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One common criticism, which I think has merit, is that the current system is a rich-get-richer affair where most gains accrue to a clique of old-timers and there's little chance for anyone new to catch up.

This is undoubtedly true, but perhaps mitigated by the fact that the marginal value of a single karma point is far greater for a user with a current score of 30 as compared to a user with a current score of 30,000.

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