Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Golden’

Service of Getting a Leg Up

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

Getting a leg up

Jared Kushner’s responsibilities in running the country continue to expand to the point that even some conservative talk show hosts, like Todd Schnitt on the WOR Radio morning show, question the background, aptitude, experience and competence of 45’s son- in-law to handle so much. During a recent program Schnitt noted that Kushner’s Dad had paid for his spot at Harvard.

This comment inspired today’s post. Kushner’s not alone.

I looked into the allegation. Daniel Golden corroborated it. Golden penned “The Story Behind Jared Kushner’s Curious Acceptance Into Harvard” on Mother Jones as well as the book “The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way Into Elite Colleges—and Who Gets left Outside the Gates.”

Lend a helping handIn Mother Jones Golden wrote: “My book exposed a grubby secret of American higher education: that the rich buy their underachieving children’s way into elite universities with massive, tax-deductible donations. It reported that New Jersey real estate developer Charles Kushner had pledged $2.5 million to Harvard University in 1998, not long before his son Jared was admitted to the prestigious Ivy League school. At the time, Harvard accepted about one of every nine applicants. (Nowadays, it only takes 1 out of 20.)

“I also quoted administrators at Jared’s high school, who described him as a less than stellar student and expressed dismay at Harvard’s decision.”

I once knew a sculptor who said she felt guilty because she’d inherited a ton of money and wasn’t the typical starving artist and thought, because she could afford a fancy studio and had a fat marketing budget that this would slow her road to success.

Photo: bigartfest.com

Photo: bigartfest.com

I also benefited from a leg up and took good advantage. My sister was accepted at one of NYC’s most prestigious and tough-to-get-into private schools and because they loved sisters, daughters and granddaughters to attend, I profited. At five I could play canasta, checkers and dance the Charleston, also thanks to her, but doubt that this had anything to do with my admittance. Surely any tests I took—tests being my downfall—would not have been a key inside.

We haven’t yet seen what Kushner is capable of. Maybe we’ll be lucky. The sculptor was lazy and because she wasn’t hungry her inheritance was probably more of a hindrance than a help to her career as an artist. I work as hard as I do largely because of a dozen years at that school. As we often read in corporate reports, I “exceeded expectations,” [though in my experience, in corporate speak, that  could mean that I fell short. In this instance, I’m taking the words at face value.]

Having an advantage doesn’t always involve money as my example illustrates. Do you think getting a leg up is right or wrong? How would you change the system if it’s wrong? Can you share other examples?

Getting a leg up 2

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