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Monday, April 17, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 134

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Nepotism helps make our world go ‘round

Rohith Nandagiri

There is something to be said for a self-made man. But little can be said about people who use their parents or siblings to gain a competitive advantage.

In every area of society, nepotism leads to unqualified, nontalented people taking up positions that could be given to people who are more deserving of the oppurtunities.

It is easy to see the high-profile cases, such as current Presidential front runners Al Gore and George W. Bush, who were significantly aided by their famous and influential fathers. Both went to Ivy League colleges, both were able to gain high-profile internships, and now both have been successful politicians. This, in an industry that thrives on "who you know."

Nepotism has been going on for years, and it will probably never end. Parents who are successful want their kids to be successful, but instead of teaching the values of hard work and dedication, they hand their children a job. I wonder how many phone calls it took for George Bush Sr. to get his son into Yale. I wonder how many letters it took for Albert Gore Sr. to get his son into Harvard. Maybe one or two for both.

Speaking of Bush, he tries so hard to come across as intelligent. But he couldn't tell you the difference between Nigeria and Nicaragua. He is just a guy who got lucky to be born to the future President of the United States. Based on this, he has money, he has power, and he has name value. If it weren't for his father, he would still be dancing on a table in Connecticut with a lamp shade on his head singing show tunes from the ‘60s.

But the same thing happens in the world of Hollywood. Just ask the Wayans Brothers or the Baldwin brothers. It happens all the time in the select world of actors. There are thousands and thousands of great actors who only wish their last name was that of someone famous. Casey Affleck, Frank Stallone, Dedee Pfieffer and many others have used their siblings' connections to get movie deals. When the movies bomb, they are left making "B" films with little shot at a real career.

There is something noble about a person who works and achieves his or her goals without help. It is that type of individual who proves to be a better employee, actor and person. He or she realizes the value of hard work and wants to stay there.

With graduation coming up for many of us, many decisions will be made. Of course, if your parents have set up a job for you, it might be a tough decision. But everything in life cannot be handed to you. Especially early in your adult life, jobs and positions should be earned on the basis of your qualifications and ability, not on the ability of your parents.

In my current job search, one phrase has come up more than anything. "It's not what you know, it's who you know." Great. So if you don't know anyone, you can't get a job. That might be a bit extreme, but all that says is if you can talk a lot, you will do well in the business world.

All in all, there is something wrong with a person who lives on the coattails of a relative. It is the easy way out. But come November, nepotism will have won out. Indeed, it already has.

Nandagiri, a senior MIS major, 
can be reached at nandagiri@hotmail.com. 

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