Daniel Markovits



Average rating: 3.86 · 963 ratings · 182 reviews · 6 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Meritocracy Trap: How A...

3.86 avg rating — 957 ratings — published 2019 — 8 editions
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A Modern Legal Ethics: Adve...

3.75 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 2008 — 5 editions
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Democratic Disobedience

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Yale Law Journal: Volume 114

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Contracts: Law, Theory, and...

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Contract Law and Legal Methods

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“The traditional way of thinking about the conflict between the rich and the rest—as a battle between capital and labor—no longer captures what is really going on.”
Daniel Markovits, The Meritocracy Trap: How America's Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite

“American meritocracy has become precisely what it was invented to combat: a mechanism for the concentration and dynastic transmission of wealth, privilege, and caste across generations. A social and economic hierarchy with these comprehensive, dynastic, and self-referential qualities has a name: an aristocracy. And meritocracy does not dismantle but rather renovates aristocracy, fashioning a new caste order, contrived for a world in which wealth consists not in land or factories but rather in human capital, the free labor of skilled workers.”
Daniel Markovits, The Meritocracy Trap: How America's Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite

“Data sliced sufficiently finely begin once again to tell stories. The top 1 percent of the income distribution—representing household incomes in excess of roughly $475,000—comprises only about 1.5 million households. If one adds up the numbers of vice presidents or above at S&P 1500 companies (perhaps 250,000), professionals in the finance sector, including in hedge funds, venture capital, private equity, investment banking, and mutual funds (perhaps 250,000), professionals working at the top five management consultancies (roughly 60,000), partners at law firms whose profits per partner exceed $400,000 (roughly 25,000), and specialist doctors (roughly 500,000), this yields perhaps 1 million people. These are surely not all one-percenters, but they are all plausibly parts of the top 1 percent, and this group might comprise half—a sizable share—of 1 percent households overall. At the very least, the people in these known and named jobs constitute a material, rather than just marginal or eccentric, part of the top 1 percent of the income distribution. They are also, of course, the people depicted in journalistic accounts of extreme jobs—the people who regularly cancel vacation plans, spend most of their time on the road, live in unfurnished luxury apartments, and generally subsume themselves in work, encountering their personal lives only occasionally, and as strangers.”
Daniel Markovits, The Meritocracy Trap: How America's Foundational Myth Feeds Inequality, Dismantles the Middle Class, and Devours the Elite

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