Resuscitating Affirmative Action

The renewed debate in California about affirmative action is exposing the flaws in a contentious policy that attempts to justify a racial spoils system with the shibboleth “equality of opportunity”.  The idea that somehow we can obliterate the social, economic, motivational, and intellectual differences between people by becoming fixated on race and waving the magic wand of public policy is to indulge a mindless statist fantasy. Affirmative action starts with the ludicrous assumption that people distribute themselves in the socioeconomic hierarchy according to their distribution in the population. Consequently, if a group is underrepresented in certain valued positions, it is solely because of discrimination.  And discrimination needs to be compensated for by policies of preferential treatment. At the time of its inception in the late 1960s, affirmative action could find justification in decades of de jure and de facto discrimination.  It was...(Read Full Article)