AEIdeas

The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

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Discussion: (8 comments)

  1. SeattleSam

    I seem to recall one of those behavior experiments from my college psychology classes. They gave quiz questions to hundreds of college students. Each student was told immediately whether they got the question right or wrong. One group, though, was told that they had more correct answers than they really did. Then in a subsequent flight where the scores were reported accurately, the “inflated” group actually did worse than those who had been given accurate feedback all along.

  2. SeattleSam

    I don’t think most of those who push affirmative action actually care about the results. They are most interested in making public displays of atonement. It’s the same reason the Prius so outsells other hybrids. Other hybrids save just as much gasoline, but your friends and neighbors won’t as readily recognize that you’re driving one.

  3. Yeah, there are plenty of reasons to abolish AA. Academic mismatch is one of them.

    But I would hope the conservative case against AA is based on facts and principles, not emotions.

    What I mean is that AA should be abolished because from a conservative(and frankly constitutional) perspective, it’s illegal. Morally and politically: it is a racist policy.

    Instead, so many conservatives get wrapped up in bizarre “I have to save minorities from themselves” rants which clearly miss the fact that minorities(by which I mean non-Asian minorities, or NAMs) actually like AA a lot, and they like it for rational reasons. It is in their own self-interest.

    Now, it isn’t in the *nation’s interest* to not have the most meritocratic system in place as we can have(and that includes abolishing the whole legacy pork barrel trading that rich donors engage in, with the good memory of the Ivies, to get a spot for their children) .

    But what may be bad for the nation may be good for individuals or individual groups.

    And, it is my contention, that any policy should be judged on its merits not how it benefits one particular group or the other(or meaningless “save the NAMs from themselves” kind of psychology, so often associated with liberals which some conservatives seem to mimic), but rather how does this policy benefit the nation as a whole, and furthermore, is it principled and constitutional?

    Something which is not raceblind, but actively discriminates on race is by definition an anti-American policy to its core, no matter how much the left tries to dress it up.

    Trying to blame slavery 150+ years later gets you nowhere.

    1. You keep hammering at this “racist” (and I’ll add “sexist”) point. It is.

      But, like all institutionalized racism, it hurts the people it’s trying to help. There’s no “saving minorities from themselves” rant anywhere in sight. It’s all in your head.

      We point out that the policies that hurt minorities and women because it’s true. You don’t seem to understand that point despite pretending to agree with the harm of mismatch.

      AA hurts everyone – including the groups it’s targeting for “help”.

      And wtf is “the nation as a whole”, anyway but an aggregate of all individuals in it? If AA helps nobody, then it can’t possibly help “the nation as a whole”.

  4. Thomas Sullivan

    Liberalism is the political philosophy of substituting fatal conceits for common sense.

  5. John Dewey

    I appreciated that the authors exposed the failure of Affirmative Action to achieve the goals expressed by those who support AA. Sadly, though, in the end Taylor and Sander still argued for “better” Affirmative Action:

    “We badly need a simpler, more coherent and more workable set of rules about affirmative action.”

    One of their proposed improvements:

    “Racial preferences should not be permitted to exceed the size of a school’s socioeconomic preferences”

    In response to their proposal, I ask: Why are preferences of any sort desirable?

  6. MacDaddyWatch

    This data screams to me that everyone should avoid a bIack doctor, lawyer or other professional at all cost.

    Why invite the failure of race-based affirmative action into your life and put you and your family at risk? There are consequence, you can’t rig success, so just say no.

  7. In 2006, 89% of white students at Michigan graduated within 6 years, while only 68% of black students graduated in that time frame, which is a huge 21% graduation rate race gap (source).

    The graduation rate race gap is the same at Michigan or Michigan State and the graduation rate is lower at Michigan State.

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