Phi Beta Cons

Racial vs. Legacy Preferences

Reason has a great piece arguing that anti-racial preferences activists should also take up the cause against legacies — giving preference to children of alumni. The strongest point regards public universities; I hadn’t even been aware there was such a thing as a public-university legacy admission, and they should end immediately. These institutions belong to the taxpayers, and there’s no reason to give a special leg up to the children of college graduates.
This kind of thinking is dangerous, though:

Private schools, of course, should be free to admit whomever they want, and it is therefore tempting to ignore their use of legacies. But there are few genuinely private schools in America anymore, thanks to the enormous amount of federal funding they accept.

This basically gives the government the ability to buy property rights. It offers your college: Want some free taxpayer money? Of course, any good business takes free money. Then, guess what?  You’re a “de facto” public enterprise, and the government can do whatever it wants to you. And libertarian publications run articles about how that’s just fine.


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