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You're Government Wants You Dumb

Jesse Saunders

28 May 2023

The Decline of Meritocracy: Mediocrity's Reign in Contemporary American Society

In bygone eras, the United States upheld a societal framework that revered and rewarded greatness. To secure admission into prestigious academic institutions like Harvard or Yale, individuals were required to demonstrate exceptional academic prowess. Similarly, the fashion industry demanded stunning physical appearances capable of captivating onlookers and gracing the pages of prominent magazines and billboards. Leading positions in prominent organizations such as NASA, IBM, or Exxon mandated individuals to be the crème de la crème in their respective fields. The relentless pursuit of greatness instilled a sense of fulfillment, status, and financial success among those who thrived.

Regrettably, present-day society appears to have relinquished its standards. A culture that celebrates participation trophies and shies away from discerning judgment has permeated various spheres of our lives. The very individuals who were once held in high esteem now find themselves subjected to disdain, while weakness is paradoxically extolled and strength chastised. Our collective focus has shifted from striving for excellence and achieving greatness to prioritizing diversity and inclusion, leaving the pursuit of brilliance in the dust. This trend is noticeable across the entire nation.

Mediocrity has now become the accepted norm, replacing the ambition to surpass expectations. Whether in the choice of careers, such as law enforcement or the legal profession, or even the decision to forgo work entirely, there are no consequences for settling for less. Rather than encouraging the pursuit of excellence, society now pressures individuals to embrace the status quo while discouraging any attempts to elevate standards. Astonishingly, those who aspire to success and accumulate wealth are often vilified as capitalist oppressors, their personal choices, like owning a luxurious car or a spacious residence, heavily scrutinized for their ecological impact.

Both corporations and the government play a pivotal role in promoting mediocrity. Government assistance is readily available without any demand for reciprocated excellence. Consequently, these financial resources often find their way into the coffers of conglomerates like Kellogg's and General Mills, champions of the sugary empire. These corporate giants even go so far as to threaten legal action against the FDA, a regulatory agency striving to protect public health, simply because it suggests that cereals such as Lucky Charms and Fruity Pebbles should not be considered nutritious breakfast options. While these cereals may undoubtedly provide a delightful taste experience, their nutritional content primarily consists of sugar and is far from constituting a well-rounded morning meal. Kellogg's and General Mills brazenly argue that their constitutional right to free speech is being violated, enabling them to continue peddling baseless claims about the supposed health benefits of their products.

This reprehensible behavior is not an isolated incident. The pursuit of profits has consistently taken precedence over public welfare in the realm of "Big Sugar." By turning a blind eye to the exploitation of child migrant labor in their factories, these corporations perpetuate a vicious cycle that prioritizes profit margins over the well-being of vulnerable individuals. Cereals like Lucky Charms and Cheerios, supposedly crafted for the enjoyment of children, are tainted by the labor of those who face dire circumstances. Although General Mills claims ignorance regarding these practices, they assure the public that they will thoroughly investigate the matter, much like they scrutinize the nutritional value of marshmallows in breakfast cereals.

The erosion of high standards has fostered a society that prefers its citizens to be physically unfit, intellectually undernourished, and dependent on government assistance. The pursuit of excellence has been replaced by a culture that perpetuates a cycle of entitlement and reliance. It is incumbent upon us to reevaluate our priorities and rekindle the spirit of excellence that once epitomized our great nation.

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