There can never be too much intellectual ammunition in the defense of individual liberty, economic freedom, voluntary pluralism and social civility against collectivistic programs like affirmative action. This contribution by Professor Steven Yates is a welcomed addition.
As Professor Yates documents throughout this very insightful and carefully analyzed work, the list of indictments against affirmative action is a long one. It has not benefitted those for whom it was intended. It compromises standards of excellence throughout the economy and the educational system. It undermines the reliance on merit as the standard for college admission, hiring and promoting employees, and awarding contracts. It contributes to the creation of a culture of mediocrity in which efforts by individual minority group members to succeed on their own merits are penalized. It reinforces the stereotype of minority group members as people unable to make it on their own. It adds fuel to racial tensions by incurring the resentment of those not in protected groups. It corrupts the language of public discourse by politicizing such terms as minority, equal opportunity, discrimination, racism, sexism, so that they mean whatever anybody wants them to mean. Its set-aside programs for business enterprises run by minorities, women and the disabled are rife with corruption and fraud. It fosters anti-intellectual scholarship that rejects standards of objectivity, dispassionate