Part of the difficulty the common man faces – and on any situation where you are not on the inside, you qualify as the common man – is that there are built in institutional biases often traditionally necessary to that undertaking, but also quite often unfair.
Unfair? In what way? The playing field is not level. Let me give you an example drawn from business experience. Anyone who has done business traveling and has been involved in contractual work or sales of a product knows that quite often the best negotiations and sales are done in a bar! The Good Old Boys gather in an informal setting that is part of the implicit formal structure, loosen up a few inhibitions with booze, tell a few jokes in a relaxed atmosphere and … then seal the deal.
So, in what sense is this problematic? In the sense that many are not included in the little get together. They may be part of the “competitive” presentations, but they do not have access to the behind the scenes bargaining where the decisions and agreements are often worked out.
Now, who might not be included? Depends. In the traditional setting, those Good Old Boys are called that because they are men. More restrictively, they are white men in American culture.
How does this change to give everyone of merit an equal chance? Look at the new American Congress. There are more women and people of color than ever before. Our President is of mixed racial heritage. Every time you turn on the TV and see images of intelligence and capability in anyone who is not white and male, it makes a difference, especially to the young who are much more accepting than prior generations.
But, don’t think it does not still exist. And … don’t think that it is not fair.