You may think the college admissions scandal proves that the rich have unfair advantages over the rest of us. Liz Peek of Fox News wants you to know that you're absolutely wrong:
Accusations that dozens of parents in some cases paid hundreds of thousands of dollars or over $1 million to get their kids into prestigious colleges by falsifying their SAT or ACT scores, or by misrepresenting their sports abilities, have been seized upon by leftists as further evidence that the U.S. skews in favor of the rich and famous.
But in some ways the story says just the opposite. If the children of well-known Hollywood actresses or rich business executives were automatically admitted to the school of their choice, they would not have had to resort to perpetrating these offensive frauds. The Key, the firm behind the alleged swindles, would not have been in business.
See? Elite schools don't admit rich people's children automatically, therefore there's a level playing field!
As she took the SATs, Isabelle Henriquez, daughter of parents charged by federal prosecutors, is alleged to have sat with a proctor who provided her with answers and helped boost her scores by 320 points, to 1,900 out of a possible 2,400
But despite the considerable jump, Isabelle’s test results would still have been too low to get her into Georgetown University. So authorities say that William Rick Singer, founder of The Key, also helped her create a phony claim that she was a top-notch tennis player.
To cap the deal, Singer allegedly paid one of Georgetown’s tennis coaches hundreds of thousands of dollars to award Isabelle one of the squad’s cherished spots, assuring her admission.
See? Perfectly fair. The poor as well as the rich had every opportunity to shell out six or seven figures to get a kid admitted to a top school.
And you know where all this misplaced anger at the rich will inevitably lead -- Venezuela!
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Democratic presidential hopefuls Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., are among those banking on an increasingly aggrieved electorate – voters who envy success, think they have been mistreated, and want the government to provide for them.
From there it is but a short hop to condemning capitalism, our economic system that rewards personal ambition and individual industry. And that leads to, possibly, the scariest message of all: that successful people and businesses have somehow gamed the system to their advantage. It is a claim that undermines the very essence of this country.
After all, calling someone a “millionaire” or “billionaire” is now a slur. How did that happen?
Gosh, I have no idea.
The real message to be gleaned from the college scandal is how far some parents will go to give their kids every advantage, and how little attention is paid by some to gifts that are ultimately much more important than tutors or flute lessons – like the good values of honesty, decency and integrity. A diploma without those things is worthless.
Yeah, you can have all the money in the world, but you'll never get anywhere without honesty, decency and integrity.
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog