The harms done by affirmative action

According to HoytThis is a phrase increasingly deployed by people (usually women – rolls eyes) with an academic background and its meaning is … liberal squid ink. If you’re telling them that Welfare was a disaster for black families (it was) and that affirmative action not only has been a disaster for many organizations, but corrodes the soul (you never know why you were hired. I have friends in that position) and institutes birth-privilege based on who your ancestors were (aka nobility) they will say “check your privilege.” This really doesn’t mean a heck of a lot. It can’t, because they have no idea who you are, or indeed if you have ever received any privilege growing up. [emphasis added]

This applies not just to affirmative action, but racialism in general. It's not just never knowing why you were hired, it's never knowing whether any praise or criticism you receive is based on an honest assessment, or on the desire to make some sort of statement based on the color of your skin or the configuration of your genitalia. The combination of (potentially) unearned success and the constant reminders that some people (might) secretly hate you and want you to fail based on nothing you personally ever did add up to a destructive lack of feedback with regard to personal behaviors and habits. Good habits don't get rewarded, or sometimes even get punished. Bad habits definitely don't get punished, and when bad things happen racism is a much easier thing to blame than yourself.

When the market's ability to deliver feedback to someone is removed, they lose the ability to respond to the market -- and responding to the market is how people succeed economically.

Is it any wonder people who have reduced market feedback continue destructive behaviors?

If you want people to succeed, make sure you align the incentives to reward success.

This entry was published Wed Feb 11 09:01:31 CST 2015 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2015-02-11 09:01:31.0. [Tweet]

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