Is Affirmative Action The Only Viable Answer?

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Gary Childress
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Is Affirmative Action The Only Viable Answer?

Post by Gary Childress » Tue May 19, 2020 8:47 pm

I remember seeing an article a while back from a professor who submitted a poll to his class concerning their perceptions of race and gender. In the poll he asked his class to identify which race and gender caused the most problems in the world (or something to that effect), his class generally chose "white males" as being the ones most responsible. From this result, the professor raised the possibility that white males face some degree of discrimination in society.

I tried googling for the article today and couldn't find it. I can't remember the author or title. But I did find this short op-ed from Scientific American which seems to point in the opposite direction, that scientific evidence undeniably points to people of color being the victims of discrimination in real terms of wealth and power.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... imination/

Race and discrimination seem to be the elephant in the room when it comes to our political scene. However, I don't think I've seen them discussed here a great deal. Perhaps because it is such a difficult subject to talk about. But it's something on my mind lately and I'm wondering what others' thoughts are about them? Are things like affirmative action necessary to rectify the wrongs?

It seems to me like quotas really are the only thing that can make things "equal". Of course, that means authority stepping in and regulating various social processes to ensure that quotas are met. I know a lot of people wouldn't approve of that but what else can be done to mend these apparent dysfunctions and discrepancies?

Impenitent
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Re: Is Affirmative Action The Only Viable Answer?

Post by Impenitent » Tue May 19, 2020 11:07 pm

your infallible, omniscient, omnibenevolent government masters will demand you live your life as they deem best...

and he loved big brother

-Imp

Gary Childress
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Re: Is Affirmative Action The Only Viable Answer?

Post by Gary Childress » Wed May 20, 2020 12:18 am

Impenitent wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 11:07 pm
your infallible, omniscient, omnibenevolent government masters will demand you live your life as they deem best...

and he loved big brother

-Imp
I don't know. What if the only thing that would be different than now is that there would be more racial and gender economic equality? Then what?

FlashDangerpants
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Re: Is Affirmative Action The Only Viable Answer?

Post by FlashDangerpants » Wed May 20, 2020 3:44 pm

Gary Childress wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 8:47 pm
It seems to me like quotas really are the only thing that can make things "equal". Of course, that means authority stepping in and regulating various social processes to ensure that quotas are met. I know a lot of people wouldn't approve of that but what else can be done to mend these apparent dysfunctions and discrepancies?
They're not really all that helpful for the people who actually need the help though. People seem to insticntively assume for instance that all black people are poor, but most are not. So where universities set high quotas for black students, the beneficiaries are mainly kids from middle class families. If you want to help poor kids from inner cities go to college, then target the inner city, not the race. The no child left behind act in the USA was an attempt at this, it was just horribly implemented. The same principle has worked quite well in those European places that actually put resources into this sort of thing. I don't know of anywhere in Europe that operates a US style racial quota system to compare it with though.

I'm not sure what other areas these quota systems apply to beyond academic settings, but they probably don't work as intended there either. Quotas are in generic terms, a bad idea though. They have a built in tendency to result in perverse incentives.

Gary Childress
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Re: Is Affirmative Action The Only Viable Answer?

Post by Gary Childress » Wed May 20, 2020 4:48 pm

FlashDangerpants wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 3:44 pm
Gary Childress wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 8:47 pm
It seems to me like quotas really are the only thing that can make things "equal". Of course, that means authority stepping in and regulating various social processes to ensure that quotas are met. I know a lot of people wouldn't approve of that but what else can be done to mend these apparent dysfunctions and discrepancies?
They're not really all that helpful for the people who actually need the help though. People seem to insticntively assume for instance that all black people are poor, but most are not. So where universities set high quotas for black students, the beneficiaries are mainly kids from middle class families. If you want to help poor kids from inner cities go to college, then target the inner city, not the race. The no child left behind act in the USA was an attempt at this, it was just horribly implemented. The same principle has worked quite well in those European places that actually put resources into this sort of thing. I don't know of anywhere in Europe that operates a US style racial quota system to compare it with though.

I'm not sure what other areas these quota systems apply to beyond academic settings, but they probably don't work as intended there either. Quotas are in generic terms, a bad idea though. They have a built in tendency to result in perverse incentives.
Well, getting more middle-class blacks into college would, I suppose, help equalize things, though I assume college isn't the only answer. I mean, blacks still apparently lag behind whites in terms of wealth and power even though many aren't poor. I assume quotas would also need to apply to hiring practices in large businesses as well as pay scales and promotions in order to address current inequalities.

commonsense
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Re: Is Affirmative Action The Only Viable Answer?

Post by commonsense » Wed May 20, 2020 4:53 pm

I say first work on the animosity, then on the parity.

Starting with infants, before the onset of stranger anxiety, teach/show that people of ethnicities different from the child’s can be just as safe affectionate as their own people.

It may take more than a few generations, but eventually you have one melded race without need for affirmative action, but rather a straightforward meritocracy.

FlashDangerpants
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Re: Is Affirmative Action The Only Viable Answer?

Post by FlashDangerpants » Wed May 20, 2020 5:45 pm

Gary Childress wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 4:48 pm
FlashDangerpants wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 3:44 pm
Gary Childress wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 8:47 pm
It seems to me like quotas really are the only thing that can make things "equal". Of course, that means authority stepping in and regulating various social processes to ensure that quotas are met. I know a lot of people wouldn't approve of that but what else can be done to mend these apparent dysfunctions and discrepancies?
They're not really all that helpful for the people who actually need the help though. People seem to insticntively assume for instance that all black people are poor, but most are not. So where universities set high quotas for black students, the beneficiaries are mainly kids from middle class families. If you want to help poor kids from inner cities go to college, then target the inner city, not the race. The no child left behind act in the USA was an attempt at this, it was just horribly implemented. The same principle has worked quite well in those European places that actually put resources into this sort of thing. I don't know of anywhere in Europe that operates a US style racial quota system to compare it with though.

I'm not sure what other areas these quota systems apply to beyond academic settings, but they probably don't work as intended there either. Quotas are in generic terms, a bad idea though. They have a built in tendency to result in perverse incentives.
Well, getting more middle-class blacks into college would, I suppose, help equalize things, though I assume college isn't the only answer. I mean, blacks still apparently lag behind whites in terms of wealth and power even though many aren't poor. I assume quotas would also need to apply to hiring practices in large businesses as well as pay scales and promotions in order to address current inequalities.
Black kids who grow up in good neighbourhoods and attend decent schools aren't educatioanlly disadvantaged. Poor kids who grow up in shitty nieghbourhoods with run down underfunded schools are. Targetting assistance based on race alone does nothing for the people whose educational attainment is curtailed by shitty schools, so assist them by making their local schools less shitty. Do that wherever the schools are shitty and underfunded, because the kids who attend shit schools are disadvantaged irrespective of race.

On top of that, the few kids from the shitty schools who do actually get a college place as a result of all this quota nonsense have a terrifying drop out rate and very few progress to actually claim the qualification that would help them break the poverty cycle. Properly targetted programs support the kids in some way through the college system so that they have a better chance of actually getting somewhere.

Quota systems are just a way of fooling yourself that you are helping, but without doing anything that's actually costly or difficult. Doubling down on the failures of one quota by imposing some exponential set of extra quotas is no help. It's just another way to create perverse incentives.

I just remembered that there's a firm I deal with in the USA who has what seems like a super weird boast to a British customer, they are the largest "minority owned" business of their sort in the locale where we have our US office. It's deemed super important to them and they mention it A LOT. I suspect that is because local government has some sort of quota for how much of their budget must be spent with minority owned businesses. State level procurement contracts are sort of well known for lack of transparency and favouritism, so in one way I guess it levels a playing field to make sure all the various races get their beaks wet at the corrupt tit. A better solution all round might be to just deal with all the shady business practices though. Adding new options for sinister dealings doesn't work for me.

Gary Childress
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Re: Is Affirmative Action The Only Viable Answer?

Post by Gary Childress » Thu May 21, 2020 8:24 pm

FlashDangerpants wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 5:45 pm
Gary Childress wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 4:48 pm
FlashDangerpants wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 3:44 pm

They're not really all that helpful for the people who actually need the help though. People seem to insticntively assume for instance that all black people are poor, but most are not. So where universities set high quotas for black students, the beneficiaries are mainly kids from middle class families. If you want to help poor kids from inner cities go to college, then target the inner city, not the race. The no child left behind act in the USA was an attempt at this, it was just horribly implemented. The same principle has worked quite well in those European places that actually put resources into this sort of thing. I don't know of anywhere in Europe that operates a US style racial quota system to compare it with though.

I'm not sure what other areas these quota systems apply to beyond academic settings, but they probably don't work as intended there either. Quotas are in generic terms, a bad idea though. They have a built in tendency to result in perverse incentives.
Well, getting more middle-class blacks into college would, I suppose, help equalize things, though I assume college isn't the only answer. I mean, blacks still apparently lag behind whites in terms of wealth and power even though many aren't poor. I assume quotas would also need to apply to hiring practices in large businesses as well as pay scales and promotions in order to address current inequalities.
Black kids who grow up in good neighbourhoods and attend decent schools aren't educatioanlly disadvantaged. Poor kids who grow up in shitty nieghbourhoods with run down underfunded schools are. Targetting assistance based on race alone does nothing for the people whose educational attainment is curtailed by shitty schools, so assist them by making their local schools less shitty. Do that wherever the schools are shitty and underfunded, because the kids who attend shit schools are disadvantaged irrespective of race.

On top of that, the few kids from the shitty schools who do actually get a college place as a result of all this quota nonsense have a terrifying drop out rate and very few progress to actually claim the qualification that would help them break the poverty cycle. Properly targetted programs support the kids in some way through the college system so that they have a better chance of actually getting somewhere.

Quota systems are just a way of fooling yourself that you are helping, but without doing anything that's actually costly or difficult. Doubling down on the failures of one quota by imposing some exponential set of extra quotas is no help. It's just another way to create perverse incentives.

I just remembered that there's a firm I deal with in the USA who has what seems like a super weird boast to a British customer, they are the largest "minority owned" business of their sort in the locale where we have our US office. It's deemed super important to them and they mention it A LOT. I suspect that is because local government has some sort of quota for how much of their budget must be spent with minority owned businesses. State level procurement contracts are sort of well known for lack of transparency and favouritism, so in one way I guess it levels a playing field to make sure all the various races get their beaks wet at the corrupt tit. A better solution all round might be to just deal with all the shady business practices though. Adding new options for sinister dealings doesn't work for me.
Of course there are laws against discrimination which people who suspect themselves victims of discrimination can appeal to. I suppose that may be a sufficient answer instead of quotas.

FlashDangerpants
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Re: Is Affirmative Action The Only Viable Answer?

Post by FlashDangerpants » Fri May 22, 2020 3:10 pm

Gary Childress wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 8:24 pm
Of course there are laws against discrimination which people who suspect themselves victims of discrimination can appeal to. I suppose that may be a sufficient answer instead of quotas.
I don't think it's sufficient to just make everyone promise not be racists and hope that works out, I just prefer effective solutions to failed ones. We can't reach into men's souls and take the racism away from there, but we can look at the problems racism has caused and try to do something about that.

One key area to consider is the effect that quite small levels of racism can have if amplified by other unrelated phenomena. In America, the strange way you fund schools from very local taxation has resulted in poor neighbourhoods, which provide low levels of property taxes, having desperately underfunded schools. This happens both in rural, often mainly white localities and inner city ones where the kids in question are disproportionately black and latino. That disproportionality may be the result of centuries of racism, but the tragedy applies equally to all the poor kids who go to the shitty schools irrespective of whether they are black or white.

So fixing the way the schools are funded would disproportionately benefit black kids (which seems to make it a beneficial anti-racism thing) but would also benefit anybody else who grows up in a poor neighbourhood, whatever their colour.

Only when the college system is churning out black graduates with maths and science degrees at a similar rate to white ones can we start seriously holding Google and Amazon accountable for the low levels of black employment in their high paid technology teams. If a large number of black kids cannot dream of attaining that because they went to a run down school that had no computers to teach with, then that problem may never get fixed.

Skepdick
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Re: Is Affirmative Action The Only Viable Answer?

Post by Skepdick » Fri May 22, 2020 3:42 pm

Gary Childress wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 8:47 pm
It seems to me like quotas really are the only thing that can make things "equal".
The moment you begin questioning the status quo and start discussing egalitarianism/equality you hit the political shit-storm of equal opportunity vs equal outcome.

Philosophers have their fair share of the blame. Any discussions about "equal outcome" falls on the wrong side of Hume's guillotine.
You aren't supposed to "make things" any other way except the way they are!
Gary Childress wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 8:47 pm
Of course, that means authority stepping in and regulating various social processes to ensure that quotas are met. I know a lot of people wouldn't approve of that but what else can be done to mend these apparent dysfunctions and discrepancies?
Today's remediation is tomorrow's racism. Nobody has had any better ideas than "redistribution of wealth" since - ever. What would make it suck less for everybody is having sunset clauses on such things, so that we don't have to engage in the perpetual flip-flopping between "right" and "left".

Today's left is tomorrow's right.

gaffo
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Re: Is Affirmative Action The Only Viable Answer?

Post by gaffo » Mon May 25, 2020 8:44 pm

no, its not the only answer.

in answer to your question.

gaffo
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Re: Is Affirmative Action The Only Viable Answer?

Post by gaffo » Mon May 25, 2020 8:48 pm

Gary Childress wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 4:48 pm
FlashDangerpants wrote:
Wed May 20, 2020 3:44 pm
Gary Childress wrote:
Tue May 19, 2020 8:47 pm
It seems to me like quotas really are the only thing that can make things "equal". Of course, that means authority stepping in and regulating various social processes to ensure that quotas are met. I know a lot of people wouldn't approve of that but what else can be done to mend these apparent dysfunctions and discrepancies?
They're not really all that helpful for the people who actually need the help though. People seem to insticntively assume for instance that all black people are poor, but most are not. So where universities set high quotas for black students, the beneficiaries are mainly kids from middle class families. If you want to help poor kids from inner cities go to college, then target the inner city, not the race. The no child left behind act in the USA was an attempt at this, it was just horribly implemented. The same principle has worked quite well in those European places that actually put resources into this sort of thing. I don't know of anywhere in Europe that operates a US style racial quota system to compare it with though.

I'm not sure what other areas these quota systems apply to beyond academic settings, but they probably don't work as intended there either. Quotas are in generic terms, a bad idea though. They have a built in tendency to result in perverse incentives.
Well, getting more middle-class blacks into college would, I suppose, help equalize things, though I assume college isn't the only answer. I mean, blacks still apparently lag behind whites in terms of wealth and power even though many aren't poor. I assume quotas would also need to apply to hiring practices in large businesses as well as pay scales and promotions in order to address current inequalities.
with the middle class 1/2 the size it was 40 yrs ago, i think worrying about the black underclass (while the 95-percent of the former middle class of all colors have fallen to the underclass since 1975), and minorites in general is playing the game of "Squirrel"!!!!!!!!!!!!

clearly there are bigger systemic problems in America.

clue - Trickdown is a failure.

Impenitent
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Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Is Affirmative Action The Only Viable Answer?

Post by Impenitent » Mon May 25, 2020 10:26 pm

gaffo wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 8:48 pm
...
clearly there are bigger systemic problems in America.

clue - Trickdown is a failure.
that's why JFK was shot and the democrats became the party of stalin

-Imp

gaffo
Posts: 2959
Joined: Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:15 am

Re: Is Affirmative Action The Only Viable Answer?

Post by gaffo » Sat May 30, 2020 10:57 pm

Impenitent wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 10:26 pm
gaffo wrote:
Mon May 25, 2020 8:48 pm
...
clearly there are bigger systemic problems in America.

clue - Trickdown is a failure.
that's why JFK was shot and the democrats became the party of stalin

-Imp
JFK was shot by the mafia due to the bay if pigs attempt, (they did not like his failure of it), and his brother's war on the mafia.

Democrats are corporatists as much as Reichbuglicans are - the former only speak words about the working man - blah blah.

but are fully owned by the ologarchs - like the reichbugs are.

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