Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Is Affirmative Action Good or Bad?

Dog Gone at MPP and I are disagreeing again.  Go figure... 

Dog seems to think that our US Supreme Court is incompetent and has been played by those despicable Conservatives who are supposedly out to keep the unfortunate folks down.... 

"It seems a pretty fair statement that the angry white guy who funded this court case, one of many, wants to reverse the gains made by anyone who is not white, and affluent.  The anger at diversity, the anger in support of white supremacy, has been well documented on the right.  This is that hatred made manifest.  They want white domination, and to hinder minority competition, in every way they can." Dog Gone

Of course, I tend to have a bit more faith in our US Supreme Court.  I may not always agree with their rulings, however I am pretty sure they base their rulings on pretty complete information.  I mean they have both sides presenting their case as thoroughly as they can, and Lord knows they can get their every question answered.

MPP SCOTUS Decision Based on Lies  (I'd skim the post and read the comments...  They are more interesting)
  • What do you think?
  • Were the Justices played? 
  • Is Dog smarter and less biased than some of America's most respected citizens?
  • Is reverse discrimination / affirmative action a good / necessary thing? 
  • Should it be discontinued?  When? 
  • Should we encourage placing less qualified students in our best colleges and universities? Is it good or bad for America? Rationale?
  • How can we eliminate the achievement gap and make this a non-issue? 
  • Other?
Ironically I was just discussing a similar topic with a friend of mine who immigrated about ~8 years ago from an African country.  He worked very hard, learned the language, attended community college and then graduated with an engineering degree.  And yes his skin color is very dark, yet to me that does not matter.  What matters is that he wants the American dream, and has the determination and discipline to work for it.  Now to me that is what should be rewarded, not whether someone is black, white, Hispanic, male, female, Jewish, Christian, etc...  If we want a color blind country, then let's have one...

St Jewish Light Who Won AA Case
Dallas News Victory in Affirmative Action Case
HP Affirmative Action Case
The American Prospect AA's Ominous Future

G2A Blame vs Contributions
G2A Poor Kids Stupid or Unlucky?
G2A Why Are Poor People Poor?

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I do think the Supreme Court is incompetent, or maybe more precisely, has a tendency to venture into areas where it's competence is nonexistent. But those are among the least of it's problems. A more serious problem is that too many justices on the court have too little life experience. These guys we have in the court are just very naive, are possessed of very little understanding of how the world works.

--Hiram

John said...

How is that relevant to deciding if a law is constitutional or not?

We want them making legal decisions, not creating policy...

Laurie said...

Affirmative action is good.

Anonymous said...

We want them making legal decisions, not creating policy.

We are long past that. It's pretty clear that a number of justices have a definite policy agenda.

--Hiram

Laurie said...

I agree with Hiram that we have an activist supreme court when it suits their conservative policy agenda.

John said...

And of course the Liberal contingent is totally unbiased... Really...

John said...

Apparently you are in the minority, see the Just Right, Too Liberal or Too Conservative graph...

Gallup SCOTUS Results

Of course J would see it as too Liberal, Laurie/Hiram see it as too Conservative and I see it as just right. I guess I land in the middle again.

The poor SCOTUS has it about as bad as CNN. The far right says they are a Liberal puppet and the far left says they are a Conservative puppet. Both can't get any respect...

Laurie said...

apparently a statistical analysis finds the current supreme court the most conservative in modern history.

Supreme Court May Be Most Conservative in Modern History

(I enjoy it when a quick search turns up a good link which just happens to back up my point of view)

As the average citizen is woefully uniformed I'll go with expert analysis as to how far the court leans to the right or left.

And for another interesting read, my favorite columnist recently did a piece on the conservative nature of the court, though his arguments will probably be dismissed out of hand as he is known to be liberal.

The Supreme Court uses judicial activism for conservative ends

Lastly, back to your original topic, I think the Texas method of achieving diversity on college campuses by accepting students who graduate in the top 10% of their class is a smart and fair plan. I think U of M may have a similar admission policy though this has not been passed into law. Such a plan makes it more difficult for my boys(who are not in the top 10%) to get in, but I am OK with that, even if a minority student who is accepted has similar grades and a much lower ACT score (my older son did very well on ACT)

Anonymous said...

My problem with the court isn't that it is too liberal or too conservative; my problem, or at least one of them, is that they have a policy agenda. This is a problem inherent in the way we look at the court. We put all these resume hounds on the bench, people who have been told all their lives that they are incredibly brilliant and in insightful, and then we expect them to do what? Nothing? Leave critical decisions for other people and other branches of government to make? That's just not going to happen. These guys think they are brilliant, and inevitably, liberal or conservative, they feel a need to share their brilliance with the world by making policy. So sooner or late, they appoint themselves to the role of super legislature, just about always with disastrous results.

--Hiram

John said...

Let's not start the are we bcoming more or less Conservative / Liberal discussion. Statistics and models are created by people that have something to prove. Therefore they are likely just as or more biased than the Justices.

And the reality is that the Justices are human and just doing the best they can. I am pretty sure we don't want to replace them with a computer or robot. Besides the robot would have been programmed by a human and therefore inherently biased.

Here is a simple test, does the SCOTUS rule in such a way that the far left and far right are both unhappy with their rulings at times? If so, they are likely somewhere in the middle. And lately that sure seems to be the case.

The 10% rule does make some sense, though however do we really want the best institutions making up for our failures in K-12. Seems kind of wasteful.

I think that is why we have all of the second tier schools where the kids can attend for their general classes to prove their capabilities. Then after 2 years they can reapply to the top tier schools.

Laurie said...

John,

You were the one who attempted to bring evidence into the topic that the court is not conservative. Funny how you once again dismiss my better evidence that they are. I think the problem is not their ideology, however, but rather their activism.

But that too is really a side topic. Mostly I have a hard time following detailed legal arguments and form my opinions based on big rulings such as the Supreme Court's recent nullification of a key provision of the Voting Rights Act.

If anyone wants to continue to discuss this side topic the Dionne column raises some interesting points.

About affirmative action in college admissions, you really haven't commented on rather you see value in diversity on campus. Do we want our future leaders in our most selective colleges to attend classes almost exclusively with white middle to upper class peers?

Anonymous said...


And the reality is that the Justices are human and just doing the best they can.


Maybe they should do substantially less than their best, leaving that to the other branches of government.

--Hiram

John said...

I guess I don't agree that your evidence is "better", though I agree it is different. I guess I don't dismiss it totally, I am just pointing out that it may also be questionable.

I value all forms of diversity, not just race, sex, religion, etc, but also in personality, methods, beliefs, etc. However I don't think lowering the standards of such institutions is the way to attain the goal.

Do you really want to have someone remodel your house just because they are a minority. Even if they are only 80% as capable as the alternate??? Will this in some way make things better???

I think I would rather have them improve their skills before letting them join the big time... Not actively holding back the best carpenters in the name of "fairness".

I think if we want to fix things, we need to do it in the Birth to Grade 12 space.

Laurie said...

Here is a new topic for you, John, if you are interested; Should or will Reid pursue Filibuster reform in the senate.

Mitch McConnell’s problem: How can he threaten to obstruct the Senate even more?

I am finding what I is most interesting to me in reading your blog are attempts to deny or defend conservatism and the GOP in every instance. In this case I expect denial that the current GOP has been the most obstructionist senate in modern history (or ever.)

If you don't like that topic you could try your hand at defending conservative media with some weak claim that mainstream liberal media is no different (without any comparable examples of course).

How the Conservative Media Are Eating Up the Zimmerman Trial

John said...

I think you would only feel folks were in the middle if they capitulated and did what you believe is correct. It seems anyone that disagrees with you is "Conservative".

John said...

Now do you really truly think a "moderate" court would or should always rule with your Liberal beliefs???

Or maybe Jerry would see them as fair and balanced if they always tipped Conservative???

John said...

FYI, I wil post about your idea soon. I have to discuss "value" first.

Laurie said...

"It seems anyone that disagrees with you is "Conservative".

I can see how you reached that conclusion as I have labeled both you and Jerry as conservative.

I like to give you a hard time because you so frequently discount information that doesn't conform to your view of yourself or the world. At least I know that I am liberal.

about the supreme ct- I agree with the ideal that conservatives frequently espouse, that justices should limit their activity to interpreting the law and not legislating from the bench. I also think there should be very good reason to overturn precedent and that the citizens united decision is a strong example of conservative activism.

John said...

I guess I am not trying to discount your sources anymore than I personally question every source.

The reality is that writers and often academics are trying to prove something or attract an audience. Therefore they have a financial and personal investment in either finding convincing evidence or appealing to your perception of reality.

I mean you actively challenge the impartial nature of the SC Justices and they had to go through probably the most rigorous interview anyone could. (by both Democrats and Republicans) Of course they have personal paradigms that affect their perspective, they are human...

My favorite Conservative honestly swears that Rush and the EIB network are news source. And that FOX News is fair and balanced whereas CNN is a Liberal mouth piece.

Whereas I see CNN as more in the middle, and FOX/Mother Jones off to the sides. G2A Relativity

One last thing after 5+ statistics courses. Models and statistics can be very useful, however they also can be very very very misleading. Lies, damned Lies and Statistics If you see them, start asking questions.

jerrye92002 said...

The one statistic I like most is "82% of all statistics are made up on the spot."