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November 26, 2021
Agree to Disagree: Is Meritocracy Overrated?

The days of kings and queens are largely over. That old hereditary lottery, at least within many democracies, has effectively been replaced by a system in which talent, grit, and ability are meant to set the terms of success. To quote Michael Shaara’s famous Civil War novel, "The Killer Angels," “Here we judge you by what you do, not by what your father was.” And yet with income inequality on the rise, and amidst a pernicious and lingering legacy of slavery and racism, new questions are cropping up as to whether meritocracy itself is mere illusion. Those who say “yes” point to examples of wealth transfers within families, and networks that pave the way for lucrative jobs and fancy educations. Those who say “no” argue that not only does talent ultimately win out, but that despite its flaws, meritocratic systems remain the most effective way of lifting disenfranchised groups from obscurity. In this context, we debate the question: “Is Meritocracy Overrated?” 

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Winner

Undecided
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Undecided
0% - Swung From the Against Side
0% - Swung From the For Side
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0% - Swung From the For Side
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For the Motion
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100% - Remained For the For Side
0% - Swung From Undecided
Post-Debate
Winner

Undecided
0 %
0 %
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0 %
For the Motion
Pre-Debate
Undecided
0 %
0 %
Against the Motion
0 %
For the Motion
Breakdown
Undecided
0% - Swung From the Against Side
0% - Swung From the For Side
0% - Remained Undecided
Against the Motion
0% - Remained For the Against Side
0% - Swung From the For Side
0% - Swung From Undecided
For the Motion
0% - Swung From the Against Side
0% - Remained For the For Side
0% - Swung From Undecided
About The Debaters
An image of Daniel Markovits
Daniel Markovits − Professor, Yale Law School & Author, "The Meritocracy Trap"
Daniel Markovits is Guido Calabresi professor of law at Yale and founding director of the Center for the Study of... read bio
An image of Adrian Wooldridge
Adrian Wooldridge − Political Editor and Columnist, The Economist
Adrian Wooldridge is The Economist‘s political editor and writes the Bagehot column; an analysis of British life... read bio