It is always amazing to me how much people use “equal opportunity” as a euphemism for “personal catapult.” Every business person I have ever met believes in advantage for self. In fact, it’s a requirement to get venture capital funding, that the product, or idea, be protected from competition or be so high up on a tilted playing field than no competitor can make the climb. So it is nice to see Sir Paul Krugman call out Mr Bizness himself on the issue”
Mr. Romney’s picture of himself as a believer in a level playing field is … fictional. Where is the evidence that he or his party cares at all about equality of opportunity?
Let’s talk for a minute about the actual state of the playing field.
Americans are much more likely than citizens of other nations to believe that they live in a meritocracy. But this self-image is a fantasy: as a report in The Times last week pointed out, America actually stands out as the advanced country in which it matters most who your parents were, the country in which those born on one of society’s lower rungs have the least chance of climbing to the top or even to the middle.
And if you ask why America is more class-bound in practice than the rest of the Western world, a large part of the reason is that our government falls down on the job of creating equal opportunity.
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