Yes, it bridges the disparity between minority and non-minority students and workers
Yes, it is important for the social welfare and diversity of the country
No, it encourages individuals to identify themselves as "disadvantaged"
No, it provides a basis for "reverse-discrimination"
No, it is devalues the accomplishments of both those who it benefits and those it does not
It is necessary for gender, but not race
It is necessary for race, but not gender
Other, please specify
Again, I am not saying that we should keep racial quotas as a policy. However, it's stupid to refuse to see what is in front of our faces: that there are still a lot of Americans who are dealt crappy hands from the moment that they were conceived.
Some of us get a flush or a straight. Some kids get crap.
And, when a kid falls behind in kindergarten or first grade, he or she almost never catches up. Not in second grade, not in twelfth grade, not in life.
It is surprisingly easy for kids to fall through the cracks in the system, and I get tired of kids being blamed for the problems created by adults.
Last edited by Catz Part Deux; 04-19-10 at 06:20 PM.
It’s interesting how so many factors of “vulgar libertarianism” (which I mentioned in another thread), seem to fit together, as though an intricate puzzle is being assembled. Affirmative action is opposed along with other social welfare programs based on the myth of America as the land of opportunity. In that worldview, the primary and general cause of poverty is a lack of individual effort stemming from a lack of responsibility and self-reliance. It would be immoral to give people rewards they haven’t earned, and if women and racial minorities are perceived as having the same economic opportunities as the dominant folks, they are being unfairly and immorally pampered, impeding the development of actual responsibility and hard work. Writes Lakoff:
But as mentioned, this is reliant on expectations of social mobility that don’t pan out. And it would be ridiculous to insist that the free market cannot possibly generate institutional poverty bred by uncontrollable circumstances, because there is no free market to speak of; I quoted Kevin Carson to explain the fallacy of that:Strict Father morality comes with a notion of the right kind of person - a self-disciplined person, one who can set his own plans, make his own commitments, and carry them out effectively. It requires that competition between people not be impeded in any way if they are to continue to have the incentive to be self-disciplined. Any policy that gives people things they haven’t earned is seen as immoral, because it lessens the incentive to be self-disciplined. From this perspective, affirmative action looks immoral to conservatives, on the grounds that it gives preferential treatment to women and minorities. It is a relatively direct consequence of the Strict Father model.
So do not bother deriding affirmative action on the grounds that it is a violation of free market principles; the entire corporate capitalist economy is a violation of free market principles. Corporate capitalism does indeed spawn permanent conditions of destitution for lower classes entirely unrelated to their abilities or efforts. The free market is something quite different. Ironically, so-called “libertarians” and “conservatives” end up supporting massive and pervasive state intervention, and agree with the liberals who deride the free market, rather than deny that the free market had anything to do with this state of affairs.This school of libertarianism has inscribed on its banner the reactionary watchword: "Them pore ole bosses need all the help they can get." For every imaginable policy issue, the good guys and bad guys can be predicted with ease, by simply inverting the slogan of Animal Farm: "Two legs good, four legs baaaad." In every case, the good guys, the sacrificial victims of the Progressive State, are the rich and powerful. The bad guys are the consumer and the worker, acting to enrich themselves from the public treasury. As one of the most egregious examples of this tendency, consider Ayn Rand's characterization of big business as an "oppressed minority," and of the Military-Industrial Complex as a "myth or worse."
The ideal "free market" society of such people, it seems, is simply actually existing capitalism, minus the regulatory and welfare state: a hyper-thyroidal version of nineteenth century robber baron capitalism, perhaps; or better yet, a society "reformed" by the likes of Pinochet, the Dionysius to whom Milton Friedman and the Chicago Boys played Aristotle.
Vulgar libertarian apologists for capitalism use the term "free market" in an equivocal sense: they seem to have trouble remembering, from one moment to the next, whether they’re defending actually existing capitalism or free market principles. So we get the standard boilerplate article arguing that the rich can’t get rich at the expense of the poor, because "that’s not how the free market works"--implicitly assuming that this is a free market. When prodded, they’ll grudgingly admit that the present system is not a free market, and that it includes a lot of state intervention on behalf of the rich. But as soon as they think they can get away with it, they go right back to defending the wealth of existing corporations on the basis of "free market principles."