The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Matthew Yglesias: ‘Got Mine, Jack’

Posted on | July 29, 2010 | 12 Comments

Harvard alumnus declares that getting into Harvard is no big deal, at least for poor white kids:

People who are plausible admission candidates at Harvard and don’t quite make the cut end up at Columbia or Penn. People who don’t get into Berkeley go to UCLA. And they all end up fine. There’s just absolutely no need to cry for someone who got into Bryn Mawr instead of Wellesley thanks to affirmative action or legacy preference or structural bias in the SAT or anything else. This is a made-up social problem. . . .
If you were to start writing a list of the problems faced by poor people in the United States of America you’d run out of paper long before you got to elite university admissions policies.

Strangely enough, I agree with Yglesia as to these facts. Why, therefore, did Jesse Jackson lead protest marches against Proposition 209? Why, as a general rule, do liberals rush to the barricades to defend affirmative action programs for minorities, if such programs are a response to “a made-up social problem” and if admission to elite universities doesn’t actually help the supposed beneficiaries?

And isn’t it strange that Yglesias is making such arguments now, when we have a black president with a bachelor’s degree from Columbia and a law degree from Harvard?

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Comments

  • http://ace.mu.nu/archives/279942.php Andrew Sullivan

    Only the best and brightest go to Harvard.

  • http://ace.mu.nu/archives/279942.php Andrew Sullivan

    Only the best and brightest go to Harvard.

  • http://ace.mu.nu/archives/279942.php Andrew Sullivan

    Only the best and brightest go to Harvard.

  • http://thetraitorsamongus.blogspot.com Thrasymachus

    This argument is actually stolen from Thomas Sowell, who used it against affirmative action.

  • http://thetraitorsamongus.blogspot.com Thrasymachus

    This argument is actually stolen from Thomas Sowell, who used it against affirmative action.

  • http://thetraitorsamongus.blogspot.com Thrasymachus

    This argument is actually stolen from Thomas Sowell, who used it against affirmative action.

  • http://www.coldfury.com Randy Rager

    Yglesias is the finest argument I can imagine for firing the entire faculty of Harvard and turning the property over to charity. A shallower, more inept and economically illiterate “Progressive” would be hard to find.

  • http://www.coldfury.com Randy Rager

    Yglesias is the finest argument I can imagine for firing the entire faculty of Harvard and turning the property over to charity. A shallower, more inept and economically illiterate “Progressive” would be hard to find.

  • http://threebeerslater.blogspot.com richard mcenroe

    Posted over at Ygleias’s’s’s site:

    “Matt, you’re right that this isn’t a problem for the country. It’s a problem for the insular, provincial Ivy League schools, turning out supposed leaders for this country who have no first-hand experience of vast portions of it except for those “representative” elements cherry-picked for them by the admissions bureaucrats.

    I recall being lectured at a rally by a self-professed Harvard grad from the New York publishing scene whose every argument was prefaced by “Well I went to Harvard…” but who didn’t know the difference between World Wars One and Two…”

  • http://threebeerslater.blogspot.com richard mcenroe

    Posted over at Ygleias’s’s’s site:

    “Matt, you’re right that this isn’t a problem for the country. It’s a problem for the insular, provincial Ivy League schools, turning out supposed leaders for this country who have no first-hand experience of vast portions of it except for those “representative” elements cherry-picked for them by the admissions bureaucrats.

    I recall being lectured at a rally by a self-professed Harvard grad from the New York publishing scene whose every argument was prefaced by “Well I went to Harvard…” but who didn’t know the difference between World Wars One and Two…”

  • http://threebeerslater.blogspot.com richard mcenroe

    Posted over at Ygleias’s’s’s site:

    “Matt, you’re right that this isn’t a problem for the country. It’s a problem for the insular, provincial Ivy League schools, turning out supposed leaders for this country who have no first-hand experience of vast portions of it except for those “representative” elements cherry-picked for them by the admissions bureaucrats.

    I recall being lectured at a rally by a self-professed Harvard grad from the New York publishing scene whose every argument was prefaced by “Well I went to Harvard…” but who didn’t know the difference between World Wars One and Two…”

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