Life Beyond College

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Matthew Yglesias points out that John G. Roberts appointment to the Supreme Court could have serious consequences for affirmative action:

I’m not much of an affirmative action advocate (see, e.g., this), which explains why I haven’t been ringing the alarm bells on this. But surely we have some shrill affirmative action fans here on the left who should be yelling and screaming. But where? Perhaps the feeling is that this is a losing political issues, so people had best keep quiet about it, but the relative silence strikes me as odd since affirmative action is supposed to be one of our legendary “hot button” issues.

Sure, I’ll take on the shrill challenge. The Gregg Easterbook article Matt links to makes the case that attending an elite university really matters less for a person’s career prospects and lifetime earnings than one would think—i.e., not at all. Fair enough. There’s also a just-burgeoning debate over whether affirmative action at law school can hurt the chances of minority students for passing the bar. It’s not a settled debate by any means, but worth considering.

One should note, though, that there’s more to life than college, and more to affirmative action than making sure X number of black students get into the University of Michigan, or whatever. Under affirmative action laws, federal agencies are required to set aside a certain percentage of contracts of minority-owned small businesses. As the Washington Post today reports, that practice seems to be fueling a boom in those sorts of businesses. Then you have affirmative action hiring practices, which, one would think, actually do have a fair impact on a person’s career prospects and lifetime earnings. Whether this is a losing issue or not is a separate debate, but yeah, it’s important.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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