Is America really a meritocracy?
I just finished reading the book Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs (Princeton University Press), which was written by Lauren Rivera, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management. She spent time in the recruiting process at several elite consulting/banking firms to research into how socioeconomic class played a role into landing elite jobs. Poorer students tend not to make it to elite schools, and even if they do, they rank behind their peers socially. Compounding things further, a lot of students have to work their ways through school, which limits time spent in recruiting, and results in poorer grades, EC's, etc. Even at top institutions, a much lower percentage of low income students ever make into elite careers in IB, law, etc. Anyways, this book really made me question whether America can even be considered a meritocratic or even a Democratic society. In so many cases, "pedigree" and "fit", which is largely determined by who your parents are and where you're from, supersedes intelligence and actual merit. The low-income kid raised in the projects never has a chance against the banker's kid from Connecticut.
I remember reading a statistic here which demonstrated that the United States ranked far behind other industrialized nations in terms of upward mobility. This was replicated in other similar studies. The "rags-to-riches" story does still occur occasionally, but it's way harder to do in the US than in other countries. Not to go all Bernie Sanders here, but is the American dream a myth? How much of your destiny is ultimately determined by your parents wealth or your crappy zip code? Is the recruiting in investment banking/consulting really attracting the best candidates?