Is Meritocracy a Myth?

  दृश्य 894,920


4 महीने पहले

Education in the United States is supposed to be meritocratic, meaning a student’s achievement is measured solely by their efforts. But how do class and privilege affect opportunity, and does everyone really get the same shot? Glad You Asked host Fabiola Cineas explores how the myth of meritocracy perpetuates racism while keeping the American dream achievable only for a privileged few.

Vox 4 महीने पहले
This season on Glad You Asked, we explore how racial injustice impacts our society. Watch the full season here: Want updates on our new projects and series? Sign up for the Vox video newsletter: For more reading about inequity in the U.S. education system, which we covered in this episode, visit our post on
JeffersonClippership 4 महीने पहले
Short answer: yes Long answer: yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssseeeessee
Bojan Blagojevic
Bojan Blagojevic 4 महीने पहले
Well for someone from Europe, US is far far away from meritocracy. In Europe i can guarantee system is more fair then in US. In Serbia it doesn't matter if you are black, white or whatever, we all go to public schools. Everything depends of a teacher or a professor. Later on highschools and Universities are also public and your chance really depends from your effort, not from you place of residence or social status. In US they don't like to say or admit but meritocracy is more possible in social democracy or even communist systems.
Detre 4 महीने पहले
"Why the US is so obsessed with merit?" Because it is the greatest Hypocrisy in the World!
eakherenow kingsley
eakherenow kingsley 4 महीने पहले
Finland has the highest test scores IN THE WORLD and they DON'T do test,barely have homework but they DO have equal opportunity schools.
David Mersiovsky
David Mersiovsky 4 महीने पहले
I have neither great wealth nor political power, but it genuinely seems to me that encouraging people to be great at something and rewarding them for it is good for their own life, their family, their community, and the world in general. This video title is kind of clickbait-y; the video wasn't about whether meritocracy is a myth but was more about the uneven distribution of opportunities and corruption that make meritocracy ineffective.
B75 4 महीने पहले
Why did Lee leave Vice?
Catherine Lemieux
Catherine Lemieux 4 महीने पहले
“Your big brother was shot.” That got dark real quick
Foundations Medical Informatics
Foundations Medical Informatics 4 महीने पहले
The underlying cause of most issues is socioeconomic inequality.
Katie Taylor
Katie Taylor 4 महीने पहले
Finding out the SAT was created by a pro-eugenics guy is not surprising. Our testing system has a very eugenics mindset to it.
Ricardinho0401 4 महीने पहले
Dox Ortho
Dox Ortho 4 महीने पहले
Yes! Saved you 20 minutes
Michael G
Michael G 4 महीने पहले
I’m so excited for this whole season. These are very important topics that need to be discussed. Editing, research, mixing etc are as always, top notch.
Shawn 4 महीने पहले
Of course it’s a’s a tool used by the wealthy (and white) class to refuse to ever help anyone who needs to and to level the playing field
martin valle
martin valle 4 महीने पहले
Equal is not always fair. A person’s opportunity is heavily influenced by the lives their parents lived. So why should those who lived well be penalized for it? It’s on us while we are young to live better than those who came before us. That is how we become equal. That path is truly fair. I came from a single parent household, I didn’t do the best in grade school either but I still went to college. Granted, I went to a community college first then transferred to a four year after, I still made it, and graduated with honors. Being poor, being black, being from a broken house hold, or having terrible parents doesn’t keep you from being successful. It makes it harder yes. It makes it less likely sure, but those who keep on the path and keep faith will find success. America doesn’t promise fairness, but opportunity. What is fair anyway? I was poor, black, and from a broken home was that fair? Was life fair to me?!? If I was to believe this video I’d say no. No one has a perfect life. Are their easier lives sure, but anyone can make it. Meritocracy has truth to it.
Moritz Jonathan Arndt
Moritz Jonathan Arndt 4 महीने पहले
Great video!
Alex Durrani
Alex Durrani 4 महीने पहले
*great video*
Berm 4 महीने पहले
Let me know when you drop the game board! I'd love to play this with teenagers when they mature enough to understand the concept.
Demian Levy
Demian Levy 4 महीने पहले
Spoiler alert: no
Gustavo Dellacroce
Gustavo Dellacroce 4 महीने पहले
Finally, someone is bringing this attention. Growing up in the NYC public school system, this is so apparent. I'd love to help out and be a part of this in any which way possible
Francesca Pessarelli
Francesca Pessarelli 4 महीने पहले
The opportunity gap is so layered. It's not only about quality of public education and the resources at certain schools. It's not even about wifi access at home. It comes down to every aspect of life and society. Access to nourishing food so that children grow up healthy, energized, and ready to learn. Access to income supplements so that kids don't need to work after school and can focus that time on studying or curricular activities. Better low income housing standards so that people have healthy, safe places to live and study. Universal healthcare so that kids have access to prescription glasses, speech therapy, and other learning supports. It's tragic how often kids with dyslexia, poor eyesight, malnourishment, or lack of sleep are just labeled stupid and pushed to the side. We need comprehensive social reform and I'm so glad people are having this conversation.
benzbubblecat 4 महीने पहले
the key to success is being born to a rich family.
vishal vats
vishal vats 4 महीने पहले
It's a nice well researched episode and I totally agree with the fact that wealthy parents act as catalyst getting into good college but I would also like to point out that one should also look into child efforts. For examples Asian and Indians does not come from rich family background. Forget about wifi, they sometimes come from villages where there is no electricity but they still do better than white. So sometimes a hard work payoff too. If you see background of world renowned Indian their family background is not financially good but they still make up to best collages in USA and UK.
What The Function
What The Function 4 महीने पहले
We would all have so much more of what matters if we helped each other.
jeanferdi 4 महीने पहले
I want that game.
Rodney Milner
Rodney Milner 4 महीने पहले
Am I the only one who feels like any progressive who DID benefit from meritocracy is hated by the right? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez went from being a bartender to a Congresswoman and the Republicans HATE her tremendously...
Acidium 4 महीने पहले
1:00 she's writing that backwards from her point of view. That's some skill (and damn good handwriting)
I personally don't have a problem with celebrating good students . If you can celebrate people with good athletic skills , musical skills, acting skills etc . , why should it be unfair for people with good thinking capacity , change the testing system to something not based on Memory but also on creativity and ingenuity and change the exorbitant tuition fee which are causing the inequality problem among rich and poor students .
Game Hero
Game Hero 4 महीने पहले
Equity of chance, equality in treatment, that should be the way to go. Sadly it's not the case in the good ol' USA. Merit in itself is something that must be valued, but in a way that everyone under the same conditions (hence equity) gets a good chance of proving themselves and if not able to prove themselves, they still get good opportunities (enough to get the education that'll lead to a successful life). Not to forget the ability to take the good chance more than one time. It doesn't help that education is so costy there either.
wasim shaikh
wasim shaikh 4 महीने पहले
That board game just made me sad, even though I am not playing.
hyperactve 4 महीने पहले
Do anyone know where the opening tune is from? I feel Like I have listened to the song. But can't remember it.
Roger Los
Roger Los 4 महीने पहले
To answer the title Q: Yes.
vo id
vo id 4 महीने पहले
Is this game sold somewhere? It makes valuable conversation for game nights.
Joe Konathapally
Joe Konathapally 4 महीने पहले
This series is amazing and really educational. Great job discussing these issues. Just out of curiosity last season there were a few science videos which I found great, are any such episodes in the works or was that unique to the first season?
Jake Jones
Jake Jones 4 महीने पहले
Wow, this is truly eye opening. Thank you for sharing this important message.
Alejandra Benavidez
Alejandra Benavidez 4 महीने पहले
Where can I buy this board game?!?!
Cory Warshaw
Cory Warshaw 4 महीने पहले
So I'm basically sold on the negative argument that we don't have a meritocracy. But what I never hear is a positive argument for an alternative. Could you ever devise a system where people with more resources won't do better? And what trade-offs would be required to make that happen?
The One
The One 4 महीने पहले
I am pleasantly surprised by these comment section.
Augusto O.R
Augusto O.R 4 महीने पहले
Mason Bloomquist
Mason Bloomquist 4 महीने पहले
Is this issue more to do with race or with wealth opportunity? I know of plenty of wealthy colored folks who are doing very well for themselves because of their wealth which I applaud their parents for, and I see many white kids suffering from many setbacks (unable to pay medical bills, unable to finish school work because they're working to support their parents or taking care of their siblings). How much direct impact does race still play today and how much is correlation between skin color and childhood economic standing? Edit and Disclaimer: this comment is not meant to make incidents of racial bias any less relevant, I really don't wanna come across as hateful, I just want to know what others think about this.
BestServedCold 4 महीने पहले
I'm disappointed that you didn't mention how public schools are funded by property taxes. That plays a large role in the differences between different public schools. When you combine that with the fact that the effects of redlining are still felt to this day, you can start to see the real problems facing our education system.
Usman Chohan
Usman Chohan 4 महीने पहले
This is a wonderful series, and it's great to see what is basically à Think Tank of Young People, picking at difficult questions in society.
Emma Paradis
Emma Paradis 4 महीने पहले
so far the answer to every question they've asked this season seems to be "yes"
Jacob Bryant
Jacob Bryant 4 महीने पहले
Really great video, amazing points and I’m glad you touched on how you managed to do well yourself but many people don’t and can’t make it, love from the UK.
Deshan Rodrigo
Deshan Rodrigo 4 महीने पहले
I really love the intro music they used, it sounds so familiar yet I have no idea what it is.
J L 4 महीने पहले
I think it's a lot like the music from Return of the Obra Dinn.
Steven Mancera
Steven Mancera 4 महीने पहले
Vox need to release that board game as merch STAT. Or at least make the design printable on Community Members
Hawaii & General
Hawaii & General 4 महीने पहले
Drew McFalls
Drew McFalls 4 महीने पहले
Whoever does the editing, that transition where the laptop opens is beautiful!
Karim Taylor
Karim Taylor 4 महीने पहले
Things like this fill us with rage ong
FabioTheGreat 4 महीने पहले
I still believe in the American Dream, that’s why I’m moving to Chile 🇨🇱.
maestru2009 4 महीने पहले
LoL 😅
jenosou 4 महीने पहले
Well. My parents moved here from Benin with 76USD in their pockets they achieved from selling things. Now they both are mentally stable, make over 100k (approx) and have nice families and live in a safe place. The American dream is exaggerated, but you guys just bash it because you expect too much out of the country. You question what it can give you, instead of what you can give it.
André Marselha
André Marselha 4 महीने पहले
imagine growing up in a third world country, how the hell do you get motivation and willingness to study? you just want to die or run away from your neighborhood
Person Bob
Person Bob 4 महीने पहले
Yes is the answer to the title
Empire State
Empire State 4 महीने पहले
Meritocracy itself isn't the problem; lack of equal opportunity is. Some poorer communities in West Virginia, New York, and other states have to put up with spotty internet access, terrible public schools, a lack of extracurricular activities, and often times drugs and violence on the streets. Meanwhile, public schools in well-off neighborhoods tend to be much better. This problem doesn't discriminate based on race; poor people across all races face this problem.
Scott Mead
Scott Mead 4 महीने पहले
Sure, more resources definitely can give an individual an advantage. But I think culture also matters a lot though. I know many poor Asian families whose kids did well at school because of the emphasis they placed on education. Similarly, you see many children of celebrities couldn't care less about school despite having all the wealth to succeed.
André Marselha
André Marselha 4 महीने पहले
In my country (Brazil) meritocracy is a joke.
Daud Ali
Daud Ali 4 महीने पहले
Glad you explained!
Nexu Jin
Nexu Jin 4 महीने पहले
As life-time European, I always believed in meritocracy over aristocracy. This is a nice eye opener that meritocracy doesn't work in a society that still has inherit racism and social equality issues. And I'm not only talking about the US.
UMANG RUNGTA 4 महीने पहले
Caste system in India is worse
Arcana Octonus
Arcana Octonus 4 महीने पहले
Tariq Topey
Tariq Topey 4 महीने पहले
A privileged kid born into a rich family favorite line: "If you just work harder, you'll be successful too."
5%LowBattery 4 महीने पहले
This is what inherited wealth looks like for the top 20%,” Reeves said. “You don’t save your money and give it to your kids as a bequest. You spend it on your kids so they don’t need the bequest. It’s an upfront investment.” But as universities tilt their admissions toward the wealthy, Reeves said, they aren’t just leaving talented low-income students behind. They’re also lifting mediocre rich students up. A 2005 study found that wealthy middle-schoolers with the lowest standardized test scores were more likely to graduate from college than poor middle-schoolers with the highest scores. Students with average SAT results are nearly six times more likely to be admitted to top-tier universities if their parents are alumni. One of Reeves’ studies found that 43% of the members of upper-class households had skills and intelligence that predicted lower incomes. The 'Glass Floor' Is Keeping America's Richest Idiots At The Top - HuffPost
Creative 8D
Creative 8D 4 महीने पहले
It does t work for the black, the poor, and the middle class It only works to billionaires
Junior 4 महीने पहले
Silence, americans are gonna learn that meritocracy doen't exist...
Chris D.
Chris D. 4 महीने पहले
The stories of "rags to riches" or how anyone can get out of the hood through "hardwork" especially pisses me off, because as you said, now we look at those same kids who suffer from lack of opportunity and we tell them "well, ____ became successful, why can't you?"
Jess Melgar
Jess Melgar 4 महीने पहले
Our CEO blatantly told us that he doesn’t believe in meritocracy and that “networking is more important.” Which is funny because networking to our leadership is going out drinking with leadership. Actually collaborating in office on projects “isn’t enough”
Jonele Obbamen
Jonele Obbamen 4 महीने पहले
This resonates so much in many problems & aspects we filipino students struggle to trek success.
arouska 4 महीने पहले
If you think meritocracy is real I have 3 words for you: Senator Ted Cruz.
Trill Mixin
Trill Mixin 4 महीने पहले
Good Politic Guy
Good Politic Guy 4 महीने पहले
In order to believe the US is a meritocracy, you would have to believe 3 people are putting in more work than the bottom half of the country. That is where wealth distribution is currently at, so yea. Not a meritocracy by any stretch of the imagination.
William Wimmer
William Wimmer 4 महीने पहले
TL;DW, the guy who coined the term was being sarcastic and didn't think people would be stupid enough to embrace it. So yes, yes it is a myth.
Xhris The Emperor
Xhris The Emperor 4 महीने पहले
As a 1st gen college student, I really appreciate this take on education b/c the perpetual struggle that is put on you by society to constantly compete to survive can take a toll on your mental health
chris charman
chris charman 4 महीने पहले
USA is 27th in the world on social mobility. Nordic socialist countries lead the way. The American dream is dead, inequality rules.
Random thoughts
Random thoughts 4 महीने पहले
Political power isn’t based on meritocracy. Sometimes meritocracy is existent in private economy but apart from that no. And in few corporations. And universities might be meritocratic too
Nora Archer
Nora Archer 4 महीने पहले
i really forgot joss was a cohost lol
Fadhil H
Fadhil H 4 महीने पहले
Why the subtitle always changing the position?
Napoléon I Bonaparte
Napoléon I Bonaparte 4 महीने पहले
Environment and Opportunity are what's amiss about the US education system.
Shane Morehead
Shane Morehead 4 महीने पहले
William Santos
William Santos 4 महीने पहले
Yes, it is.
Sayeed Kizuk
Sayeed Kizuk 4 महीने पहले
My perspective is everything can be reframed in terms of privilege. We have a society that rewards achievement, but makes achievement dependent on privilege. Therefore we actually reward privilege, just in an indirect way, which slowly but surely concentrates money and power upwards and creates safety for the people who get there.
Monkey Mouse
Monkey Mouse 4 महीने पहले
Considering you could have 2 people go through the same exact program at a college with equal GPA - one at an elite school, the other at a state school and the state school grad would not be able to get in the door at companies that the elite grad would get into, the answer is yes for the most part.
Bhavya Ghai
Bhavya Ghai 4 महीने पहले
It seems the real issue here is wealth inequality and not meritocracy. There is no doubt that better resources might lead to better scores. However, it doesn't mean that hard work and talent are irrelevant. It should be noted that not all rich kids get a perfect score and not all poor kids fail miserably. This shows that there are other factors at play apart from wealth/resources. Meritocracy is important because it provides an incentive to work harder. Overall, I feel serious steps should be taken to improve public schools and wealth distribution.
Mike Bauer
Mike Bauer 4 महीने पहले
Meritocracy is a terrible tactic for resource distribution in situations where everyone is in it together, as we are as a nation. Imagine that you are on a rapidly sinking ship with several holes in it. Say you're the captain and you find that one repair group (Group-X) is doing better than the other (Group-Y). Remember time is of the essence and fixing some holes only slows the sinking. Do you send reinforcements to the 'successful' Group-X so that they can get even more done? That might be a good option, but what if the reason Group-X is doing better is just because the conditions faced by the Group-Y are much more difficult? In that case you should obviously reinforce Group-Y. Even if the difference was that Group-X's members were more experienced it wouldn't make sense to reinforce them either as they don't need additional experienced members or even just additional hands, whereas both would help Group-Y. This is just a simple analogy of course and no doubt it has holes of its own. The point is, we should be doing everything we can to help struggling schools. Improve facilities. Add more teachers and staff, favoring the best qualified by offering higher pay and the social and professional recognition that these jobs are especially valued. Maybe send in tutors for students and offer resources to parents (daycare, preschool). It is in all of our best long term interests that we all are prepared for a future together.
Mark H.
Mark H. 4 महीने पहले
I never give up. I keep pushing.
aerialdarkguy 4 महीने पहले
Oh ya meritocracy in the US capitalist society and education system is a joke. I do wish they explored meritocracy in other communities and settings such as the open source community, which have championed the ideals of meritocracy where they only cared about your code submissions while still making the scene extremely accessible.
Will Vere Brown
Will Vere Brown 4 महीने पहले
A meritocracy only works in a socialist or communist society, that's why it doesn't work in the US because no one is treated equally under capitalism.
Aaron 4 महीने पहले
loving this season!
Melinda Hicks
Melinda Hicks 4 महीने पहले
Such a thorough and insightful series
robbie aulia
robbie aulia 4 महीने पहले
Well yes, meritocracy is a myth but, the current system is still the best system of equality we have so far. Although there are many system that in theory would be better, in reality those system requires resources that is by far unavailable. And it requires a balance that is impossible to achieve with such a great level of human greed. Take the Soviet Union for an example, although Lenin intend on making a land of endless opportunity, in the end he created the most imfamous dystopia in history. And Stalin ended up taking it over and create a cult of personality due to his greed. Okay maybe let's take a less harsh example, Lebanon. What used to be the most promising Arab country, even at one point it's capital is called "The Paris of the east", is now just a hot mess due to difference in religion and human greed.
David Liddelow
David Liddelow 4 महीने पहले
It sounds like the issue is just segregation all over again. Only now it is for class instead of race.
Sydney W
Sydney W 4 महीने पहले
Open your eyes people.
Roiked 4 महीने पहले
5:29 - 5:36 ...Yes that is how 99% of the world feels... those that are born in W-EU, Japan, S-Korea, even the US can consider themselves lucky... in some ways, unlucky in others...
Jo Stallworth
Jo Stallworth 4 महीने पहले
Okay. Where can I get this game? LOL 👍🏽 Brilliant.
Lakshita Anand
Lakshita Anand 4 महीने पहले
Brilliant video
Max Vangeel
Max Vangeel 4 महीने पहले
ave rie
ave rie 4 महीने पहले
Are you going to talk about racism towards Americans who are NOT white/black in this Glad You Asked Series? Asian-Americans? Latin-Americans? Native Americans? others? This is episode 4 but no mention of other people yet. Hope you eventually publish videos about them too in the coming episodes! It would be timely.
Kevin Lopez
Kevin Lopez 4 महीने पहले
U mean the movie?? O sorry that's idiocracy lol wrong video.
doodii 4 महीने पहले
That vocal fry guy though. With a voice like that, he should've won that game.
Financial Shinanigan
Financial Shinanigan 4 महीने पहले
Education is a stepping stone to success. But money, family stability, environment, etc provide more stones
Mark Robinson
Mark Robinson 4 महीने पहले
I love you alls reporting...
Nemesis Brzeczyszczykiewicz
Nemesis Brzeczyszczykiewicz 4 महीने पहले
Education as we know it is a fraud.
Max Madill
Max Madill 4 महीने पहले
I told someone meritocracy is like a guy with a bow and arrow can beat someone with a tank. They responded the guy with a bow and arrow still can win but if I feel that there is no chance they would put themselves in that position in the first place.
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