advancement as a measure of racism
18 Nov 1996
From: "DG email@example.com"
Really from: "Ervan Darnell"
Today's WSJ wrote 
> Blacks and Whites Differ
> On Lesson of Texaco Tape
> By JONATHAN KAUFMAN and ALEX MARKELS
> Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
> Cleavages run deep, though. Seventy-two percent
> of white men and 70% of white women rated their
> chances for advancement at work as good or
> excellent, compared with 55% of minority men
> and 48% of minority women, according to a 1993
> survey by the Families and Work Institute. The
This is another deceptive statistic and a casuality of affirmative
action. The effect of a quota is to reduce your standards to get
minority candidates. Even if one holds that it is possible to still
get qualified (in an absolute sense) minorty candidates, a quota
still has to impact the relative quality. Thus, it puts people in
positions which they cannot perform effectively. Not surprisingly,
such people do not advance as fast. The failure of quotas pops as
another bogus statistic which is then blamed on underlying racism.
Shelby Steele's "The Content of Our Character" analyzed this
phenomenon from a psychological point of view (instead of an economic
one) and concluded that it led to many blacks just giving up and not
caring about success or advancement because it seemed impossible.
Even if it doesn't have such a corrisive effect on personal will,
it's the mechanism by which quotas fail to raise salaries. They give
people a jump at first, but then their first real raise is delayed at
least enough to make up the difference (in that way it's rather like
the minimum wage rise not actually raising anyone's income).
Returning to the psychological, one of the arguments in defense of
"affirmative action" is that gives people hope even if it doesn't
actually raise their incomes. It's hard to see how setting people up
to fail gives them any hope (e.g. quota admissions at universities
have drop out rates well over 50% and non-quota admissions are well
below that ).
 "Illiberal Education" by Dinesh D'Souza.
Ervan Darnell |"Term limits are not enough.
firstname.lastname@example.org | We need jail."
http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ervan | -- P.J. O' Rourke