Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Inequality and the 1 Percent Rule

Inequality and the 1 Percent Rule


By William Spriggs

In what should be considered standing logic on its end, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this week that while public colleges have an interest in having a racially diverse student body, nonetheless, the racial majority of a state can vote to remove racial diversity as a goal. This is a radical and activist reinterpretation of the Constitution, since by strict construction, the 14th Amendment had been added to explicitly limit white majority action to deny full legal protection to the newly freed slaves and their descendants. The purpose was to limit majority rule from becoming mob rule, continuing a legacy of inequality.

Most disturbing, this ruling comes as our nation's need for success in having a diverse skilled workforce is increasing. The majority of babies born this year are children of color. A part of the reason our nation's middle class is seeing other countries incomes catch up to them is because the education advantage of Americans is shrinking. To keep pace, America must find ways to educate all its children.

Earlier this month, high school seniors received letters accepting or rejecting them from their dream schools. The selective institutions now receive thousands of applications for each available slot. The University of Michigan (the school at the heart of the Supreme Court case) received nearly 40,000 applicants and accepted about 16,000. Last year, the difference between the average SAT section score of the 2014 freshman class and those who were rejected was 672 compared to 642.

Clearly, many of those rejected differed little from those accepted; there are more qualified applicants than slots. So, the challenge for schools like Michigan is in putting together a class among virtually equal applicants.


Given its history as the winningest program in college football history, we can be assured that playing football will continue to be a consideration. Rejecting too many football players would interrupt a pipeline of talent that would be hard to re-establish. So, it is among all students. When numbers dwindle, the relevance of the school in that community declines. With a rising share of Black and Latino students nationally, Michigan needs a lifeline to recruiting in those communities. But this ruling lets football talent remain a criteria for admission to Michigan, while dismissing the national need for a deep bench of engineering talent.

But, beyond the state of Michigan, the court's ruling would let voters in Mississippi and Alabama return to segregated universities. Absent the countervailing weight of court action, southern public K-12 education has already gone from the most integrated in America to return to its segregated past at an alarming rate. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in her dissenting argument, laid out the difference between turning a blind eye to racial inequality and pretending that disparate outcomes are race neutral.

The Supreme Court has ruled earlier that Congress cannot limit the ability of the wealthy to donate to campaigns. So the majority can vote to limit minority representation when it comes to college and pathways to the middle class, but the majority through their representatives cannot infringe on the rights of the 1 percent minority to control the political process? This apparent schizophrenia, however, is totally consistent with the sick form of American plutocracy.

Plutocracy in America is rooted in the American South, where the wealth of the few was protected by state governments and racism was used to control the masses. The Supreme Court appears to protect majority rule, but only when it would cement a sense of white privilege-giving the masses a sense that the political establishment is responding to their will. But it must protect the 1% from that same majority or else, democracy would be mob rule.

While the U.S. economy has grown as well as other nations, America's unequal growth pattern means the middle class of America is not keeping pace with the rest of the world.
For instance, since 2000, median incomes have gone up by 19.7 percent in Great Britain and Canada, but only 0.3 percent in America. The reason is straightforward: In other countries the effect of democracy are governments where the rich pay higher taxes and people who are poor get much more help. The intent of plutocracy is to prevent that.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

New HiveMind Project: What Should We Do About Sugar?

While most people agree that increased sugar consumption is a major cause of too many New Zealanders being overweight and obese, what we should do about this remains a matter of debate and argument. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Vladimir Putin’s Wonderful, Fabulous, Very Good Year

Safe to say that no-one, but no-one has had a better 2016 than Vladimir Putin. What an annus mirabilis it has been for him. Somehow, Russia got away with directly interfering in the US election process, such that a friendly oligarch is about to take up residence in the White House, rather than a genuine rival. More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On The Media Normalisation Of Trump

We all supposedly agree that the media is going to hell in a tabloid handbasket, but the trends to the contrary can be a bit harder to spot. In his 1970s book The Right Stuff, Tom Wolfe had mocked the way the media instinctively acts as what he called The Victorian Gentleman. More>>

ALSO:

Binoy Kampmark: The Reality Of Fake News

Fake news as reality; the inability to navigate the waters in which it swims; a weakness in succumbing to material best treated with a huge pinch of salt. That, we are told, is the new condition of the global information environment. More>>

Alastair Thompson: Helen Kelly And The Compassionless People
I wasn't a close friend of Helen Kelly's. But her passing has moved me to tears more than once in the past two weeks. I feel honoured to be one of the many who worked with her and was helped by her. More>>

Postnatal Depression: 'The Thief That Steals Motherhood' - Alison McCulloch

Post-natal depression is a sly and cruel illness, described by one expert as ‘the thief that steals motherhood’, it creeps up on its victims, hiding behind the stress and exhaustion of being a new parent, catching many women unaware and unprepared. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On News From The US Election Eve

Here’s a somewhat scary headline from October 30 on Nate Silver’s 538 site, which summed up the statistical factors in play at that point: “The Cubs Have A Smaller Chance Of Winning Than Trump Does” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news