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Affirmative Action


There’s a bill coming up in Arizona that would do away with Affirmative Action if it is passed. The very predictable reaction from the socialists has been “You racist! You chauvinist! You want to make it so that only white men can get a job!”

Oh really? Well let’s look at what Affirmative Action does:

1. It segregates and defines the population into two main groups and one of those groups into various sub-groups: White Males and Not White Males (women, pregnant women, non-white races, gays, disabled, old, etc).

2. It assigns a value to one of those groups that is greater than the other by coercing employers into hiring from one group and limiting hiring in another group. Essentially, an employer may or may not hire a White Male based on his human capital (education, experience, etc), but if too many White Males are currently working and a Non White Male should apply – the Non White Male must be hired regardless how fit the person is for the job. This explicitly defines White Males as being more desirable to hire because a firm is limited on how many they can have before they have to hire a Non White Male. Furthermore, if a firm is going to hire a White Male, the firm will concentrate heavily on his human capital since they aren’t allowed to have very many; but when hiring a Non White Male, they are more interested in hiring the most affirmative candidate they can instead of the most skilled (e.g. a disabled black woman who is also Jewish: this is an Affirmative Action Triple Play – easily worth six or more White Male hires).

3. De-values Non White Male human capital. Since it is now less important how good of a worker the Non White Male is and more important how Affirmative Actionable the person is: the whole concept of meritocracy goes out the window for this person. The firm will choose to pay the person just enough to keep the person from leaving instead of what the person is worth. This could be good or bad for the person. Using the example above – if she’s always late, can’t read and has no people skills, then she is being paid too much and they can’t get rid of her. If she is on-time, highly skilled and effective at her work, then she is being paid too little AND she suffers the problem that she will most likely not be promoted or transferred because doing so would require the firm to replace her with another affirmative action hire that may not be as good as her.

4. If she doesn’t like #3 and decides to leave – other firms only need so many Non White Males and so create a surplus of Non White Males and a shortage of White Males. Now she’s not competing for jobs based on her skills and experience, but rather on how affirmative actionable she is. The more pitiful and strange she is, the more likely she is to get the job. This is an incentive for her to be a horrible worker with as many problems as she can get – not something that would appeal to an effective worker who rightly takes pride in her abilities.

Socialists say: But if firms are allowed to hire nothing but White Males, that’s all they’ll hire!

This is not very likely. Our society is more tolerable now than it ever has been. But just to address the issue, let’s suppose that a firm does that. The moment the firm’s customers come into contact with the firm, they will be faced with this discrimination. This is pretty weird in today’s society. At the least the customers would most likely be a bit put off and at the extreme they would refuse to do business. It would be easy for consumers to get together and boycott the firm. Even if the firm changed its ways – it would still carry that stigma.

Ultimately, it is usually in a firm’s best interest to appeal to as many customers as it can – not to cater to just one group. If the firm chooses to do that, then it runs the risk of drawing negative attention and stigma.

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Categories: Arizona, Politics
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