Today’s prompt is brought to you via the Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day. Nepotism is referred to as ‘favouritism based on kinship’. To put it another way, it’s the practice of placing people you like into positions of importance, regardless of whether they actually deserve to be there.
We see this a lot in big business. Donald Trump’s children were granted powerful ranks within his business operations. The same applies to Rupert Murdoch and his children. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility that their children, who have had the privilege of expensive educations, are actually quite qualified to do their jobs (though I’m not sure Trump and competency fit together). However, the favouritism that men like Trump and Murdoch show could well be denying someone more qualified for the role.
This isn’t a problem that’s confined to big business empires. Favouritism towards people we like is one thing, but full-scale nepotism often puts the wrong people into positions of importance and wealth. Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson placed his father – who is not qualified to be a politician or a diplomat – into positions where he would be involved in politics and diplomacy. Johnson also appointed his brother to the House of Lords, and if Jo Johnson is at all like Boris, he will be no more capable of political office than the disgraced former PM.
Nepotism is a lot like cronyism. This kind of favouritism greases the wheels, keeps the right (wrong) people in power, and denies people who might be more qualified room to prove themselves.