Politics is assuming command of the American economy in the form of pervasive “equalopportunity” enforcement. In today’s society, everyone is supposed to be equal and have equalrights, but in employment, there is more discrimination than ever. American citizens need to doaway with affirmative action so that America’s job opportunities can once again be based onmerit, not skin color or ethnicity. Laws have been passed, quotas have been established, andseemingly, everything has been done to prevent discrimination, but rather than endingdiscrimination, these new laws and quotas have begun to discriminate against a new group ofpeoplethe qualified white male.
America is known as the land of opportunity. The generaltheory is that if you work hard enough and you are the most qualified person to receive a job,you get it, but that is no longer the case. Now, in order to be employed, qualifications do notalways matter as much as the color of a person’s skin or his ethnicity.In dealing with this subject, the first question that is always asked is, “What is wrong withquotas? What is wrong with companies hiring a variety of blacks, Hispanics, women, and whitemales?” The problem is not with hiring a variety of people from different ethnic groups. Theproblem begins when the person who is best qualified for a job, loses the position to someoneless qualified. More and more, white males are having problems finding jobs because they arenot black or Hispanic or do not have breasts. Affirmative action, which is action in the formof quotas and special treatment for “protected classes”, has resulted in a politicized hiringprocess in which white males are openly discriminated against. A 1984 poll found that one inevery ten white males lost a promotion because of quotas.
They have become invisible victimsbecause the idea of merit hiring has been subverted by politicized hiring, and that has leftthe white males no way to defend themselves against this open discrimination. Some have triedto defend themselves, but litigation proved expensive, exhausting, chancy, and immensely timeconsuming. One case remains unsettled after more than six years in litigation. (Brimelow,Many voices say that quotas are used to right the past wrongs when so many minority groups werediscriminated against, but even immigrants, if they belong to one of the protected classes areeligible for quota preferences.
Leslie Spencer and Peter Brimelow, sociological researchers whohave thoroughly researched the quota system, said that since immigrants can also receive quotapreferences, it is “a pretty clear indication that quotas are not about righting past wrong,but about political power”. (n. pag.) Just as socialism has collapsed around the globe, theleading capitalist power has adapted a peculiarly American form of Neosocialism puttingpolitics (and lawyers) in command of its workplace albeit on the pretext of equality ratherthan efficiency. This problem is only becoming worse because America has the most far reachingequal employment laws found anywhere in the world.
(“Counting Costs”)Many companies are afraid of these laws, and the fear of political punishment makes quotas veryhard to research. A Kmart executive told a researcher, “We’re not letting you anywhere near ourprogram.” (Brimelow 77) Companies go beyond what is required just to avoid legal trouble. Themanager of corporate employment status at Xerox, a company that uses quotas, states, “We have aprocess that we call ‘balanced work force’.
In Xerox, everyone understands that, and it ismeasurable by its goals and relative numbers. That is the hard business, that is what people donot like to deal with, but we do it all the time.” (Brimelow and Spencer n. pag.
) Sears,Roebuck and Co. spent fifteen years and twenty million dollars to defeat an EECO discriminationsuit. Sears prevailed mainly because they were able to show proof of a voluntary quota program.Many companies cling to programs such as these as a future defense in court even if it meansputting up with some unqualified or incompetent workers. (Brimelow 77)Not only is affirmative action hurting white males, it is also causing problems among theprotected classes that it is supposed to be helping. Many of these people feel that it is aninsult that the government thinks they need special help to compete in the job market. Yetothers would be extremely offended if this help was taken away from them.
Black Police ChiefClarence Harmon was once in favor of affirmative action until he realized the affect that ithas on his race. He has said that when he was going through school, he enjoyed competing andkeeping up with his white counterparts, but he now realizes that many times in the policeacademy black students use affirmative action as a crutch. Black students have been found toscore lower on tests than white students. Harmon believes that this is because they do notthink that they have to work as hard which produces less qualified black officers. (GlastrisKarl Marx insisted that for any sort of class consciousness to arise, there must becom-munication of a common sense of oppression, but no one can feel this sense of oppression.
With the mass media rarely recognizing quotas, much less portraying white malessympathetically, Peter Lynch, a sociological researcher, states “White males have been easilyand silently victimized one by one.” (qtd. in Brimelow) With neither conservatives nor liberalsmaking affirmative action a “big deal,” a classic spiral of silence has occurred whereby peopleassume that their doubts are not shared and suppress them, thus mutually intimidating eachother.
People are left feeling that nobody will help them. Another problem with this is themale psychology that “real men don’t cry”. Many men would rather put up with the hurt than toeven tell their friends and relatives. (Brimelow 76)Most people realize that quotas do hurt people, but what most people do not realize is thatquotas are illegal. The 1964 and 1991 Civil Rights Acts explicitly banned government imposedquotas, but nevertheless, they immediately spread though the economy. Even though quotas arebecoming more and more popular, there is incredible denial. Some say that affirmative action,while a regulatory burden, is not massive in scale. Supporters of affirmative action insistthat the 1991 Civil Rights Act did not impose quotas, although its key point was to override aSupreme Court decision and make work force racial imbalance prima facie evidence of employerdiscrimination.
(Spencer and Brimelow n. pag.)California Democratic Representative Don Edwards, who is a mouthpiece of the civil rightsestablishment, claimed on the New York Times opinion page that quotas did not exist. This wassaid within three weeks of Supreme Court rulings about them. As much as people deny quotas anddeny widespread affirmative action, the facts remain that it is still there and still harmful.Another way that quotas and affirmative action are very harmful is that they are veryexpensive. In 1991, the direct and indirect cost of quotas, of imposing them and complying withthem, amounted to between 112 and 115 billion dollars. The “opportunity cost”, which is whatthe economy might have achieved without the misallocative affect of quotas, amounted to atleast 4% of the 1991 Gross National Product, an amount equal to the amount spent on publicschools.
(Spencer and Brimelow n. pag.) The revelation of these figures is needed to show thedangers of a politically motivated employment policy.
Affirmative action hurts everyonewhite males, their wives, their families, the protectedclasses, and every other American citizen by hurting the economy. Affirmative action needs tobe done away with, so we can return America to the great country that she once was. People oncecame to America to be free to work hard to become qualified for a job. Will people now comebecause their skin color will help them receive a job? Martin Luther King said that he wouldlike to see the day when his children are not judged because of their color, but because of thecontent of their character.
(Brimelow 76) Every time affirmative action is put into use, ourcountry is taking another step away from that worthy goal.Brimelow, Peter. “Spiral of Silence.” Forbes 25 May 1992: 76-77.
Brimelow, Peter and Spencer, Leslie. “When Quotas Replace Merit, Everybody Suffers.” Forbes. 15″Counting Costs.” Editorial. National Review 15 February 1993: 18.Glastris, Paul.
“Black and Blue.” U.S. News and World Report. 13 February 1995: 43-46.Bibliography: