Wednesday, October 24, 2012
A Quick Thought on Affirmative Action 2 (And, Yes, My Good Friends, Dmarks and John Myste, Are More than Welcome to Chime in Here)
Thomas Sowell wrote a powerful book in 1990 entitled, "Preferential Policies: An International Perspective". And, in it, he thoroughly examined the effects of affirmative action policies throughout a great number of countries that have attempted them. What was Mr. Sowell's overall assessment? He could not find one single instance of any group ever having gone from poverty to affluence predominantly through such political means (and even in the one instance - Malaysia - where there was a modicum of movement, that was more than offset by the violence which accrued). Yes, politics can and has played a pivotal role in other regards (voting rights, for example) but it is predominantly skills, industriousness, and savings which promulgate economic advancement. Thus spake Mr. Sowell anyway............................................................................................P.S. Here is one of the examples that Mr. Sowell pointed to in his analysis, underscoring his belief that affirmative action not only doesn't provide relief to minorities but can actually sometimes hold them back. He points to the affirmative action policy as practiced by the University of California at Berkeley (the Penn of the west coast). He followed the careers of all the affirmative action black students at Berkeley and found that a full 70% of them had eventually flunked out - not because they were stupid but because Berkeley simply wasn't a good fit for them. These same individuals, had they instead gone to Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach State, or Pacific, would have undoubtedly passed and gone on to respectable careers BUT because of a bunch of do-gooders in Washington and Sacramento trying to manipulate the situation, not quite so much.......Look, as I've stated before, I am NOT categorically opposed to affirmative action, but when I hear statistics such as this, it does in fact give me pause.