Tag Archives: Affirmative Action

Thomas Sowell: does affirmative action help minorities to get ahead?

Economist Thomas Sowell
Economist Thomas Sowell – the best economist in the world

My favorite economist, Thomas Sowell has an article in Investors Business Daily that explains what affirmative action really does to minorities.

Excerpt:

Affirmative action is supposed to benefit black and other minority students admitted with lower academic qualifications than some white students who are rejected.

[…]Despite much media spin, the issue is not whether blacks in general should be admitted to higher-ranked or lower-ranked institutions.

The issue is whether a given black student, with given academic qualifications, should be admitted to a college or university where he would not be admitted if he were white.

Much research over the years has confirmed… that admitting black students to institutions for which their academic preparation is not sufficient can be making them worse off instead of better off.

I became painfully aware of this problem more than 40 years ago when I was teaching at Cornell University and discovered that half the black students there were on some form of academic probation.

These students were not stupid or uneducable. On the contrary, the average black student at Cornell at that time scored at the 75th percentile on scholastic tests. Their academic qualifications were better than those of three-quarters of all American students who took those tests.

Why were they in trouble at Cornell, then? Because the average Cornell student in the liberal arts college at that time scored at the 99th percentile. The classes taught there — including mine — moved at a speed geared to the verbal and mathematical level of the top one percent of American students.

The average white student would have been wiped out at Cornell. But the average white student was unlikely to be admitted to Cornell in the first place. Nor was a white student who scored at the 75th percentile.

That was a “favor” reserved for black students. This “favor” turned black students who would have been successful at most American colleges and universities into failures at Cornell.

None of this was peculiar to Cornell. Black students who scored at the 90th percentile in math had serious problems trying to keep up at MIT, where other students scored somewhere within the top 99th percentile.

Nearly one-fourth of these black students with stellar qualifications in math failed to graduate from MIT, and those who did graduate were concentrated in the bottom tenth of the class.

There were other fine engineering schools around the country where those same students could have learned more, when taught at a normal pace, than at a breakneck speed geared to students with extremely rare abilities in math.

[…]Mismatching students with educational institutions is a formula for needless failures.

The book “Mismatch” by Sander and Taylor is a first-rate study of the hard facts. It shows, for example, that the academic performances of black and Hispanic students rose substantially after affirmative action admissions policies were banned in the University of California system.

Instead of failing at Berkeley or UCLA, these minority students were now graduating from other UC campuses. They were graduating at a higher rate, with higher grades, and now more often in challenging fields like math, science and technology.

[…]Does the actual fate of minority students not matter to the left as much as their symbolic presence on a campus?

Now, you might ask yourself on what basis Sowell makes all these assertions, so here are a few of his academic publications about affirmative action, which are state-of-the-art:

Now, I was recently talking to a friend who has empirically false views on a number of topics. He is opposed to capital punishment, opposed to gun ownership, supports affirmative action, and so on. When I ask him why he believes these things, he doesn’t point to any evidence. I offered to give him studies showing that capital punishment has a deterrent effect on crime, that concealed carry laws reduce violent crime rates, that affirmative action laws harm minorities, etc.

If we really want to help minorities, we have to do what makes sense according the evidence. We have to aim to do good, not just feel good.

Hillary Clinton’s State Department ignored 600+ requests for more security in Benghazi

Hillary Clinton look bored about the deaths of 4 Americans who asked for her help
Hillary Clinton bored by the deaths of 4 Americans who repeatedly asked for help

Moderate Republican Hugh Hewitt played the “smoking gun” clips on his radio show on Thursday night. The best questions came from Congressman Mike Pompeo and Congressman Jim Jordan.

CNS News has the full transcript of the Pompeo questions.

Mike Pompeo transcript:

POMPEO: “Do you know how many security requests there were in the 1st quarter of 2012?”

CLINTON: “For everyone or for Benghazi?”

POMPEO: “I’m sorry, yes ma’am. Related to Benghazi and Libya. Do you know how many there were?”

CLINTON: “No.”

POMPEO: “Ma’am, there were just over 100 plus. In the 2nd quarter, do you know how many there were?”

CLINTON: “No, I do not.”

POMPEO: “Ma’am there were 172ish – might have been 171 or 173. … How many were there in July and August and then in that week and few days before the attacks? Do you know?”

CLINTON: “There were a number of them. I know that.”

POMPEO: “Yes, ma’am – 83 by our count. That’s over 600 requests. You’ve testified this morning that you’ve had none of those reach your desk. Is that correct also?”

CLINTON: “That’s correct.”

POMPEO: “Madam Secretary, Mr. Blumenthal wrote you 150 emails. It appears from the materials that we’ve read that all of those reached your desk.

“Can you tell us why security requests from your professionals, the men that you just testified … are incredibly professional, incredibly capable people, trained in the art of keeping us all safe, none of those made it to you, but a man who was a friend of yours, who’d never been to Libya, didn’t know much about it – at least that’s his testimony – didn’t know much about it, every one of those reports that he sent on to you that had to do with situations on the ground in Libya, those made it to your desk?

“You asked for more of them. You read them. You corresponded with him, and yet the folks that worked for you didn’t have the same courtesy.”

Full recording (10 minutes):

Here are the details of Jim Jordan’s questioning from the Washington Free Beacon:

On the night of the attack, Jordan said, Clinton had a phone call with the president of Libya where she told him Ansar al-Sharia was claiming responsibility.

The next day, Jordan said, Clinton told the Egyptian prime minister something “significant,” where she acknowledged they knew the attack in Libya had nothing to do with any video.

“We know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film,” Jordan read out from Clinton’s email. “It was a planned attack. Not a protest. Let me read that one more time. We know, not we think, not it might be, we know the attack in Libya had nothing to do with a film. It was a planned attack. Not a protest. State Department experts knew the truth. You knew the truth, but that’s not what the American people got. Again, the American people want to know why. Why didn’t you tell the American people exactly what you told the Egyptian prime minister?”

[…]Jordan showed with other emails that her top staffers were already discussing the political ramifications of the attack and how to respond. He said Clinton picked the option of a “video narrative” “with no evidence” because she wanted the Libya situation to be a key success story for the Obama administration.

“You did it because Libya was supposed to be this great success story for the Obama White House and the Clinton State Department, and a key campaign theme that year was GM’s alive, bin Laden’s dead, al-Qaeda’s on the run,” Jordan said. “Now you have a terrorist attack, and it’s a terrorist attack in Libya and it’s just 56 days before an election. You can live with the protest about a video. That won’t hurt you, but a terrorist attack will. So you can’t be square with the American people.”

Full recording (10 minutes):

Now, you will hear a lot in the mainstream media that Hillary Clinton took no damage and did a great job in the hearings. But that is a lie. And I’m going to cite Chuck Todd to explain what really happened in the hearings:

NBC’s Chuck Todd said former secretary of state Hillary Clinton “has no good answers” to offer Thursday on the Libya policy she was part of in the Obama administration when she testifies before the Benghazi Select Committee.

[…]“There’s two tough things that she has to deal with,” Todd said. “One is for 15 years, the State Department was told it had to improve embassy security. 15 years. This is four secretaries of state, and she along with three other secretaries of state didn’t do that. And second, it’s about Libya and the decision to go into Libya. That’s where she has no good answers.”

So two points. First, the State Department refused to respond to 600+ requests for additional security leading up to the attack. And even more important, Hillary Clinton told multiple people that the attack was a terrorist attack, days before she came out and said that the attack was a spontaneous demonstration caused by “an Internet video”. She told this to the family of the victims, when she knew that the truth was different. Why is this woman leading the Democrat primary? Do Democrat voters not pay attention to national security and foreign policy?

UPDATE: Stephen Hayes has a Weekly Standard podcast episode to comment on the hearings.

Related posts

Five liberal Democrat policies that hurt minorities

Marriage and Poverty
Marriage and Poverty

The five policies are:

  • higher minimum wage rates
  • opposition to school voucher programs
  • releasing criminals from jail
  • affirmative action
  • single mother welfare

This article is by Jason L. Riley, and it appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

Excerpt:

At the urging of labor unions, President Obama has pushed for higher minimum wages that price a disproportionate percentage of blacks out of the labor force. At the urging of teachers unions, he has fought voucher programs that give ghetto children access to better schools.

Both policies have a lengthy track record of keeping millions of blacks ill-educated and unemployed. Since the 1970s, when the federal government began tracking the racial achievement gap, black test scores in math, reading and science have on average trailed far behind those of their white classmates. And minimum-wage mandates have been so effective for so long at keeping blacks out of work that 1930, the last year in which there was no federal minimum-wage law, was also the last year that the black unemployment rate was lower than the white rate. For the past half-century, black joblessness on average has been double that of whites.

Last week the Justice Department said it would release some 6,000 inmates from federal prison starting later this month. The goal, according to the White House, is to ease overcrowding and roll back tough sentencing rules implemented in the 1980s and ’90s.

But why are the administration’s sympathies with the lawbreakers instead of their usual victims—the mostly law-abiding residents in low-income communities where many of these inmates eventually are headed? In dozens of large U.S. cities, violent crime, including murder, has climbed over the past year, and it is hard to see how these changes are in the interest of public safety.

The administration assures skeptics that only “nonviolent” drug offenders will be released, but who pays the price if we guess wrong, as officials have so often done in the past?

When Los Angeles asked the Rand Corp. in the 1990s to identify inmates suitable for early release, the researchers concluded that “almost no one housed in the Los Angeles jails could be considered non-serious or simply troublesome to their local communities” and that “jail capacity should be expanded so as to allow lengthier incarceration of the more dangerous.”

A 2002 federal report tracked the recidivism rate of some 91,000 supposedly nonviolent offenders in 15 states over a three-year period. More than 21% wound up rearrested for violent crimes, including more than 700 murders and more than 600 rapes. The report also noted the difficulty of identifying low-risk inmates. Auto thieves were rearrested for committing more than a third of the homicides and a disproportionate share of other violent offenses.

Keep in mind that when criminals are release, they don’t go move into wealthy progressive neighborhoods. It’s not the wealthy leftists elites who have to deal with the released inmates. It’s the poor, low-income minority neighborhoods that have to deal with them.

By the way, I covered the minimum wage argument here, and I covered the school choice argument here.

That covers the first 3 policies. This article from The College Fix covers the fourth policy, affirmative action.

It says:

A UCLA law professor critiques affirmative action as detrimental to the very people it strives to aid: minority students.

Professor Richard Sander, though liberal-leaning, has deemed affirmative action practices as harmful, a notion that contradicts a liberal view in college admissions, said Stuart Taylor, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

[…]Sander began teaching law at UCLA in 1989. After a few years he garnered an interest in academic support and asked permission to analyze which strategies most effectively assist struggling students.

After reviewing statistics on performance, especially those of students with lower academic merit, he noticed correlations between race and academic success.

“I was struck by both the degree to which it correlated with having weak academic entering credentials and its correlation with race,” Sander said in a recent interview with The College Fix. “And as I looked into our admissions process I realized that we were giving really a large admissions preference.”

Sander noticed that students admitted into the law school with lower academic credentials than their peers had significantly lower percentages of passing the Multistate Bar Examination, Sander said. This especially pertained to minority students who were given special consideration in the admittance process due to their race rather than their academic preparedness.

He then began thinking about whether or not these students would have better chances of succeeding if they went to a less elite university, he said.

He called this discrepancy a mismatch; when minority students with lower credentials than their peers are accepted into more challenging universities and then suffer academically as a result.

And the fifth policy is welfare. Welfare encourages women to not marry the men that they have sex with, since they will lose their single mother benefits if they do. Children who are raised fatherless are more likely to struggle in a number of areas, and they are especially likely to be poor. What we should be doing (if we really want to help the poor) is paying people to get married and stay married. But Democrats are opposed to that. The connection between welfare, fatherlessness, poverty and crime is explained in a previous post.

Director of OPM was focused on promoting gay agenda, not national security

Katherine Archuleta, Director of OPM Diversity
Katherine Archuleta, Director of OPM Diversity

Are Democrats capable of taking national security and foreign policy seriously?

Well, consider the recent hack of Office of Personnel Management records by Chinese hackers.

The radically leftist New York Times reports on the extent of the hack:

The Obama administration on Thursday revealed that 21.5 million people were swept up in a colossal breach of government computer systems that was far more damaging than initially thought, resulting in the theft of a vast trove of personal information, including Social Security numbers and some fingerprints.

Every person given a government background check for the last 15 years was probably affected…

The agency said hackers stole “sensitive information,” including addresses, health and financial history, and other private details, from 19.7 million people who had been subjected to a government background check, as well as 1.8 million others, including their spouses and friends.

[…]The breaches constitute what is apparently the largest cyberattack into the systems of the United States government, providing a frightening glimpse of the technological vulnerabilities of federal agencies that handle sensitive information.

Has any Democrat being fired for this catastrophic failure?

No:

In a conference call to detail the grim findings and announce the agency’s response, Katherine Archuleta, the director of the Office of Personnel Management, said that she would not resign despite calls from members of Congress in both parties for her dismissal.

“I am committed to the work that I am doing at O.P.M.,” she said. “We are working very hard, not only at O.P.M. but across government, to ensure the cybersecurity of all our systems, and I will continue to do so.”

Let’s read about Katherine Archuleta to see why Obama chose her to run OPM:

This morning, Katherine Archuleta was sworn-in as the 10th Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and will serve as the Federal government’s personnel chief. She will be the first Latina to hold this position. Katherine shares President Obama’s vision for diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce…

[…]OPM has recognized and acknowledged the underrepresentation of Hispanics in the federal work force, and the potential and talent they have to offer.  OPM has made it a point to expand outreach and recruitment within the Hispanic community…

[…]Katherine also worked as the National Political Director for President Obama’s reelection campaign…

[…]Katherine served as the Executive Director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation…

So, her main qualification for the job of safeguarding government personnel records from hackers seems to be that she helped Obama get re-elected by reaching out to Hispanic voters.

And in fact this new story in The Weekly Standard shows that diversity was her focus at the OPM.

Excerpt:

The day before the Office of Personnel Management first announced a massive data breach of personal information, now former OPM director Katherine Archuleta’s attention was focused elsewhere. Archuleta published a blog post on June 3 entitled “Celebrating Every Member of Our Federal Family” in recognition of “LGBT Pride Month.” The White House reposted Archuleta’s article the same day.

In her post, Archuleta announced the release of an updated guide called “Addressing Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Federal Civilian Employment: A Guide to Employment Rights, Protections, and Responsibilities.”

As we celebrate LGBT Pride Month, I want to proudly reinforce my continued commitment to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender members of our federal family, and recognize the incredible contributions this community has made in service to the American people…

That’s why I’m so excited to announce that the Office of Personnel Management is joining our partners at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Merit System Protections Board, and the Office of Special Counsel to release an updated guide titled “Addressing Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Federal Civilian Employment: A Guide to Employment Rights, Protections, and Responsibilities.” This informative resource will help LGBT federal employees make more informed choices about how best to pursue their individual claims when they believe they have suffered from discrimination.

On the OPM website, the agency has seven “top priorities” listed. The first two are “Honoring the Workforce” and “Build a More Diverse and Engaged Workforce”.

Obama didn’t hire this woman because she had any qualifications related to the job. He hired her because she was a radical leftist who helped him get re-elected. And when she was appointed, she focused on what she was good at – pushing a leftist ideological agenda instead of doing her job. And we taxpayers had to pay her to do that.

And finally, as if all that were not bad enough, during the 2012 election campaign, she mocked Mitt Romney for his concerns about national security on Twitter.

We have had FOUR catastrophic security breaches under this government: Snowden, Bradley Manning, Hillary’s unsecure e-mail server, and this China hack. Is that by accident? Or is there something about being feelings-obsessed that makes it harder to take threats from our enemies seriously?

Do Democrats act consistently with their own stated beliefs?

Do leftists always act as nicely as they tell us to act?

That’s one case, but are leftists always hypocrites?

Do As I Say Not As I Do

I recently listened to the audio book version of Peter Schweizer’s 2004 book “Do As I Say Not As I Do“. In that book, he profiles a number of leftist public figures, and he discovers that leftists don’t practice what they preach, because even they know that leftist ideas don’t actually work. I really recommend the book, so let’s take a closer look at it and you’ll see why you should read it, too.

Here’s a 32 minute 2011 lecture about the book:

And here’s an interview with the author from FrontPage magazine.

Excerpt:

FrontPage: Give us some of the best examples of the gulf between some liberals’ social criticisms and the ingredients of their private lives. Give us some insights, for instance, into the likes of Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, Cornel West, Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy and Barbra Streisand.

Schweizer: Looking for liberal hypocrisy is, as they say in the military, a target-rich environment. Noam Chomsky, for example, has attacked wealthy Americans who set up trusts to avoid paying inheritance taxes. But this self-professed “radical socialist” has a tax attorney and did the very same thing. (When I asked him about this hypocrisy he said it was okay because he and has family have been working on behalf of suffering people all these years.)

Michael Moore’s hypocrisy is pathological. He has said numerous times that he doesn’t own a single share of stock and that capitalism is not acceptable “on any level.” And yet, I found that, according to tax returns filed with the IRS, he has owned shares in Halliburton, numerous oil companies, defense contractors and other multinationals through a tax shelter. When it comes he race he’s also wildly hypocritical. He says that Americans who happen to live in largely white neighbhorhoods do so because they are “racists.” But he lives in Central Lake, Michigan, which according to the U.S. Census has more than 2,500 residents and not a single black person in the entire town.

Cornel West has numerous times condemned middle class blacks that abandon the “chocolate cities” for the “vanilla suburbs” but guess what, his flavour of choice is vanilla, too.

Ted Kennedy likes to pose as the Robin Hood of the Senate, forcing wealthy Americans to pay their taxes to help the poor. But I discovered that Kennedys record of actually paying taxes is horrible. Tax the inheritance tax. He says that Americans should pay 49% to the IRS when they die in the name of “social justice.” But according to public records, the Kennedys have almost completely avoided contributing to “social justice” by placing their assets in trusts that are located overseas. The Kennedys, over the past thirty years, have paid less than 1% in inheritance taxes on more than $300 million. Ted Kennedy, like Hillary Clinton and George Soros, loves higher taxes. On other people.

And:

FrontPage: Why do you think people are drawn to leftist ideals and what kind of people are they? Self-contempt appears to be a common ingredient, no?

Schweizer: Yes, self-contempt is a big part of it. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the great German pastor who stood up to Hitler, wrote a book about “cheap grace.” Liberals are guilty of cheap grace in the political sense. They feel guilty and their form of penance is embracing the destructive ideas of the progressive faith. But it’s cheap grace because as I show it the book, they don’t actually change the way they live. I think that the religious comparison makes sense because in many respects the modern day left represents a religious movement. They are motivated by a sense of sin, guilt, and the need for salvation and absolution in the political sense. Socialism offers salvation to them. Of course, they don’t actually plan to live like socialists.

I would really recommend taking a look at this book. It’s similar to Paul Johnson’s “Intellectuals” if you’ve ever read that, but it’s better.