Researchers: Wealth accumulation at Ivy League presents ‘fundamental threat to our democracy’

Matt Stoller, research director at the American Economic Liberties Project, and historian Sam Haselby say that the growing accumulation of wealth and power at Ivy League schools presents a “fundamental threat to our democracy.” 

In an interview on Hill.TV’s “Rising,” the two researchers explain their argument from their recent piece, “It’s Time to Break Up the Ivy League Cartel,” with Stoller saying that the universities are growing in influence as state schools and other colleges across the country are “undergoing a dramatic collapse.”

“You are seeing a kind of winner-take-all dynamic in the higher education space, and this is a fundamental threat to our democracy, because who produces knowledge and wisdom in a society is fundamentally a political question,” Stoller said. 

Haselby said that while wealth accumulation at the individual and corporate level, including among with billionaires such as Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates, has attracted significant attention, Ivy League schools haven’t historically been followed quite as closely. 

“The same vast accumulation and increasing accumulation of wealth and power has happened at the Ivy League schools to a scale that is really unprecedented, so when you combine that with some of the historical qualities about exclusion and meritocracy, it creates a new kind of problem,” he said.

Watch part of the interview with Stoller and Haselby above.

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