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News & Politics News & Politics

The Fairness Fraud

Posted by on Feb. 27, 2014 at 4:23 PM
  • 15 Replies
1 mom liked this



The 'fairness' fraud


Thomas Sowell   - Guest Columnist
http://www.tsowell.com

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


 

Thomas SowellThose who preach the counterproductive message of "fairness" will probably never think that the envy, resentment and hopelessness they preach, and the welfare state they promote, are among the factors keeping people down.

It seems as if, everywhere you turn these days, there are studies claiming to show that America has lost its upward mobility for people born in the lower socioeconomic levels. But there is a sharp difference between upward "mobility," defined as an opportunity to rise, and mobility defined as actually having risen.

That distinction is seldom even mentioned in most of the studies. It is as if everybody is chomping at the bit to get ahead, and the ones that don't rise have been stopped by "barriers" created by "society."

When statistics show that sons of high school dropouts don't become doctors or scientists nearly as often as the sons of Ph.D.s, that is taken as a sign that American society is not "fair."

If equal probabilities of achieving some goal is your definition of fairness, then we should all get together -- people of every race, color, creed, national origin, political ideology and sexual preference -- and stipulate that life has never been fair, anywhere or any time in all the millennia of recorded history.

Then we can begin at last to talk sense.

I know that I never had an equal chance to become a great ballet dancer like Rudolph Nureyev. The thought of becoming a ballet dancer never once crossed my mind in all the years when I was growing up in Harlem. I suspect that the same thought never crossed the minds of most of the guys growing up on New York's lower east side.

Does that mean that there were unfair barriers keeping us from following in the footsteps of Rudolph Nureyev?

A very distinguished scholar once mentioned at a social gathering that, as a young man, he was not thinking of going to college until someone else, who recognized his ability, urged him to do so.

Another very distinguished scholar told me that, although his parents were anti-Semitic, it was the fact that he went to a school with many Jewish children that got him interested in intellectual matters and led him into an academic career.

All groups, families and cultures are not even trying to do the same things, so the fact that they do not all end up equally represented everywhere can hardly be automatically attributed to "barriers" created by "society."

Barriers are external obstacles, as distinguished from internal values and aspirations -- unless you are going to play the kind of word games that redefine achievements as "privileges" and treat an absence of evidence of discrimination as only proof of how diabolically clever and covert the discrimination is.

The front page of a local newspaper in northern California featured the headline "The Promise Denied," lamenting the under-representation of women in computer engineering. The continuation of this long article on an inside page had the headline, "Who is to blame for this?"

In other words, the fact that reality does not match the preconceptions of the intelligentsia shows that there is something wrong with reality, for which somebody must be blamed. Apparently their preconceptions cannot be wrong.

Women, like so many other groups, seem not to be dedicated to fulfilling the prevailing fetish among the intelligentsia that every demographic group should be equally represented in all sorts of places.

Women have their own agendas, and if these agendas do not usually include computer engineering, what is to be done? Draft women into engineering schools to satisfy the preconceptions of our self-anointed saviors? Or will a propaganda campaign be sufficient to satisfy those who think that they should be making other people's choices for them?

That kind of thinking is how we got ObamaCare.

At least one of the recent celebrated statistical studies of social mobility leaves out Asian Americans. Immigrants from Asia are among a number of groups, including American-born Mormons, whose achievements totally undermine the notion that upward mobility can seldom be realized in America.

Those who preach this counterproductive message will probably never think that the envy, resentment and hopelessness they preach, and the welfare state they promote, are among the factors keeping people down.


by on Feb. 27, 2014 at 4:23 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Feb. 27, 2014 at 4:29 PM
5 moms liked this

I love Thomas Sowell!

Thanks!

Ziva65
by Bronze Member on Feb. 27, 2014 at 4:31 PM
6 moms liked this

Right. That kind of thinking has now caused the pendulum to swing the other way. It is going to cause a new wave of racism, mark my words.

What happened to balance, and fairness, and "on your own merit?" My parents came to this country and didn't know a word of English. They learned it, worked very hard, and are highly successful. No handouts. Now, we give handouts right and left to the detriment of those who work hard and save.

My kids are white, and looking at colleges... now we have to send a photo, and click the box for ethnicity. Did you know kids who are a minority are getting into top schools with low GPA's- yet kids with high GPA;s aren't getting in BECAUSE of skin color? Tell me this won't cause an uproar... We toured Berkeley... oh my gosh... look at the scholarship stats and it's reverse racism. Very sad to be where we are at, and the pendulum isn't even close to balancing out. Look at this new "My Brother's Keeper" initiative. Sorry, it's not even worth my time to discuss.

Debrowsky
by Silver Member on Feb. 27, 2014 at 4:35 PM
2 moms liked this

 I do too.   I rarely have ever seen him write something that wasn't dead on the nail.

Quoting Billiejeens:

I love Thomas Sowell!

Thanks!

 

Debrowsky
by Silver Member on Feb. 27, 2014 at 4:36 PM
2 moms liked this

 I wholeheartedly agree with you. 

Quoting Ziva65:

Right. That kind of thinking has now caused the pendulum to swing the other way. It is going to cause a new wave of racism, mark my words.

What happened to balance, and fairness, and "on your own merit?" My parents came to this country and didn't know a word of English. They learned it, worked very hard, and are highly successful. No handouts. Now, we give handouts right and left to the detriment of those who work hard and save.

My kids are white, and looking at colleges... now we have to send a photo, and click the box for ethnicity. Did you know kids who are a minority are getting into top schools with low GPA's- yet kids with high GPA;s aren't getting in BECAUSE of skin color? Tell me this won't cause an uproar... We toured Berkeley... oh my gosh... look at the scholarship stats and it's reverse racism. Very sad to be where we are at, and the pendulum isn't even close to balancing out. Look at this new "My Brother's Keeper" initiative. Sorry, it's not even worth my time to discuss.

 

Clairwil
by Gold Member on Feb. 27, 2014 at 8:04 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting Debrowsky:


The front page of a local newspaper in northern California featured the headline "The Promise Denied," lamenting the under-representation of women in computer engineering. The continuation of this long article on an inside page had the headline, "Who is to blame for this?"

In other words, the fact that reality does not match the preconceptions of the intelligentsia shows that there is something wrong with reality, for which somebody must be blamed. Apparently their preconceptions cannot be wrong.

Women, like so many other groups, seem not to be dedicated to fulfilling the prevailing fetish among the intelligentsia that every demographic group should be equally represented in all sorts of places.

Women have their own agendas, and if these agendas do not usually include computer engineering, what is to be done? Draft women into engineering schools to satisfy the preconceptions of our self-anointed saviors? Or will a propaganda campaign be sufficient to satisfy those who think that they should be making other people's choices for them?

This is quite a complex issue.   There are many factors that affect the gender ratio in computer engineering.

(1) Many computer programmers are somewhat obsessive, and have a poor work-life balance, especially in startup companies.   Yes, the pay is great, but not every woman is willing to make the needed sacrifices, nor is that something that 'ought' to be corrected.

but that isn't the only factor.   If you stop looking at things in a black and white manner, it is possible to accept that things shouldn't necessarily have a 1:1 gender ratio, while still accepting that things would be closer to being 1:1 if some other unfair factors were corrected for.

What other factors?

(2) Geek culture.  Frankly, parts of geekdom are rather immature, and not particularly friendly to women (yes, first person shooter games, I'm looking at you).

(3) Stereotypes & education.

timeforprogress
by Bronze Member on Feb. 27, 2014 at 8:19 PM
2 moms liked this

I think that the problem stems in the fact that girls and boys are told from a very young age that STEM subjects are hard for girls.  They are discouraged from those subjects.  Those that follow those paths then face institutionalized gender discrimination when they enter college and later the workforce.  

http://www.livescience.com/19552-girls-math-teachers-bias.html

Quoting Clairwil:


Quoting Debrowsky:


The front page of a local newspaper in northern California featured the headline "The Promise Denied," lamenting the under-representation of women in computer engineering. The continuation of this long article on an inside page had the headline, "Who is to blame for this?"

In other words, the fact that reality does not match the preconceptions of the intelligentsia shows that there is something wrong with reality, for which somebody must be blamed. Apparently their preconceptions cannot be wrong.

Women, like so many other groups, seem not to be dedicated to fulfilling the prevailing fetish among the intelligentsia that every demographic group should be equally represented in all sorts of places.

Women have their own agendas, and if these agendas do not usually include computer engineering, what is to be done? Draft women into engineering schools to satisfy the preconceptions of our self-anointed saviors? Or will a propaganda campaign be sufficient to satisfy those who think that they should be making other people's choices for them?

This is quite a complex issue.   There are many factors that affect the gender ratio in computer engineering.

(1) Many computer programmers are somewhat obsessive, and have a poor work-life balance, especially in startup companies.   Yes, the pay is great, but not every woman is willing to make the needed sacrifices, nor is that something that 'ought' to be corrected.

but that isn't the only factor.   If you stop looking at things in a black and white manner, it is possible to accept that things shouldn't necessarily have a 1:1 gender ratio, while still accepting that things would be closer to being 1:1 if some other unfair factors were corrected for.

What other factors?

(2) Geek culture.  Frankly, parts of geekdom are rather immature, and not particularly friendly to women (yes, first person shooter games, I'm looking at you).

(3) Stereotypes & education.


Ednarooni160
by Eds on Feb. 27, 2014 at 8:31 PM
2 moms liked this

Obama doesn't want equality or fairness in this country..I thought that was a given a LONG time ago..

blondekosmic15
by Blonde on Feb. 28, 2014 at 3:01 AM
3 moms liked this


Quoting Ziva65:

Right. That kind of thinking has now caused the pendulum to swing the other way. It is going to cause a new wave of racism, mark my words.

What happened to balance, and fairness, and "on your own merit?" My parents came to this country and didn't know a word of English. They learned it, worked very hard, and are highly successful. No handouts. Now, we give handouts right and left to the detriment of those who work hard and save.

My kids are white, and looking at colleges... now we have to send a photo, and click the box for ethnicity. Did you know kids who are a minority are getting into top schools with low GPA's- yet kids with high GPA;s aren't getting in BECAUSE of skin color? Tell me this won't cause an uproar... We toured Berkeley... oh my gosh... look at the scholarship stats and it's reverse racism. Very sad to be where we are at, and the pendulum isn't even close to balancing out. Look at this new "My Brother's Keeper" initiative. Sorry, it's not even worth my time to discuss.

My husband has been saying this for several yrs now. He recently retired from a large company here in the midwest. Reverse racism is contrary to fairness & personal merit. 

KeptNae
by Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 9:49 AM

You remember that sceen near the end of the movie Wizard of Oz where the giant talking head says "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain".

     That is what this article reminds me of.

Debrowsky
by Silver Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 11:15 AM
1 mom liked this

 

Quoting blondekosmic15:

Quoting Ziva65:

Right. That kind of thinking has now caused the pendulum to swing the other way. It is going to cause a new wave of racism, mark my words.

What happened to balance, and fairness, and "on your own merit?" My parents came to this country and didn't know a word of English. They learned it, worked very hard, and are highly successful. No handouts. Now, we give handouts right and left to the detriment of those who work hard and save.

My kids are white, and looking at colleges... now we have to send a photo, and click the box for ethnicity. Did you know kids who are a minority are getting into top schools with low GPA's- yet kids with high GPA;s aren't getting in BECAUSE of skin color? Tell me this won't cause an uproar... We toured Berkeley... oh my gosh... look at the scholarship stats and it's reverse racism. Very sad to be where we are at, and the pendulum isn't even close to balancing out. Look at this new "My Brother's Keeper" initiative. Sorry, it's not even worth my time to discuss.

My husband has been saying this for several yrs now. He recently retired from a large company here in the midwest. Reverse racism is contrary to fairness & personal merit. 

 My husband has been a manager for many years, and in large corporations he sees this going on all the time. 

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