HOW IS THE STEROIDS SCANDAL THAT OCCURRED IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL ILLUSTRATIVE OF OTHER INSTITUTIONAL FAILURE WE'VE WITNESSED? Major League Baseball is a world in which there are very high rewards for performance and a ton of pressure and punishment for failure. It's very hard to have a system that has big rewards for performance but also doesn't prevent cheating. Of course, one of the ways you prevent cheating is to have norms and penalties. The controversy in baseball was extremely similar to what we saw inside the housing bubble and bank failures.

IN YOUR BOOK, YOU LOOK TO UPPER-MIDDLE-CLASS ACTIVISM TO BEGIN TO REFORM OUR FAILED MERITOCRACY. WHY THEM? These are people who are used to a certain type of entitlement and have a certain amount of social capital and resources, but have seen their own horizons shortened by what they think are forces beyond their control — specifically by those who are at the top of the social structure. There's definitely a shared frustration there. And we need to rethink and eventually restructure our meritocratic system.

CHRISTOPHER HAYES READS AT THE BRATTLE THEATRE ON JUNE 27.

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