Friday, December 23, 2011

Racial Preferences Have Backfired Due to the Cruelty of Affirmative Action's Academic Mismatch

From Jeff Jacoby's column today in the Boston Globe:

"The inability of racial preferences to vault more minority students into high scholastic achievement shouldn’t come as a surprise. When an elite institution relaxes its usual standards to admit more blacks and Hispanics, it all but guarantees that those academically weaker students will have trouble keeping up with their better-prepared white and Asian classmates. Minorities who might have flourished in a science or engineering program at a middle-tier state college are apt to find themselves overwhelmed by the pace at which genetics or computer architecture is taught in the Ivy League. Many decide to switch to an easier major. Others drop out altogether.

This is the cruelty of affirmative-action “mismatch’’ — the steering of minorities to schools where they are less likely to succeed. Absent such preferences, black and Hispanic students would attend universities for which their credentials better suited them. Many would earn higher grades or degrees in more prestigious and challenging fields; more would go on to graduate school and careers in academia or the professions. If it weren’t for race-based admissions policies, in other words, underrepresented minorities wouldn’t be so underrepresented.

Racial preferences, says University of San Diego law professor Gail Heriot , have backfired. She is one of three members of the civil rights commission urging the Supreme Court to recognize the damage it unleashed when it allowed racial “diversity’’ to trump the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws. Skin color was always an ill-contrived proxy for diversity of experiences and beliefs. What more than 30 years of race-based admissions have made clear, Heriot argues, is that “even with the best motives in the world, race-based admissions do far more harm than good.’’ Especially to the students they are supposed to help." 

Related: In this editorial, I also suggest that racial preferences for college admissions do a great disservice to minority students because of the problem of "academic mismatch."

86 Comments:

At 12/23/2011 10:32 AM, Blogger Tom said...

It is time to fire those who insist on discriminating against the more-qualfied students.

 
At 12/23/2011 10:37 AM, Blogger juandos said...

So what's new?

People said this back when and Executive Order 11246 were issued...

 
At 12/23/2011 11:27 AM, Blogger Benjamin said...

I am beginning to think that certain people (old fogies like myself) often just cannot adjust to a changing world. The old shibboleths keep coming back---the need to fight inflation, hold the line on foreign aggressors, or fight hunger and racism in the USA.

But I look around and see very low inflation, no military threats whatsoever, a nation of fat people, an integrated society and the NFL, NBA, the music industry dominated by minorities cheered lustily by largely white audiences.

Sure, there will always be some threat from inflation, some foreign despots, some hunger and some racism.

But our policies have to reflect reality.

 
At 12/23/2011 11:33 AM, OpenID Len Rose said...

"That's racist!"

:/

 
At 12/23/2011 11:45 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

is there a difference between equal opportunity and equal outcome in terms of policies?

how would they differ?

is equal opportunity a legitimate policy goal?

 
At 12/23/2011 11:48 AM, Blogger $9,000,000,000 Write Off said...

The solution is more affirmative action; it's time time to start actively affirming grades.

 
At 12/23/2011 1:50 PM, Blogger NormanB said...

Ward Connerley in California changed the admissions policy in the UC system to that race was not a factor but economic status could be used. As far as I know, African-Amer enrollment at UC Berk and UCLA was down but it was up at the less demanding other UC schools so that the total AA enrollment was the same. I don't know what the outcome academically was but I'll bet it was as the article states.

This is just another in the long list of Democratic attempts to do good for people (Housing projects, the War on Poverty, etc) which had the opposite effects of what was intended.

 
At 12/23/2011 2:28 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Norman-

We should confine nation-building to the $4 trillion spent on Iraqistan. Overseas utopian, idealistic visions make more sense.

 
At 12/23/2011 5:10 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"is there a difference between equal opportunity and equal outcome in terms of policies?"

Yes. Equal opportunity, from a policy standpoint, can only include assurance of equal protection of basic rights, and equal treatment under the law. Anything else is outside the purview of government. Such assurance already exists in the US Constitution.

Obviously, people are born unequal in wealth, family, and location. That's the luck of the draw, and requires no government intervention.

Equal outcome, on the other hand, can only be achieved by policies that act as Handicapper General to equalize everyone at the lowest common denominator. As it's impossible to make anyone smarter, or prettier, taller, or more graceful, it's necessary to handicap everyone else to the level of dumb, ugly, short, clumsy people.

There are no policies in this category that could be considered "good", by any stretch of the imagination, but still they exist. One such group are those that profess to equalize access to higher education by admitting unqualified people based solely on the color of their skin, not on anything related to their abilities or experience.

Policies designed to take from you to give to others who don't have as much, are bound to fail, and make everyone worse off.

 
At 12/23/2011 9:30 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...

So you want to justify academic banding, except that the lower performing people go to lower performing schools? That's what was said.

Expand AA such that it reflects the upcoming minorities, instead of introducing the freedom or slavery system by test score number. That, and consider any US citizen to be, by default, more competent than any international for any admissions of any kind.

 
At 12/23/2011 9:52 PM, Blogger Don Culo said...

We need white people to decide what is best for black people.

 
At 12/23/2011 11:55 PM, Blogger QUEST Science said...

Affirmative action I think could be used to help offset promotion, and opportunity, by social connection. It was unwise to relax standards for admission into a more academically challenging school, without support. This would perhaps have been done by remediation, and also with study skills support.

Sometimes social policies fail. We learn from the failures. We will not get everything right, not democrats, or republicans.

 
At 12/24/2011 10:59 AM, Blogger Stephen said...

The evidence provided here and in all the links is inadequate. It would need to show that the data for colleges that do not have raced based admissions shows similar achievement regardless of race. This is needed to rule out other explanations. The most common one being inadequate pre-college education for minority students which is not fully captured in GPA and SAT/ACT. Is this data available and, if so, why wasn't it used to strengthen the argument being presented in these links?

 
At 12/24/2011 12:09 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 12/24/2011 12:41 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Stephen: "The evidence provided here and in all the links is inadequate. It would need to show that the data for colleges that do not have raced based admissions shows similar achievement regardless of race. This is needed to rule out other explanations. The most common one being inadequate pre-college education for minority students which is not fully captured in GPA and SAT/ACT."

And you know of this common explanation how? Is it something that's obvious to everyone?

"Is this data available and, if so, why wasn't it used to strengthen the argument being presented in these links?"

Perhaps you could find it and present a case based on whatever it is. If GPA, SAT/ACT, and college admission tests are adequate determimants of qualification for other students, why not for minority students?

Your view of minority students as members of a group, instead of as individuals, is the same one that makes affirmative action a failure.

 
At 12/24/2011 12:44 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Don Culo: "We need white people to decide what is best for black people."

Or, better yet, perhaps we need white people to stop telling black people they are qualified for admission to a particular school, just because they are black, when their individual GPA, SAT/ACT, and college admission tests indicate otherwise.

 
At 12/24/2011 1:11 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


Affirmative action I think could be used to help offset promotion, and opportunity, by social connection. It was unwise to relax standards for admission into a more academically challenging school, without support. This would perhaps have been done by remediation, and also with study skills support.

This is the better policy.

A more optimal policy is to admit citizens first, then consider things like Affirmative Action across a wider set of criteria based on those citizens. One part of that part would allow an implied (but not statistical) majority to be considered a minority(by virtue of statistics) and thus becomes eligible.

 
At 12/24/2011 1:22 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"We need white people to decide what is best for black people." -- Don Culo


Welcome to the Democrat Party, the party that has been doing just that for more than 200 years.

 
At 12/24/2011 2:09 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Affirmative action I think could be used to help offset promotion, and opportunity, by social connection. It was unwise to relax standards for admission into a more academically challenging school, without support. This would perhaps have been done by remediation, and also with study skills support. "

Are you implying that minority students have poor study skills?

And, do you understand that a dumb non-minority student, admitted due to their social connections, will be at a disadvantage just like a minority student admitted through affirmative action?

 
At 12/24/2011 4:55 PM, Blogger geoih said...

The present government believes it can create wealth and productivity by decree, why would intelligence be any different.

 
At 12/24/2011 5:37 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

This is just another in the long list of Democratic attempts to do good for people (Housing projects, the War on Poverty, etc) which had the opposite effects of what was intended.

+++++++++++++++++

And then you have a long list of Republican attempts to do harm to people, which have been wildly successful.

 
At 12/24/2011 5:46 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Obviously, people are born unequal in wealth, family, and location. That's the luck of the draw, and requires no government intervention.

+++++++++++++++++

OK, granted. But how do you reconcile not just different basic education opportunities but wildly different basic education opportunities?

Why should an eight year old be subjected to an education system that handicaps him forever, right out of the gate? No one is suggesting that this child get all the EXTRA benefits wealthy parents might provide with private schooling, but why do we have some schools that are so far below the norm?

You don't think govt has a legitimate interest in some level of min stds?

 
At 12/24/2011 6:00 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Something seems wrong here. On the one hand we. Believe or argue that income mobility means that anyone has a shot at landing in the top ten% of income. That given the right circumstances, anyone is smart enough to earn a million dollars.

We don't seem to fear for damage for those who try and fail.

If some black student Flunks out of Yale, why do we think the system that put him there is more if a failure than the system that put white students in who flunk out? Why do we think he is worse off for the experience of failure than a white failure?

And why do we think it is possible for anyone to succeed at some activities and not others?

 
At 12/24/2011 6:17 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

When I went to enginnering school there we're three blacks and no women in a students t body of 1200. Two of the blacks flu led out and one was a huge success. Today there are many women and many students of color. That did not happen by accident, or was the previous conditions due to lack of ability on the part of blacks or women.

The previous conditions was a matter of choice by those who ran the place, and so was the following condition.

As I progressed through my career, there were few blacks in the beginning. Now there are many, and well qualified.

I don't think it got that way entirely by individual effort.

 
At 12/24/2011 6:25 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

I'm not convinced that we can say that affirmative action was a 100% failure by a long shot.

Have we gone to far? maybe.

should we have not done any of what we did - and that every bit of it was harmful?

I think if you characterized it in those terms - you would not get unanimous agreement.

 
At 12/24/2011 6:53 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I'm not convinced that we can say that affirmative action was a 100% failure by a long shot"...

So Obama isn't enough of an example for you?!?!

 
At 12/24/2011 7:02 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Why should an eight year old be subjected to an education system that handicaps him forever, right out of the gate? No one is suggesting that this child get all the EXTRA benefits wealthy parents might provide with private schooling, but why do we have some schools that are so far below the norm?"...

Why don't you tell us 'big government' supporter?

Ask Obama and the Dems why they closed down voucher program in DC...

BTW how many of these eight year olds have you used your money to finance their education at a nice private school?

 
At 12/24/2011 7:10 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: " So Obama isn't enough of an example for you?!?!"

nope. Affirmative Action was around a long time before Obama. He happens to believe in it but he's not alone by a long shot.

" Ask Obama and the Dems why they closed down voucher program in DC...

BTW how many of these eight year olds have you used your money to finance their education at a nice private school? "

a voucher is not a ticket to a better education.

if the school is motivated by money yet has no academic standards, all you do is take tax money from all taxpayers and give it to a private for-profit business that is not required to deliver a quality education.

if you actually support using tax dollars from other people in the name of public education then you need academic standards or some way to assure that the money is yielding something more than it is now.

if you support vouchers without academic standards.. what does that mean in terms of equal opportunity and affirmative action?

support of vouchers for some folks is thinly-veiled advocacy for doing away with public education.

Every single industrialized country in the world not only has public education but they do it better than us.

I will renew my challenge to those who oppose gov or public education.

Name the top 3 countries in the world that do not have public education and it is all private sector education.

name the countries..

 
At 12/24/2011 10:22 PM, Blogger randian said...

We need white people to decide what is best for black people.

That's so clearly wrong. To stop this horrid practice, I propose that we must immediately stop sending tax dollars to subsidize cities like Camden, Philly, DC, Detroit, and East St Louis. That way there can be no doubt whites won't be using the power of the purse to tell blacks what to do.

It would need to show that the data for colleges that do not have raced based admissions

What colleges don't have race-based admissions? UC claims it doesn't, but their admissions statistics show they openly flout the law that requires them not to.

You don't think govt has a legitimate interest in some level of min stds?

You assume a fact not in evidence: that the purpose of public schooling (at all levels including university) is to educate students. That may have been so once, but not anymore. Its real purpose is to enrich the teachers and bureaucrats that are employed by it. If the schools did their job, demands for ever more compensation to fix the problems their own efforts have caused would be laughed off by the taxpayers. Unlike the private sector, in government it is failure that brings wealth, not success.

 
At 12/24/2011 11:43 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"OK, granted. But how do you reconcile not just different basic education opportunities but wildly different basic education opportunities?"

I attribute that to the government monopoly school system.

Vouchers, vouchers, vouchers.

If there is to be taxpayer supported public education, open it to competition and choice so that parents can decide where their children should go. Bad schools would soon close for lack of business.

Choice works well in every other part of our lives, why not education also?


Some additional insight.

 
At 12/24/2011 11:47 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

If some black student Flunks out of Yale, why do we think the system that put him there is more if a failure than the system that put white students in who flunk out? Why do we think he is worse off for the experience of failure than a white failure?

There is no system that puts white students in Yale when they aren't qualified. This only happens to minority students through affirmative action.

 
At 12/25/2011 12:02 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I don't think it got that way entirely by individual effort."

What else could it be? Were minorities and women at your school injected with learning and knowledge?

Perhaps it was group effort.

 
At 12/25/2011 12:08 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

randian: "What colleges don't have race-based admissions? UC claims it doesn't, but their admissions statistics show they openly flout the law that requires them not to."

The new word is diversity.

 
At 12/25/2011 2:57 AM, Blogger randian said...

The new word is diversity.

Yes, UC's "holistic admissions" program is the fig leaf on which they claim to be in compliance with California's anti-discrimination statute.

 
At 12/25/2011 9:11 AM, Blogger Jim said...

This is all just a smokescreen for what is truly going on in education.
Let's make them all stupid...

Cal State campuses overwhelmed by remedial needs.

“Wracked with frustration over the state’s legions of unprepared high
school graduates, the California State University system next summer
will force freshmen with remedial needs to brush up on math or English
before arriving on campus. But many professors at the 23-campus
university, which has spent the past 13 years dismissing students who
fail remedial classes, doubt the Early Start program will do much to
help students unable to handle college math or English. . . . The
remedial numbers are staggering, given that the Cal State system admits
only freshmen who graduated in the top one-third of their high-school
class. About 27,300 freshmen in the 2010 entering class of about 42,700
needed remedial work in math, English or both.”

http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_19526032

 
At 12/25/2011 10:11 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

"... for what is truly going on in education."

indeed. Many folks think it's only the failed urban schools but the larger problem is that only about 30% of kids meet international standards for proficiency and a huge number - no matter their color - are not ready for college-level academics.

we seem to be in a perpetual blame game about affirmative action, public schools, unions, etc when in fact all the countries that best us internationally and put us at 15th and worse have public schools with unions also ..though I admit I don't know if they have affirmative action and I also admit that our version of it seems to address only one demographic on the diversity spectrum and for that reason I do agree that affirmative action as currently implemented is more and more doubted as a good thing.

We don't seem to need it for those who are of Asian heritage but note that Hispanics in general - even in suburban schools have very similar problems to blacks and yet are they also a focus of affirmative action?

 
At 12/25/2011 11:06 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: There is no system that puts white students in Yale when they aren't qualified.

That is simply false. Legacy admissions have a decided advantage on being admitted to Yale, and many other colleges.

This points out the general problem, known as the good-old-boy network. When looking to admit a student, or make a new hire, people often refer to their personal network of friends and associates. Historically, the power centers in the U.S., especially in the South, have been largely white males, so new recruits into the power center have been generally white males. This is a natural tendency, even ignoring latent or overt racism.

To break down these barriers, Dr. King and others advocated affirmative action. It wasn't enough that a store promised to not discriminate in the future; they had to take affirmative action to be inclusive. This helps equalize the good-old-boy network, provides valuable experience for minorities as they move up the ladder, provides role models for other people, minorities and non-minorities, as they begin to see minorities in positions of responsibility, undercutting racism and its vestiges.

 
At 12/25/2011 2:24 PM, Blogger randian said...

That is simply false. Legacy admissions have a decided advantage on being admitted to Yale, and many other colleges.

That only gets them in, just like unqualified blacks. It doesn't keep them in.

 
At 12/25/2011 2:28 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

.............. unless of course if you're there on a sports scholarship and then all pretense of academic qualification is out the window.

if you can run, kick, block or strut... you're in like flint...

now how is that for affirmative action?

 
At 12/25/2011 2:50 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "That is simply false. Legacy admissions have a decided advantage on being admitted to Yale, and many other colleges."

You are correct that legacy admissions have a decided advantage in admissions, but we believe that is an advantage over other *qualified* applicants. We see no evidence that unqualified applicants are given preference, and if you do, we would love to see it.

Admitting anyone if they aren't qualified is only setting them up to fail.

"This points out the general problem, known as the good-old-boy network. When looking to admit a student, or make a new hire, people often refer to their personal network of friends and associates. Historically, the power centers in the U.S., especially in the South, have been largely white males, so new recruits into the power center have been generally white males. This is a natural tendency, even ignoring latent or overt racism. "

Of course it's a natural tendency. We all rely on those we know and whose recommendations we value. In any setting where there is a majority of one demographic of any kind, we would expect the ratio of new recruits to be somewhat proportional to the demographic ratio, and it's not clear why this is a problem, unless you ARE suggesting racism.

"To break down these barriers, Dr. King and others advocated affirmative action. It wasn't enough that a store promised to not discriminate in the future; they had to take affirmative action to be inclusive."

And, how well has that worked out?

"This helps equalize the good-old-boy network, provides valuable experience for minorities as they move up the ladder..."

But if they are unqualified, they won't move up the ladder, and if they are advanced by further affirmative action, they and everyone around them will know it, morale will suffer, anger and resentment will surface, and for a business, the bottom line will suffer.

"... provides role models for other people, minorities and non-minorities, as they begin to see minorities in positions of responsibility, undercutting racism and its vestiges."

Or instead of role models, minorities in positions of responsibility may be seen as products of affirmative action - in the absence of which, they would indeed be recognized for their abilities.

 
At 12/25/2011 3:01 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

"Or instead of role models, minorities in positions of responsibility may be seen as products of affirmative action - in the absence of which, they would indeed be recognized for their abilities. "

or illiterate sports players?

which is worse? affirmative action or recruiting illiterates to represent the school in sports?

 
At 12/25/2011 7:46 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

randian: That only gets them in, just like unqualified blacks. It doesn't keep them in.

It's called a gentleman's C. Affirmative action for the well-to-do.

Ron H: In any setting where there is a majority of one demographic of any kind, we would expect the ratio of new recruits to be somewhat proportional to the demographic ratio, and it's not clear why this is a problem, unless you ARE suggesting racism.

Historical racism is not in doubt, and even ignoring the continuing effects of latent racism, it leads to a situation where minorities are excluded because they have no access to the good-old-boy network.

Ron H: But if they are unqualified, they won't move up the ladder, and if they are advanced by further affirmative action, they and everyone around them will know it, morale will suffer, anger and resentment will surface, and for a business, the bottom line will suffer.

People resented laws against discrimination, too. In any case, most modern affirmative action programs in the U.S. only stress diversity in the application process, not quotas. Arguing that affirmative action has outlived its usefulness is quite different than arguing that affirmative action was never justified.

Ron H: Or instead of role models, minorities in positions of responsibility may be seen as products of affirmative action - in the absence of which, they would indeed be recognized for their abilities.

While you may not, most people recognize people of ability when they are given a chance to succeed.

 
At 12/25/2011 10:46 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

So Obama isn't enough of an example for you?!?!


=============================

Seeing that he got elected to the highest office in the land, what would you call a failure?

Even if he fails at being president, having won the chance to fail makes him a major success compared to most people.

What is your point?

 
At 12/25/2011 10:47 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "People resented laws against discrimination, too. In any case, most modern affirmative action programs in the U.S. only stress diversity in the application process, not quotas. Arguing that affirmative action has outlived its usefulness is quite different than arguing that affirmative action was never justified. "

Legacy admissions and affirmative action admissions are both demeaning and insulting to the individuals involved. The only way to ensure equal opportunity is to admit on the basis of merit only. Perhaps Shelby Steele can say it better than we can.

 
At 12/25/2011 10:57 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Why don't you tell us 'big government' supporter?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Bcause I am the one asking the question you avoided and changed the subject on.....I qill ask again:


"Why should an eight year old be subjected to an education system that handicaps him forever, right out of the gate? No one is suggesting that this child get all the EXTRA benefits wealthy parents might provide with private schooling, but why do we have some schools that are so far below the norm?"...



I am going to suggest tha tht ereason some schools ae so far below the norms has very little to do with big government: schools are mostly a local issue.

Politics and unions aside, nothing is going to put a decent school in a poor neighborhood without the funding to do so itself, except big government.

Now, if you give everykid a voucher that is funded only by money from his own neighborhood, some kids are not going to get much voucher.

If big gevernment gets involved and equalizes the vouchers,then you will be screaming about welath transfer and class warfare.

My question remains: What is your solution for making sure some eight year old doesn't get shortchanged, right out of the gate?

Do you support equal opportunity (not equal outcome) or not, and if so, how would you go about offering it?

 
At 12/25/2011 11:01 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Seeing that he got elected to the highest office in the land, what would you call a failure?

Even if he fails at being president, having won the chance to fail makes him a major success compared to most people.

What is your point?
"

The point is that BHO was elected for reasons not related to any abilities or experience demonstrating that he was capable of performing the job of POTUS.

If he had been given a job in the private sector that he obviously wasn't qualified for, because he talked a good talk and made grand sounding promises, and then proved his incompetence and was subsequently fired, would you consider him a success for having landed the job?

 
At 12/25/2011 11:12 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

(Ideally), The only way to ensure equal opportunity is to admit on the basis of merit only.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The system we had in place before affirmative action offered not even a pretense of admitting on the basis of merit only.

The system we have in place now is far better than what we had before and it is still far from ideal.

When we start graduating people who are smart enough and educated enough and have enough date to determine what admission on merit only looks like, then maybe we can move a step closer to the ideal.

The queston we have to face is not what a perfect system might look like someday, but rather what is the best we can do with what we have to work with today?

And lets face it, part of what we have to work with today STILL includes a number of people who believe no colored person is as qualified, by virtue of whatever color they have.

How do you improve a system in which such people are allowed to systematically make bad merit decisisons? How do you ensure that the metrics of merit are not discriminatory, when you KNOW that a legacy exists of those who think a good merit decision is a white merit decision?

 
At 12/25/2011 11:21 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

The point is that BHO was elected for reasons not related to any abilities or experience demonstrating that he was capable of performing the job of POTUS.

=================================

That is your opinion.

The fact remains that he ran the most successful campaign to get elected, and that is the figure of merit we use to select someone who is LIKELY to be capable of performing the job.

Are you suggesting some other POTUSAT?

Presumably a presidential SAT that is slanted such that only conservatives or social darwinists can pass the test?

Really, if you had a serious presidential SAT, only eggheads, mensa members,and Jepoardy fanatics could pass it. Are those the kind of people yu want?

 
At 12/25/2011 11:36 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

would you consider him a success for having landed the job?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

He would be more successful than all those who did not land the job, none of which can we guarantee would have done any better.


A guy who tries and gets into Yale is more successful than one who tries and fails. If the guy who gets in subsequently flunks out, we have no way of knowing if his potential replacement would not have flunked out too.

After all, these are both people cpompeteing for one of the LAST spots. It isn't like you have the first guy accepted competing with this marginally acceptable future flunkee.




What if he won a job that was fundamentally impossible, one that no one could succeed at? Is hhe a success for having won the job, or a fool for taking it when he should ahve known it was impossible?



Suppose Obama had appointed George Bush as VP and then resigned, saying this is your mess, you cleanit up. Clearly George would have passed some kind of test showing he could hold the job: he had experience at it. Under those (extremely hypothetical0 circumstances, would you call George Bush a success for having gotten the job?

 
At 12/26/2011 12:38 AM, Blogger randian said...

In any case, most modern affirmative action programs in the U.S. only stress diversity in the application process, not quotas.

That's the theory, not the practice. In practice, the only defense the DoJ accepts is quotas. Just look at Title IX cases for the biggest example of this.

 
At 12/26/2011 12:46 AM, Blogger randian said...

Politics and unions aside, nothing is going to put a decent school in a poor neighborhood without the funding to do so itself

You're assuming yet another fact not in evidence: that lack of funding is why schools are shitty. Just look at DC or East St Louis for a refutation of that concept. Los Angeles spent half a billion dollars on its latest school. Money is not and never has been the problem.

 
At 12/26/2011 1:31 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"How do you improve a system in which such people are allowed to systematically make bad merit decisisons? How do you ensure that the metrics of merit are not discriminatory, when you KNOW that a legacy exists of those who think a good merit decision is a white merit decision?"

The solution for college admission is fairly simple: Don't ask for ethnic information on the application. No one can make a bad merit decision if the race of an applicant is unknown.

Leftists don't generally like that solution, as it leaves them without numbers to complain about.

What is a "white merit decision"?

 
At 12/26/2011 1:48 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"That is your opinion."

My opinion? What experience other than dirty Chicago politics and a short stint in the US Senate, where he mostly voted "present", did he have?

Look at his background, his family, his associates, his writing, and the dirty tricks he pulled while a minor figure in Chicago. Did you ever think to study this unknown before you pulled the hopeychangey lever?

His entire campaign for President consisted of appeals to emotion, and little of substance. The principles he claimed to have were the ones that best suited his current audience at the time.

Are you sure you want to elect the guy with the most money and slickest campaign managers?

He has proven ever since election to to be clueless about being President, so he continues to do what he knows best, which is campaign.

 
At 12/26/2011 2:01 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"A guy who tries and gets into Yale is more successful than one who tries and fails. If the guy who gets in subsequently flunks out, we have no way of knowing if his potential replacement would not have flunked out too."

At Yale, and other prestigious schools, you will get legacy admissions and affirmative action admissions, who have done nothing to show they are likely to be successful.

"After all, these are both people cpompeteing for one of the LAST spots. It isn't like you have the first guy accepted competing with this marginally acceptable future flunkee."

But you have allowed all the brightest and best minority applicants in, and rejected equally bright non-minority applicants. When you get down to the margins, you will reject an applicant who is qualified on their own merit, while admitting a minority applicant who doesn't otherwise qualify except for the color of their skin.

View the video at the link I provided in an earlier comment.

 
At 12/26/2011 9:21 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

randian: That's the theory, not the practice. In practice, the only defense the DoJ accepts is quotas.

Please be specific.

Ron H: Legacy admissions and affirmative action admissions are both demeaning and insulting to the individuals involved.

While you say legacy admissions should end, the old-boy-network is a part of human society, and the residual effects can last for generations. You are arguing that no matter the circumstances, that it is quite okay to allow existing inequities to remain unaddressed, to allow some to have a continuing advantage over others, even after generations of overt discrimination and oppression.

Consider a simple situation. A grocery chain has been shown to have discriminated for years. Virtually the entire workforce is white, even in black neighborhoods. The chain agrees to end discrimination, but will not immediately hire any blacks, and will use the 'non-discriminatory' system of requiring a recommendation from an existing member of management for any new hires. Is that fair?

Ron H: At Yale, and other prestigious schools, you will get legacy admissions and affirmative action admissions, who have done nothing to show they are likely to be successful.

That is incorrect. The same sorts of connections that get you into Yale, also get you a job and advancement.


Ron H: Perhaps Shelby Steele can say it better than we can.

Perhaps Martin Luther King can say it even better.

“Whenever this issue of compensatory or preferential treatment for the Negro is raised, some of our friends recoil in horror. The Negro should be granted equality, they agree; but he should ask for nothing more. On the surface, this appears reasonable, but it is not realistic. For it is obvious that if a man is entering the starting line in a race 300 years after another man, the first would have to perform some impossible feat in order to catch up with his fellow runner.”

 
At 12/26/2011 9:57 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

randian: That's the theory, not the practice. In practice, the only defense the DoJ accepts is quotas.

Please be specific.

Ron H: Legacy admissions and affirmative action admissions are both demeaning and insulting to the individuals involved.

While you say legacy admissions should end, the old-boy-network is a natural part of human society, and the residual effects can last for generations. You are arguing that no matter the circumstances, that it is quite okay to allow existing inequities to remain unaddressed, to allow some to have a continuing advantage over others, even after generations of overt discrimination and oppression.

Consider a simple situation. A grocery chain has been shown to have discriminated for years. Virtually the entire workforce is white. They agree to end discrimination, but will not immediately hire any minorities, and will use the 'non-discriminatory' system of requiring a personal recommendation from an existing member of management for any new hires. Is that fair?

Ron H: At Yale, and other prestigious schools, you will get legacy admissions and affirmative action admissions, who have done nothing to show they are likely to be successful.

Legacy admissions also benefit from the same good-old-boy network that carries them into new jobs and promotions in the private sector.

Ron H: Perhaps Shelby Steele can say it better than we can.

Perhaps Martin Luther King can say it even better.

“Whenever this issue of compensatory or preferential treatment for the Negro is raised, some of our friends recoil in horror. The Negro should be granted equality, they agree; but he should ask for nothing more. On the surface, this appears reasonable, but it is not realistic. For it is obvious that if a man is entering the starting line in a race 300 years after another man, the first would have to perform some impossible feat in order to catch up with his fellow runner.”

 
At 12/26/2011 12:49 PM, Blogger randian said...

Please be specific.

I was. Title IX quotas. Too many Google hits to count. UCLA's famed swim & dive team one of the many hit by quotas.

 
At 12/26/2011 3:38 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"And then you have a long list of Republican attempts to do harm to people, which have been wildly successful"...

O.K. name a few of these alledged harmful attempts hydra...

 
At 12/26/2011 3:40 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"nope. Affirmative Action was around a long time before Obama. He happens to believe in it but he's not alone by a long sho"...

Obviously you missed the intent of the question larry g...

You had public education, right?

 
At 12/26/2011 3:49 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"He would be more successful than all those who did not land the job, none of which can we guarantee would have done any better"...

Really hydra?

Matt Patterson writing in the American Thinker noted: 'True, Obama himself was never troubled by his lack of achievements, but why would he be? As many have noted, Obama was told he was good enough for Columbia despite undistinguished grades at Occidental; he was told he was good enough for the US Senate despite a mediocre record in Illinois; he was told he was good enough to be president despite no record at all in the Senate. All his life, every step of the way, Obama was told he was good enough for the next step, in spite of ample evidence to the contrary. What could this breed if not the sort of empty narcissism on display every time Obama speaks?'...

 
At 12/26/2011 4:22 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Zachriel: Please be specific.

randian: I was.

No, you weren't.

randian: Title IX quotas. Too many Google hits to count. UCLA's famed swim & dive team one of the many hit by quotas.

There are three ways for universities to comply with Title IX: athletes proportional to the student population; expanding opportunities for the underrepresented sex; or proving “the interests and abilities of the members of that (underrepresented) sex have been fully and effectively accommodated.”

UCLA could have kept the men's swim team. However, to keep all the existing men's teams, while expanding opportunities for women would have cost more money. They chose to end some men's programs instead.

 
At 12/26/2011 4:57 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Consider a simple situation. A grocery chain has been shown to have discriminated for years. Virtually the entire workforce is white. They agree to end discrimination, but will not immediately hire any minorities, and will use the 'non-discriminatory' system of requiring a personal recommendation from an existing member of management for any new hires. Is that fair? "

Fair? We have previously determined that it's not possible to adequately define that word to the satisfaction of all parties.

We would have to ask who you were concerned with. Fair to whom?

It's certainly not fair to company stockholders, as to limit employment opportunities to only whites limits the available pool of talent, and leaves a greater pool of talent for competing store chains that don't value personal biases more than they value their bottom line.

If customers were aware of, and unhappy with the hiring practices of a grocery chain, they could have a much more immediate and powerful effect on it than any legislation could possibly have.

"While you say legacy admissions should end, the old-boy-network is a natural part of human society, and the residual effects can last for generations. You are arguing that no matter the circumstances, that it is quite okay to allow existing inequities to remain unaddressed, to allow some to have a continuing advantage over others, even after generations of overt discrimination and oppression."

And you are arguing that government meddlers should legislate against a natural part of human society. Something that is not exclusive to whites, or any other ethnic group.

In most contexts you seem to believe that tyranny of the majority is an acceptal method of governance, but in this area, you find it to be repugnant. Don't you see that as inconsistant?

We didn't argue that legacy admissions should end, because afterall, a private business should be able to apply whatever rules they wish, but it seems silly for people to waste 4 or more years of their lives and tens of thousands of dollars attending a school for no particular gain except the prestige of a degree from a snooty college. In addition, the percieved value of an education at such a school is diminished by such a practice.

It would be far cheaper in time and money if degrees could just be purchased from, say, Yale or Harvard, without the hassle of pretending to learn something.

We suppose it's the relationships developed while attending those schools that are of more value than the education.

"For it is obvious that if a man is entering the starting line in a race 300 years after another man, the first would have to perform some impossible feat in order to catch up with his fellow runner."

While that has the nice ring of emotional appeal to it, it hardly describes the condition of blacks in 1964.

By almost every measure, the lives of blacks had improved, and continued to improve, with ever higher standards of living, and low unemployment. Only since the rise of the popular notion that government can cure all ills and fix all problems, have many blacks lost ground.

It is the obsession with skin color that may be causing more harm than good.

MLK also said: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

That will only be possible when we quit asking the questions about the color of their skins, and instead ask about their individual qualifications for a job or admission to college.

 
At 12/26/2011 5:26 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Zachriel: Is that fair?

Ron H: Fair? We have previously determined that it's not possible to adequately define that word to the satisfaction of all parties.

We asked for *your* estimation.

Ron H: If customers were aware of, and unhappy with the hiring practices of a grocery chain, they could have a much more immediate and powerful effect on it than any legislation could possibly have.

Yes, because we all know that racial discrimination in public accommodations ended due to the free market.

Ron H: And you are arguing that government meddlers should legislate against a natural part of human society.

Actually, no. People have to be able to rely upon their personal contacts and counsel from their trusted advisors. This leaves in place, though, the legacy of racial discrimination. Affirmative action is a separate avenue for consideration of new employees and has to be implemented along with laws against discrimination. They should be narrowly tailored to increase diversity without putting an undue burden on institutions or individuals. Nevertheless, there will still be difficult adjustments. Spending millions on collegiate football, while ignoring women athletes is not a just option.

Ron H: In most contexts you seem to believe that tyranny of the majority is an acceptal method of governance, but in this area, you find it to be repugnant. Don't you see that as inconsistant?

And after all this time you can't even express our position accurately. Democratic societies consist of a large number of interrelated institutions working at many levels, including governments, independent judiciaries, political parties, industry, religious organizations, corporations, interest groups, clubs, and individuals.

Ron H: We didn't argue that legacy admissions should end, because afterall, a private business should be able to apply whatever rules they wish, but it seems silly for people to waste 4 or more years of their lives and tens of thousands of dollars attending a school for no particular gain except the prestige of a degree from a snooty college.

This is another indicator of your detachment from the world most people live in. Those who get legacy admissions, also have the connections to the jobs and promotions of the good-old-boy network. Even if you don't agree about the benefit of a Yale degree, those who work in the upper management of America's hierarchy know the people who send their children to Yale, and will tend to give them a leg up.

MLK: For it is obvious that if a man is entering the starting line in a race 300 years after another man, the first would have to perform some impossible feat in order to catch up with his fellow runner.

Ron H: While that has the nice ring of emotional appeal to it, it hardly describes the condition of blacks in 1964.

So you would leave the all-white workforce in place and allow the grocery chain to continue to discriminate. Just wanted to clarify that for our readers.

 
At 12/26/2011 5:37 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "There are three ways for universities to comply with Title IX: athletes proportional to the student population; expanding opportunities for the underrepresented sex; or proving “the interests and abilities of the members of that (underrepresented) sex have been fully and effectively accommodated."

- Proportional to student population implies an interest and ability proportional to student population. Hard to determine.

- "Underrepresented" implies that there are fewer programs than there is interest in such programs, not just fewer programs. Also hard to determine.

- "Interests and abilities" may never be fully and effectively accommodated for either sex. There may always be more who wish they could play a sport than there are avalible opennings.

We suppose as long as the number of unhappy students by sex is proportional to the student population, then all is well.

There's a fourth option for small schools with limited budgets, and that is to eliminate sports programs altogether. Equality of unhappiness is more important than disproportionate unhappiness.

Eliminating men's programs to make them proportional to women's programs seems like a way of adding an unhappy group to another unhappy group to make things "fair." the Handicapper General in action.

Title IX is another misguided attempt to legislate something that can't be fixed by government.

 
At 12/26/2011 6:31 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "And after all this time you can't even express our position accurately. Democratic societies consist of a large number of interrelated institutions working at many levels, including governments independent judiciaries, political parties, industry, religious organizations, corporations, interest groups, clubs, and individuals."

Yes, we recall your vision of the harmony of the spheres, but we were addressing only the intrusion of government into private business.

"Actually, no. People have to be able to rely upon their personal contacts and counsel from their trusted advisors. This leaves in place, though, the legacy of racial discrimination. Affirmative action is a separate avenue for consideration of new employees and has to be implemented along with laws against discrimination."

You favor legislating against people's natural inclination to "rely upon their personal contacts and counsel from their trusted advisors."

Do you believe those "good old boys" will start selecting minority employees because they are at the same schools as their trusted advisors' sons?

Of course, you favor forcing them to do so.

"They should be narrowly tailored to increase diversity without putting an undue burden on institutions or individuals."

An incredible burden is placed on those who know they were selected for their skin color rather than their individual abilities.

"Nevertheless, there will still be difficult adjustments. Spending millions on collegiate football, while ignoring women athletes is not a just option. "

Is this a new subject?

We suspect that the money spent on collegiate sports is proportional to the public interest in those sports. Whether you like it or not, There's a great deal more interest in football than in women's athletics. You can't legislate equal public interest.

 
At 12/26/2011 7:08 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "This is another indicator of your detachment from the world most people live in. Those who get legacy admissions, also have the connections to the jobs and promotions of the good-old-boy network. Even if you don't agree about the benefit of a Yale degree, those who work in the upper management of America's hierarchy know the people who send their children to Yale, and will tend to give them a leg up."

And you believe that this unfair advantage can be eliminated by imposing rules based on skin color?

MLK: "For it is obvious that if a man is entering the starting line in a race 300 years after another man, the first would have to perform some impossible feat in order to catch up with his fellow runner."

"Ron H: While that has the nice ring of emotional appeal to it, it hardly describes the condition of blacks in 1964."

Z: "So you would leave the all-white workforce in place and allow the grocery chain to continue to discriminate. Just wanted to clarify that for our readers."

It's difficult to connect your last response to the previous discussion, but our point is that while discrimination and bias exists and did exist, the welfare of minorities, especially blacks, relative to that of whites had improved over time since Reconstruction, and there's no reason to believe that it would not have continued to improve, as discrimination and bias were recognized as counterproductive.

Only since the intruduction of massive amounts of government "help", have the fortunes of many blacks reversed. The only way to achieve equality, is through colorblindness and consideration of individual abilities, as Dr. King envisioned.

 
At 12/27/2011 2:49 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Yes, because we all know that racial discrimination in public accommodations ended due to the free market"...

Why yes we do zach...

As Robert P. Murphy notes in an Library of Economics and Liberty column: The typical discussion of discrimination takes it for granted that the practice is odious and should be penalized. Yet, closer inspection reveals that most people have no problem with discrimination that caters to their preferences. When we specify precisely what we mean by "bad" discrimination, we find that the free market offers automatic and swift financial penalties in proportion to the severity of the practice...

 
At 12/27/2011 7:42 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: - Proportional to student population implies an interest and ability proportional to student population. Hard to determine.

Actually, it's fairly easy to determine. Girls and women actively participate in sports when given a reasonable opportunity. As they pay the same taxes and tuition, spending millions on college football, while underfunding women's sports is clearly unfair.

Ron H: - "Underrepresented" implies that there are fewer programs than there is interest in such programs, not just fewer programs. Also hard to determine.

No, it isn't—unless you live in a world without women. Turns out women have opinions, and you can ask them. In any case, when given the opportunity, many girls and women will actively participate in sports.

Ron H: - "Interests and abilities" may never be fully and effectively accommodated for either sex. There may always be more who wish they could play a sport than there are avalible opennings.

It's called equal opportunity.

 
At 12/27/2011 7:52 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: Yes, we recall your vision of the harmony of the spheres, ...

It's hardly harmony, but a cacophony of competing interests.

Ron H: ... but we were addressing only the intrusion of government into private business.

You said, "Ron H: In most contexts you seem to believe that tyranny of the majority is an acceptal method of governance, but in this area, you find it to be repugnant. Don't you see that as inconsistant?" when that is directly contrary to our repeatedly stated position. You posed a loaded question.

Ron H: You favor legislating against people's natural inclination to "rely upon their personal contacts and counsel from their trusted advisors."

Not against, but to provide another avenue of advancement by encouraging diversity.

Ron H: Do you believe those "good old boys" will start selecting minority employees because they are at the same schools as their trusted advisors' sons?

Yes, that is the goal, to include minorities within professional networking circles.

Ron H: Of course, you favor forcing them to do so.

Just as you should be forced to stop at a red light. If people discriminate, they should be punished according to the law.

Ron H: An incredible burden is placed on those who know they were selected for their skin color rather than their individual abilities.

Yes, the burden of it all.
http://tinyurl.com/7625a55

Ron H: We suspect that the money spent on collegiate sports is proportional to the public interest in those sports.

Women pay the same tuition. They deserve the same opportunities to play sports or any other endeavor provided within the college environment.

 
At 12/27/2011 8:00 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Zachriel: Yes, because we all know that racial discrimination in public accommodations ended due to the free market...

juandos: Why yes we do ...

Sorry, but your claim is directly contrary to fact. The end of racial discrimination in public accommodations is directly linked to federal Civil Rights legislation.
http://www.pulitzer.org/imported-data/year/2007/national-reporting/works/johnsonking.jpg

In the South of the early twentieth century, if a store owner wanted to accommodate blacks, he would lose white customers. Even though the entire market is hurt by discrimination, individual store owners would be hurt by bucking the trend. Thank you for providing an excellent example of how the free market can fail.

 
At 12/27/2011 12:11 PM, Blogger randian said...

As they pay the same taxes and tuition, spending millions on college football, while underfunding women's sports is clearly unfair.

Women's sports don't deserve that much money because they don't bring in the revenue men's football and basketball do.

 
At 12/27/2011 1:54 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Women pay the same tuition. They deserve the same opportunities to play sports or any other endeavor provided within the college environment."

Yes, but it seems that few women are interested in playing football. would you recommend mandating equal participation by women in football, which might mean the end of college football, or would you mandate equal viewing of women's sports events?

Perhaps a women's tennis match to precede every football game.

Of course, we have been referring only to public schools, as a private school should be able to offer whatever their customers demand. More nuclear physics classes, perhaps.

 
At 12/27/2011 2:16 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Ron H: "- Proportional to student population implies an interest and ability proportional to student population. Hard to determine."

Z: "Actually, it's fairly easy to determine."

Ron H: - "Underrepresented" implies that there are fewer programs than there is interest in such programs, not just fewer programs. Also hard to determine."

Z: "No, it isn't—unless you live in a world without women."

Ron H: - "Interests and abilities" may never be fully and effectively accommodated for either sex. There may always be more who wish they could play a sport than there are available openings."

Z: "It's called equal opportunity."

Do we really write that poorly, or are you failing to read carefully? You have managed to miss our point in each of these cases.

Do you think that when either men or women select a school to attend, they ignore the opportunities available to play in sports they like? If a women chooses to attend a school with no women's volleyball team, even though she loves to play volleyball, do you think *you* should then complain that she has been denied the opportunity to play?

We are sure that if we asked her, she would express her wish to play volleyball, and her regret that she doesn't have the opportunity.

Although enough demand might cause the school to establish a womens volleyball team, the bottom line is that she chose to attend a school without one.

 
At 12/27/2011 2:21 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

I missed the part about why schools are involved in paid sports entertainment.

Many good schools do not have sports entertainment as part of what they do and the sports they offer are without regard to whether someone is willing to pay to watch them play.

 
At 12/27/2011 2:31 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "In the South of the early twentieth century, if a store owner wanted to accommodate blacks, he would lose white customers. Even though the entire market is hurt by discrimination, individual store owners would be hurt by bucking the trend. "

Or perhaps go to jail.

Restaurants:"All persons licensed to conduct a restaurant, shall serve either white people exclusively or colored people exclusively and shall not sell to the two races within the same room or serve the two races anywhere under the same license. "Georgia

Beer & Wine: "All persons licensed to conduct the business of selling beer or wine...shall serve either white people exclusively or colored people exclusively and shall not sell to the two races within the same room at any time." Georgia

"Thank you for providing an excellent example of how - government - can fail."

 
At 12/27/2011 2:37 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Sorry, but your claim is directly contrary to fact. The end of racial discrimination in public accommodations is directly linked to federal Civil Rights legislation. "

Federal legislation overturned hundreds of state and local laws prescribing racial discrimination. An attempted government fix for previous government failures.

 
At 12/27/2011 2:44 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Ron H: "Do you believe those "good old boys" will start selecting minority employees because they are at the same schools as their trusted advisors' sons?"

"Yes, that is the goal, to include minorities within professional networking circles. "

You are truly naive. Most people don't believe that's working. Do you have any evidence that it is?

 
At 12/27/2011 2:54 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "You said, "Ron H: In most contexts you seem to believe that tyranny of the majority is an acceptal method of governance, but in this area, you find it to be repugnant. Don't you see that as inconsistant?" when that is directly contrary to our repeatedly stated position. You posed a loaded question. "

You have stated your preference for government by majority rule using force. Do you not believe that a majority of whites should impose their will on a minority of blacks? If not, how can you insist that tyranny of the majority is moral?

Not sure about a loaded question, but you will need to explain why your position is that some minorities should be forced to comply, but not others.

 
At 12/27/2011 3:18 PM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: Do we really write that poorly, or are you failing to read carefully? You have managed to miss our point in each of these cases.

Ron H: Hard to determine... Also hard to determine.

No, it's not hard to determine the interests of students in sports. You can ask them. You can open up opportunities and watch as women increase their participation in sports.

Ron H: Thank you for providing an excellent example of how - government - can fail.

Turns out that there was a certain 'private organization' that enforced segregation.

Ron H: You are truly naive. Most people don't believe that's working. Do you have any evidence that it is?

There is certainly still problems with the legacy of segregation, but blacks now occupy many positions that were once foreclosed to them.

Ron H: You have stated your preference for government by majority rule using force.

We expressed the preference for the rule of law within the institutions of a democratic republic. That's a far cry from majoritarianism. We have repeatedly corrected you on this point. Please try to argue our actual position, not your strawman version.

But yes, you have to stop when the light turns red.

 
At 12/27/2011 7:17 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "Turns out that there was a certain 'private organization' that enforced segregation."

Yes, the Democratic Party.

"There is certainly still problems with the legacy of segregation, but blacks now occupy many positions that were once foreclosed to them. "

And what evidence do you have that it results from affirmative action, or is this another example of correlation = causation?

There is plenty of evidence that affirmative Action causes serious problems, including increased dropout rates among minority students. You can easily find your own data on the problems, but we see no empirical evidence of major benefits. Do you?

Perhaps now that laws requiring segregation are gone, People who were previously prevented from hiring or serving blacks have embraced the addition skills and buying power that was previously denied them.

 
At 12/27/2011 7:26 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "No, it's not hard to determine the interests of students in sports. You can ask them. You can open up opportunities and watch as women increase their participation in sports. "

Of course, but is there enough interest to justify the increase in tuition or the the elimination of some other program?

Good football teams attract far more funding than good women's volleyball teams. Whether it's fair or not, it's a fact. Would you legislate against public preference?

 
At 12/27/2011 7:56 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Z: "We expressed the preference for the rule of law within the institutions of a democratic republic. That's a far cry from majoritarianism. We have repeatedly corrected you on this point. Please try to argue our actual position, not your strawman version. "

OK, but the only institutions on your list that relate directly to rule of law are government, and independent courts, which in the US, are part of government, and not truly independent.

We would also prefer rule of law under a strictly constructed and limited democratic republic to what we have now.

 
At 12/28/2011 8:00 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Ron H: OK, but the only institutions on your list that relate directly to rule of law are government, and independent courts, which in the US, are part of government, and not truly independent.

A democratic society is more than a governmental system, and requires strong institutions, including an independent judiciary, the rule of law, the right to property, the right to petition the government, along with protections for individuals and minorities. In the real world—not the imaginary world imagined by ideologues—, compromises are an essential component of cobbling together a workable system.

 
At 12/28/2011 8:39 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

what the heck is a non-govt, "independent" court?

are there existing examples other than those run by the arms merchants in Somalia (otherwise known as AK-47 "justice")?

 
At 12/28/2011 9:35 AM, Blogger Zachriel said...

Larry G: what the heck is a non-govt, "independent" court?

He's probably thinking of binding arbitration, which is common in contract law. However, if people don't agree to binding arbitration, then that leaves the matter up in the air. There are many reasons for legitimate disputes, and that's why courts act as a final authority.

What's worse is the idea of private security forces with no recourse to a central authority, à la the Dark Ages.

 
At 12/28/2011 10:59 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

re: " binding arbitration"

us that a non-govt, non-legal concept?

who decides the rules of 'binding' arbitration ?

who decides what happens if ignore the ruling from the guy who makes the decision?

if someone agrees to binding arbitration and then does not agree with the decision - who enforces it and how?

are these things possible without govt and a govt legal system?

 

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