Hindsight

Ross Douthat on Jon Corzine Scandal: Our Reckless Meritocracy

While former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine is pretending to be sorry for driving MF Global into bankruptcy, let’s take a moment to look at the social roots of the scandal, writes Ross Douthat in The New York Times. Corzine’s life is emblematic of the way the U.S. opens up a path into the elite for its best and brightest, and then watches their very intelligence destroy them. “Convinced that their own skills are equal to any task or challenge, meritocrats take risks [that] lower-wattage elites would never even contemplate.” Reuters finance blogger Felix Salmon isn’t a bit sorry for Corzine. “[He] will never be prosecuted, let alone convicted, and ... he’ll enjoy the comfortable retirement of a centimillionaire for decades to come. He deserves much worse.”