NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


December 6, 1995

Critics have long complained that quotas, protections and set-asides based on race, ethnicity and sex have replaced individual conscience and persuasion as avenues to social progress. By pursuing this course, they argue, we have become a country in which people have different rights under the law based on their race and sex. Among their criticisms:
  • The federal government has 160 race and sex preference programs.
  • Government contractors and spending programs are awash in set-asides and quotas.
  • Corporations -- which once promoted on merit -- now reserve fast career tracks for "protected minorities."
  • Managers risk pay cuts and low "diversity report card" ratings for failing to promote by quota.
  • Museums have been attacked for having too few exhibits by women and minority artists.
Quotas are the work of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission interpretative regulations -- themselves illegal under the Civil Rights Act -- as well as federal judiciary decisions. Polls show the American people are fed up with quotas.
  • They reject employment quotas by 63 percent to 35 percent; college admission quotas by 57 percent to 39 percent.
  • Favoring a less qualified "protected minority" over a white applicant is rejected by 84 percent.
  • Even blacks disapprove of this policy by 68 percent to 22 percent.
Source: Paul Craig Roberts, "The Rise of the New Inequality," Wall Street Journal, December 6, 1995.


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