at the 52nd percentile on the SAT while the average white student scores at the 89th percentile. Besides even the racial differences, you can’t just throw these two different academic profiles into the same shark tank and expect them to gel. Liberals overestimate the impact of environment even at such a late life stage.
2. I didn’t know Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s father is a billionaire. It cracks me up that the industry which most prominently tackles social and economic inequality is filled with people who gained their positions because of their wealth. Acting, dancing, singing lessons are not cheap. The same goes for academics whose parents were typically wealthy or well-off. Hollywood and academia seem to have their own bootstrap mythology that is supposed to neutralize capitalism’s bootsrap mythology. It is now fashionable for liberals to complain about meritocracy, but a true critique of meritocracy would sweep the leg right out from under liberalism’s most effective phalanx. When you dig down, it’s all wealthy people fighting for status in different ways.
3. Heather Mac Donald is good at writing on local policies that originally come about by agitated progressives but are then flipped and used against the “status quo”. This is a great dialectical cat-and-mouse game. Here she writes on NYPD’s use of “vertical policing” in the city’s housing projects. The great paradox is that activists want increased safety for the poor and for minorities in their neighborhoods, but they don’t want the police to use the most effective tactics to achieve that result.
4. Brett Stevens on the purpose of conservatism. (h/t Matt Forney)
5. At Gawker, Hamilton Nolan seems to miss the entire point of this slobbering “diversity is good and Republicans should embrace it” blog post by Peggy Noonan. Nolan is pissy because Noonan dared to notice the various ethnicities and races of New York street vendors and shoppers. She mentions a diverse rap group performing near where her epiphany takes place. This causes Nolan to spring into the action with a full-on snark attack because only a Gawker Asset employee can write about rap. They own that turf.