The economics of pushing for inequality

Is the middle class in the US to expand?


Should we protect the monied?

Is that in fact protection?

I think expanding the consumer and saver base, the Great American Middle Class is good for business. That means ending the push for inequality whether that is against women or minorities.

It is about doing business and getting back to being the preeminent manufacturing power.

I think most agree the wealth divide is a problem. They do tell us part of the divide is due to middle class making too much money and moving out of the middle class.

Where is this an issue? The Supreme Court reviewing affirmative action quotas for college admission? Is straight merit admissions good enough? Or do we need special quotas for selected groups?

As long as society is mobile, not an issue. Prime examples, Zuckerberg and Bezos. Twenty or thirty years ago they were “normal people” now among the wealthiest in the world. And Zuck can soon be an example of rapidly falling the other way. My own family is very similar, older hippie brother that is lower middle class and myself which many would ascribe to the evil 1%ers. Raised in a lower class family that made it to middle class when my mother became a nurse.

Now one might argue society is getting less mobile but I don’t think we are in a caste system yet.

I endowed a STEM scholarship at my alma mater many years ago. Purely merit based upon criteria that I chose. Each year, I get a thank you letter written by the recipient (something the university encourages). To date, out of the 15 or so students, recall only 1 male winner.

The point? Make a level playing field, set the standard, let them earn it.


The trick is that determining “level” isn’t trivial. For example, what happens if at Alma Mater U, there are advertisements for your scholarship. And those advertisements have 20 insertions in “Women Students of Alma Mater U” and 2 insertions in “Sports at Alma Mater U” and 2 insertions in “Physical Sciences at Alma Mater U”? And due to that kind of publicity, they have over the 15 years, 400 female applicants and 40 male applicants?

And even further, what happens if recruiters or guidance counselors tend to mention this particular scholarship more to women than to men?


Get rid of the ridiculous quota systems. I believe SCOTUS just banned Harvard from discriminating based on skin color and ethnicity. High time!

The Captain


I thought the example offered by Justice Jackson was perfectly on-point:

Jackson’s riddle: One applicant writes in his essay that it is important to him that he be admitted because his family has lived in North Carolina since before the Civil War and he would be the fifth generation of his family to proudly attend UNC. Another applicant writes that his family, too, has lived in North Carolina since before the Civil War, and it is important to him that he attend UNC because he is the descendant of enslaved people and his ancestors were barred from attending the university. Was Strawbridge arguing that the university could give preference to the first candidate but not to the second?

The answer being argued by the “anti-“ side is that “yes”, the first would be perfectly legal, but the second illegal. A “legacy” admission would be fine - even if that precluded an entire race of people from being admitted because it has nothing to do with race.

And so the discrimination perpetuates yet again but we are supposed to do nothing about it since, the only way to eliminate it is to … eliminate it?

This is a decision which will have far reaching consequences for the country, and (obviously) a large swath of the population as well as the preeminent industry of education.

  • Can we discriminate on the basis of size/weight/speed? (Yes, football scholarships).
  • Can we discriminate on the basis of test scores? Of course.
  • Can we discriminate on the basis of history. Sure. Legacy admissions.
  • Can we discriminate on the basis of ability to pay? Well yes, since the beginning of time.
  • How about on the basis of sex? Certainly used to. Still do, actually at women’s colleges, among others.
  • Can we balance because of broad historical racial inequities? NO! That would be wrong!

Judge Jackson also pointed out the university can know if you are a parent, or a vet or many other things in the decision. But now must not know your race.

The wish for some is to keep things unequal. To do so institutionally. It is purposeful. It is repugnant. This includes holding down the majority group, women.


Private universities should have freedom to make their own choices.

Its if they receive grants from the federal govt that the govt gets to require compliance with policies. Most research universities receive Federal grant money. Small private schools maybe not.

Make the playing field level? First, get rid of legacy admissions. My daughter, for example, should not get any special treatment from my alma mater just because I went there before. Its a form of institutionalized generational discrimination.

Part of that “level playing field” though extends all the way into primary school. If you go to a crap school system you are in trouble from the get-go. This is part of why Texas implemented what some refer to as Robinhood, to try to equalize school funding, at least to some degree. When schools are funded primarily by local property taxes the good neighborhoods get better schools. This is done on purpose. And not for good reasons.


My alma mater is a “smallish” satellite campus, enrollment around 5000 but has a big outreach via online courses. It has only been in existence since 1967 so barely long enough to have generations attending. What is interesting, they have a big presence of “first generation” scholarships and other resources to help students succeed. Legacy admissions is NOT a thing there like at ivy league schools.

The point is when all the ducks are lined up from birth by your parents of course your test scores were good. And CA at least is moving away from that system.

And if your parents tests scores were good of course paying for college is the norm.

Meanwhile segments of our society lay shattered after having done the actual physical work.