Denying the role of inherited wealth fuels the mythology of meritocracy and keeps us from addressing structural inequality.
Why do public figures who are clearly “born on third base” insist they hit their own triple?
Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh claims he didn’t get any help getting into Yale after graduating from Georgetown Prep. “I have no connections there,” he said last week in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I got there by busting my tail.” At Yale, however, Kavanaugh would be considered a legacy admission. His grandfather, Edward Everett Kavanaugh, attended.
Donald Trump boasts that he is a self-made billionaire who received no family help except for a $1 million loan from his father that he paid back with interest. But a sweeping investigative report by The New York Times estimates that Trump received at least $413 million, in today’s dollars, from his father’s real estate business. Yet Trump holds tightly to his personal bootstrap story.
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The Bank's annual World Development Report distorts data to dismiss concerns about inequality and promote a deregulatory approach to new technologies.