February 16, 2009

Nothing ever changes, redux

The country is very slowly waking up to the realization that we need to become more competitive. One obvious luxury that hurts America's economic competitiveness are quotas. But this logic is hardly obvious to the punditariat. One problem is that most quotas are secretly imposed by employers themselves to prevent "disparate impact" lawsuits, as Daniel Seligman explained more than two decades ago in his Keeping Up column in Fortune
April 27, 1987
Brennanism

Everything about the latest Supreme Court decision on affirmative action -- lumpily labeled Johnson v. Transportation Agency, Santa Clara County, California, et al. -- seems totally unastonishing. Possibly this is because all the principal actors have become so predictable. In the wake of Johnson , there was the American business community professing as usual to be delighted with an opinion guaranteeing still more quotas in employment. The Reagan Administration was as usual looking like a loser. The union of liberal commentators, led by the New York Times , was as usual enthusing over the court's murky reasoning. ("On Giving Women a Break" was the smarmy headline atop the Times 's editorial.) The Supremes themselves were as usual divided, but the nose count revealed still another majority in the grip of a certain idea.

The idea is this: All people are inherently equal in ability and motivation, and so inequalities in employment and income must stem from inequities in our social arrangements. The idea is never stated explicitly in the court's opinions, and its empirical foundations are rather wobbly; indeed an avalanche of research in biology and psychology has been demonstrating more and more human differences to be innate. Yet the idea continues to sustain Justice Bill Brennan and the court's other instinctive egalitarians, and it enables them to keep finding that we have a problem needing to be solved any time some ethnic group or sex is "underrepresented" in various jobs. The unstated ideal is proportional representation; The Brennanites' usual way of attaining it is via reverse discrimination.

They have long since made clear that they will not be deterred by the plain language of the law. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 unambiguously states that you cannot require preference "on account of an imbalance which may exist with respect to the total number or percentage of persons of any race . . . (or) sex . . ." In the 1979 Weber case, which is the main ancestor of Johnson , Brennan nevertheless upheld a quota plan designed to rectify long-standing imbalances. How did he do it? No sweat: He argued that, sure, the law didn't "require" any such reference, but it "permitted" Kaiser Aluminum to set up preferential plans voluntarily. (In fact, the voluntariness of the plan was a bit of a charade: Kaiser had entered into the plan because its arm was being twisted by federal regulators.) The court also labored to make Weber more palatable by saying that any such plans had to be temporary. This created a difficulty in Johnson, because Santa Clara county had labeled its goals "long range." This time Brennan got around the difficulty by arguing that they couldn't really be long range because they envisioned only that the county would "attain" a certain balance (the figure for women was 36.4% of all jobs), not "maintain" it. Pretty smooth, eh?

Not dealt with in Brennan's opinion was another logical difficulty about those goals. In moving mindlessly toward proportional representation, the county had looked around to see who was in the local labor force and then come up with the following goals for minorities: blacks, 1.6%; Hispanics, 14.8%; Asian-Americans, 2.9%, American Indians, 0.4%, handicapped individuals, 6.5%. But unlike the women, who were underrepresented in most job categories, several of these groups were over represented. Blacks, for example, were overrepresented in five out of the seven job categories for which the county was hiring. By the logic of the court's decision, whites should be given preference over blacks in these positions. The American civil rights establishment managed to ignore this awkward fact; both the Urban League and the NAACP expressed delight with Johnson .

The formal posture of business toward the decision was equally ecstatic. The National Association of Manufacturers, the Business Roundtable, and the Chamber of Commerce were all for Johnson , and the press printed encomiums to the decision by spokespersons from General Electric, Du Pont, Campbell Soup, Champion International, Eastman Kodak, Philip Morris, and many more. Also weighing in on the side of proportional representation was the American Society for Personnel Administration, a kind of trade association for the human
resources folk, which filed an amicus curiae brief that sought to help the court justify group preferences over merit. Laboring to prove that merit isn't all that important, and that it was okay for Santa Clara county to choose a woman over a man who had scored higher on the relevant exam, the ASPA came up with a doctrine that your correspondent had not previously heard of. Said the brief: "It is a standard tenet of personnel administration that there is rarely a single, 'best qualified' person for a job." Somehow one senses that, if the U.S. has a problem with "competitiveness" (see Competition), it is not going to be solved by the personnel department.

Why is American business in this posture? Partly, we assume, because all large corporations now have huge affirmative action bureaucracies representing an insistent internal pressure to support quotas. And partly, we sense, because a lot of C.E.O.s have been sold on the doctrine of corporate social responsibility and actually believe they are doing good by enforcing quotas.

The posture of the Reagan Administration is even harder to make sense of. In one case after another, we sit here watching Ron's solicitor general go before the Supreme Court and get clobbered when he tries to make a case against reverse discrimination. The suits in question typically involve large principles but, as in Johnson , only a few employees. Meanwhile, Reagan has steadily refused to lift up his fountain pen and, with a stroke thereof, rescind the executive order that now requires all federal contractors to have goals and timetables -- and that represents the major source of employment quotas in the U.S. We gather that the President is in this weird position because he just can't bring himself to resolve the dispute between Labor Secretary Bill Brock (who thinks the present system is fine) and Attorney General Ed Meese (who wants to end it). Looking back in dismay, a lot of Reaganites are now telling themselves that the time to have acted decisively against quotas was in the Administration's first few months, when Ron seemed irresistible. They had their chance, and blew it, and the logic of proportional representation is now set in concrete.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

42 comments:

Roger Chaillet said...

A family member is an aerospace engineer. He has a Master's degree in biomedical engineering, but has worked in aerospace for over 25 years.

He told me a story a few years ago about a black coworker who was entrusted with running an experiment. Seems the coworker tried to use electron beam welding on aluminum sheet. You can't do this as this type of welding allegedly weakens aluminum.

The cost?

About $50,000 in aluminum up in smoke.

And the kicker?

The coworker had an engineering degree from Grambling!

Check out the entrance requirements for Grambling: http://www.gram.edu/admissions/criteria.asp

Stopped Clock said...

Ha. Let's not try to comfort ourselves here. "Nothing ever changes" is what we wish was true. No, things are changing quite rapidly, and for the worse. In 8 years we're all gonna wish we could have Bush back again.

Roger Chaillet said...

No. In six months we'll wish we had Bush back.

Sad to say.

Anonymous said...

"No. In six months we'll wish we had Bush back.

Sad to say."

ROFL
This is part of why I come to Isteve. Of course, Steve's razor sharp analysis, but also the witty commenters.

Since we're doomed, anyway, may as well enjoy some gallows humor. Thanks for that.

bruce said...

Oh Hell Steve, something had to be done about Jim Crow.

It was going to be nasty, because most white folks did better under Jim Crow than we do now. That's most of the people who make things happen in this country.

Meanwhile, it was the sixties; the Democrats had 2/3 Congress, a lock on the Supremes, the presidency from 1960-68 and Nixon acting more liberal than Johnson, much less Kennedy, on domestic policy.

So we get all these new bureaucracies, all Dem, all the time, all these smart ambitious people competing to be more liberal than thou- of course they were going to go in for pious fraud.

Pious fraud works great for loyalty tests.

When there's no solution, there's no problem. The US was going to be led from 1st world to second by our post-sixties governing class. It's all they know how to do: orthodoxy sniffing is their skill set. Best case, French and German fusion power and Japanese nanotech will enrich the whole world, even backwaters like the 2020 US. Worst case, Iran blows up the world. Nothing we can do to change this.

Mark said...

No. In six months we'll wish we had Bush back.

Six months? It's not yet 4 weeks, and already President Obama's given away $3 trillion in long term handouts to his peeps - and he's ALREADY talking up yet another bill forcing banks to lower the principle on home loans to overextended (i.e., irresponsible) borrowers.


Looking back in dismay, a lot of Reaganites are now telling themselves that the time to have acted decisively against quotas was in the Administration's first few months, when Ron seemed irresistible.

Looking back, it seems Ronnie's biggest weakness, the part for which nothing else he did can nearly make up, is either his insanity, his naivety, or his complete irresponsibility on matters of race. His refusal to face head-on affirmative action and, more importantly, mass immigration, have doomed us to the mess we are in.

On a quasi-related sidenote, I was reading about our new president's emphasis on asian relations. In discussing what the emphasis with China would be on, some were suggesting "democracy" or "human rights" or whatever. And I thought to myself: now why the f$%^ do I care whether the Chinese have democracy or not? If they want it, there's a way to get it. Our concerns with China should be related to our $266 billion trade deficit and the fact that, come hell, high water, or global depression, they will not let that trade imbalance disappear.

as said...

Rebecca Shaw, the co-pilot of flight 3407, which crashed into a house in Buffalo, was

(1) female
(2) 24 years old
(3) had ~13 months flying experience with that particular plane.

Do you think this had something to do with the crash?

Anonymous said...

"In six months we'll wish we had Bush back."

I already miss that goofball Bush and his bunch of cronies. At least they were somewhat colorful characters, crooked straight-shooters as it were. The Obama presidency seems to be directed by a creepy, faceless committee.

Mark said...

The country is very slowly waking up to the realization that we need to become more competitive.

I dispute the very premise. We did not just elect Barack Obama over Jonh McCain, or John McCain over Mitt Romney, based on the newly recovered notion that we need to be "competitive." And we surely did not just pass a $1 trillion, welfare-larded "stimulus" package based on such a premise. Indeed if we ever do come around to the notion that we need to actually be competitive - truly competitive, not "competitive" policies that simply transfer wealth, like mass immigration - then it will not be for a long time yet. We will have to rescue our state from the kleptocracy. The problem is that doing so will require people with lots of free time on their hands, which means people who don't have jobs. And people who don't have jobs tend not to be too concerned about the looters.

Anonymous said...

Sailer is an idiot.

Racial quotas, civil rights movement, etc, are and were not driven by the supreme court, but instead of a consensus wisdom in the upper class subculture that the civil rights movement was the "right thing to do."

These egalitarian ideas were promoted by a great number of academic writers and activists who were funded by nonprofit organizations. This started back in the 50s and even the 40s.

These writings and activism pushing for the civil rights movement laid the foundation for that change by indoctrinating the educated upper class over a period of 2 decades or so.

The genesis of these pro-civil rights propaganda was the think tanks that were basically a combination of defense industry and plutocrat funding. Their research in those think tanks indicated that a civil rights movement was the best way for those at the top to keep and advance their power.

THe civil rights movement allowed those at the top to divide the nation and states and communities racially and to increase the supply of labor. These changes weakened labor unity and lower wages, which are things that the rich plutocrats who fund the nonprofits liked.

Also, the civil rights movement was never even close to popular among the white majority. It was a power play by the upper class. It never had the support of the white working class majority.

-cryofan

Anonymous said...

Re: the 24 year old female co-pilot.

If she worked for Tesco in the UK, for the home delivery operation. She wouldn't have been allowed to drive one of these if she was under 25 and had less than a year of driving experience.

Guess flying an airliner is less of a challange than driving a van.

Anonymous said...

@as said,
Some NT official on the news said they were looking into the pilots' backgrounds for experience with this type of plane. The report then goes on to speculate that the cause, while probably ice buildup on the wings, may have been due to government policy, something about maintaining autopilot during landings. They further speculate that the outcome of the flight may have been different if the pilot could have had the option of manual control.

Anonymous said...

Cyrofan - hey, lay off the abuse there! They weren't even Steve's words, it was an old column of Seligman's.

Your analysis isnt that different anyway. The SC is just the means by which those elite desires were enacted.

Is this your site?

Rohan Swee said...

Mark: On a quasi-related sidenote, I was reading about our new president's emphasis on asian relations. In discussing what the emphasis with China would be on, some were suggesting "democracy" or "human rights" or whatever. If they want it, there's a way to get it.

Aye. Some people really need to get over the delusion that a nation in debtor's prison, that has repeatedly shown itself willing to surrender any standards or principles in the name of the market, holds any power of moral suasion.

And I thought to myself: now why the f$%^ do I care whether the Chinese have democracy or not?

The history of the Western world of the last several decades has been the history of the disastrous rule of heedless egotists who thought they could fix the world by transferring production and wealth from west to east. I haven't quite figured out if it was stupidity, hubris, or malice that drove (drives) them. In addition to the greed, of course. Ah hell, "greed and hubris" probably covers it nicely.

As for emphasizing Asian relations, when somebody owns your ass, I don't think de-emphasizing your relations is a matter of choice.

If they want it, there's a way to get it. Our concerns with China should be related to our $266 billion trade deficit and the fact that, come hell, high water, or global depression, they will not let that trade imbalance disappear.

And yet the "stimulators" act is if trade imbalances are marginal, if not negligible, matters. Oh, sometimes the issue tiptoes into an MSM article, but it is more often than not buried by an avalanche of simple-minded and/or hysterical denunciations of "protectionism". Then they return to discussing the niceties of theoretical multiplier effects, as jobs and wealth keep right on flowing out of the country.

zylonet said...

"Do you think this had something to do with the crash?"

No, Ms. Shaw was the co-pilot. The pilot is the leader and the one responsible for the fate of the airplane. If the co-pilot ignores the rules or makes a stupid suggestion, it is up to the pilot to be firm and resolute. While some women may achieve a status in aviation unwarranted by their skills, I have yet to see evidence for such conjecture in the case of Ms. Shaw. We should assume that she did all that she could until such time as there is reason to suggest otherwise.

A very sad event.

Anonymous said...


He told me a story a few years ago about a black coworker who was entrusted with running an experiment. Seems the coworker tried to use electron beam welding on aluminum sheet. You can't do this as this type of welding allegedly weakens aluminum.


We can all find anecdotes to illustrate our positions. After all, I know a black rocket scientist.

Ummm, I guess he's not black, mumble, mumble.

I'll get back to you when I remember the name of that Mexican string theorist.

Peter said...

I don't know. I live in the real world - I've been in management and financial consulting for the last 15 years. Here's how many black students I met studying graduate level engineering at Stanford in the early 90s - one. Here's how many black co-workers I've had during my entire career on the East Coast - one. Here's how many black co-workers got promoted during that time - zero. Here's how many black or Latino senior executives I've met at the 40+ clients I've had, including manufacturing, telecom and retail companies with revenue from $250 million to $2 billion - zero. None. Here's how many black investment bankers,commercial bankers, lawyers and private equity guys I've met during those 15 years - two or three. Here's how many of those blacks held key roles in their firms - zero. Here's how many female CEOs, CFOs or COOs I've met - 3 (out of hundreds of executives). I can't even count how many Jewish executives, lawyers, investment bankers and private equity guys I've met over the years - must be in the hundreds. "Diversity" is not what's sapping our country of competitiveness - it's the concentration of wealth and power in a small oligarchical elite that has no accountability to anyone but themselves, and suffers no consequences for incompetence.

Peter said...

In fact, thinking on what I just posted, it seems obvious that the point of "diversity" is not to hand more power or wealth to blacks and Mexicans - it's a way of keeping white working and middle class upset at the wrong people, so they don't notice who's really pulling the strings.

J said...

Excellent note and good comments. Why President after President, Judge after Judge, etc. consistently decided in favour of quotas and positive racial discrimination - against their own people and against the will of White majority? I propose that no one ever thought that those rules and laws would change anything in real life. They may have thought that there was no risk to themselves in granting favourable treatment to the hereditary underclass, because they will not be able to make use of it and they will not hold for long the jobs they were hired for, and so on. And that is what is happening: you can allow thousands African Americans into Standford but they will drop out by the force of gravity, no need to push them out, and few or none will graduate. Life is stronger than any quotas. Fact is that American industry learned to live with the racial legislation and is doing little harm. It is in the public sector that most harm is being done, and the nationalization of banks and the car industry may end by their total collapse. They will operate with the same effectivity as the public educational system today. Steve has written about how wonderfully effective they are. Now he can change the subject and write about the competitiveness of the car industry, and of the large banks.

Anonymous said...

re 24 year old co-pilot story -

There was a second pilot jumpseating on that particular flight. So theoretically there was plenty of experience in the cockpit.

And as far over 25 age requirements in various industries yes it seems there is a long list of high responsibility positions in any modern society where no 24 year olds are qualified. I thought commercial airline cockpit duty was on that list but I guess I'm wrong.

Can anyone with airline industry experience fill us in on the number of 24 yr old commercial passenger flight co-pilots? Does one have to be blonde and female in order to be fast-tracked like that? I can see young pilots in cessnas doing tour guide work. This was a passenger turbo prop jet with almost 50 people on board.

btw today Foxnews has a story about a different flight crew busted smuggling cocaine. They sure seem to like to party don't they? Obviously the airline industry will to attract cowboy types and risktakers. Chesley Sullenberger would not approve.

Anonymous said...

"Best case, French and German fusion power and Japanese nanotech will enrich the whole world, even backwaters like the 2020 US. Worst case, Iran blows up the world. Nothing we can do to change this."

Hey, a little restraint, please. A dash of wisdom about what "humanity" is really all about. Name me one piece of revolutionary technology that hasn't subverted "humanity" in equal measure to benefitting "humanity". The nanotech the Japanese devise, the fusion, the gay coupling of France and Germans bring forth. Net positive or in the end, EVIL albatross? You don't know, do ya? Do you possess that God-like knowledge?

James said...

Wow, Tesco advertising on iSteve.

And enough already with the Seligman columns.

Ronduck said...

These egalitarian ideas were promoted by a great number of academic writers and activists who were funded by nonprofit organizations. This started back in the 50s and even the 40s.

No. I was watching Birth of a Nation and before one of the scenes showing Black state legislators in the South during Reconstruction the director inserted a disclaimer that "this is not meant to disparage any race"! PC began a looooong time before WW2. Really the moral destruction of the Northern elites dates back to the Transcendentalist movement and New England's turn from God around the same time. The rot just took a long time to sprout and grow. Those think tanks you speak of were just defending the growth until it was big enough be unleashed on society.

Their research in those think tanks indicated that a civil rights movement was the best way for those at the top to keep and advance their power.

In many Northern states the White vote is divided pretty evenly, adding another group that rabidly votes Democratic can swing those states to the left.

Anonymous said...

I don't buy this theory that big business only practices AA because the mean old government is making them. If that were true, big business could fund the movement to end AA. But they don't do this. From what I can tell, most high level executives in corporate America have drunk the diversity kool-aid.

RKU said...

In fact, thinking on what I just posted, it seems obvious that the point of "diversity" is not to hand more power or wealth to blacks and Mexicans - it's a way of keeping white working and middle class upset at the wrong people, so they don't notice who's really pulling the strings.

Yes, indeedee! And poor Steve Sailer fails into the trap...

I read somewhere that the *average* selling price for a *house* in Detroit peaked at $20,000 (!) before the Meltdown, but has now collapsed to $10,000.

It's obviously all those $20,000 home mortgages to black Detroiters that have wrecked the American financial system. Affirmative Action strikes again!

Anonymous said...

"Diversity" is not what's sapping our country of competitiveness - it's the concentration of wealth and power in a small oligarchical elite that has no accountability to anyone but themselves, and suffers no consequences for incompetence.

Yup, what he said. Although "diversity" is part of how that elite keeps power in its own hands.

Ben said...

" I can't even count how many Jewish executives, lawyers, investment bankers and private equity guys I've met over the years - must be in the hundreds."

And if you are familiar with psychometric research, this overrepresentation is to be expected. Similarly, the underrepersentation of Africans in those areas.

Kanazawa, Satoshi. 2005. "The Myth of Racial Discrimination in Pay in the United States" Managerial and Decision Economics. 26: 285-294.

http://www.lse.ac.uk/collections/MES/pdf/MDE2005.pdf

Gottfredson, L. S. (2006). Social consequences of group differences in cognitive ability (Consequencias sociais das diferencas de grupo em habilidade cognitiva). In C. E. Flores-Mendoza & R. Colom (Eds.), Introducau a psicologia das diferencas individuais (pp. 433-456). Porto Allegre, Brazil: ArtMed Publishers.

http://www.udel.edu/educ/gottfredson/reprints/2004socialconsequences.pdf

Eric said...

Why is American business in this posture?

Because lawsuits and regulations raise the barrier to entry in most industries. Whereas Super Giant Company can afford to keep "diversity" lawyers on retainer to minimize legal exposure for a tiny fraction of overall expenditures, Super Fast & Agile now has the big company drawbacks without the big company advantages.

From the vantage point of GE or GM, what's not to like? Well, except for those damn foreigners. But when you own Congress you can get yourself some "Buy American" legislation.

RKU said...

And if you are familiar with psychometric research, this overrepresentation is to be expected. Similarly, the underrepersentation of Africans in those areas.

Absolutely true!

However, it's also true that an absolutely astonishing fraction of America's biggest financial criminals seem to hail from the particular very small slice of the population.

I wonder what that might indicate about another psychometric parameter.

After all, "IQ" isn't the *only* human psychological trait, nor even the only highly heritable one...

David said...

Life is stronger than any quotas. Fact is that American industry learned to live with the racial legislation and [it's] doing little harm.

Read Steve's article(s) on the CRA. The CRA is a form of racial quota. That's doing little harm to American industry?

You're bullshitting. For another thing, racial legislation is doing harm to many white families who are below management level. (Whites should be high-IQ or extinct, according to biz-pig apostles of racial justice.)

If racial legislation is doing little harm to American industry, then that means it's having little effect on American industry. Why, then, is it continued in regard to American industry - if it has little or no effect? In order to allow the rich elite to type pious nonsense like "life is stronger than quotas" and to deplore the lack of moral fiber among the plebs?

Anonymous said...

Peter said:
"it's the concentration of wealth and power in a small oligarchical elite that has no accountability to anyone but themselves, and suffers no consequences for incompetence."

The media tells us all the time that said groupt are way above normal intelligence and competence. Are you suggesting otherwise? If so, why? (just curious, I have no axe to grind)

Anonymous said...

Concerning the downed plane. I study aeronautical engineering and know only a little. But it seems the plane's wings got iced up. That radically changes the airflow and can lead to separation on the upper side, which kills lift. The only way to deal with that is heating. Normally they use glycol. Maybe the technicians switched off some sensors (like what happened in Spain recently), or the glycol tank was empty. It could also be that the plane flew into condensing air so ice would form instantaneously. It takes a while to get the heating going. Just some thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Seems the [Negro] coworker tried to use electron beam welding on aluminum sheet. You can't do this as this type of welding allegedly weakens aluminum. The cost? About $50,000

The point being that you never make a mistake.

"Allegedly"? So what was the fuss about?

Anonymous said...

Fact is that American industry learned to live with the racial legislation and is doing little harm.

Right, J, you live in Israel, so obviously you know what you're talking about.

Since diversity, despite appearances to the contrary, actually causes so little trouble, why not let the Palestinians back in (instead of bombing them)? I'm sure Israeli industry could learn to live with whatever legislation is required.

Peter said...

Anonymous - Are the elites running the country more competent than other groups? Maybe, I'm not disputing that. I was saying that when they are incompetent (and high IQ people can also be incompetent, in the wrong profession, tired that day, depressed, whatever) they don't suffer serious consequences. Show up late for your shift at McDonalds once or twice you get fired. Give bad advice as a consultant that costs 1000 people their jobs, people may not even notice.

Anonymous said...

The elites are most competent at looting. Ask the Russian oligarchs, Obama, et al.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the perspective offered in your comments, Peter.

Anonymous said...

Show up late for your shift at McDonalds once or twice you get fired. Give bad advice as a consultant that costs 1000 people their jobs, people may not even notice.

Very true.

In this last week in Britain, the big guns at one of the banks bailed out by the government were caught trying to pay themselves pretty hefty bonuses.

The arrogance (or stupidity) of their actions is hard to fathom. If nothing else from a public relations point of view.

They actually believe that its vital to reward and retain these key, creative people. Are they joking? They just helped to destroy the bank itself.

Anonymous said...

Study: Fed contracts increase but average value declines

* By David Hubler
* Feb 13, 2009

As federal contract awards continue to increase, the contracting industry is facing a decrease in the average value of those contracts, according to a new study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The CSIS study, unveiled Feb. 12, examined federal contracting between 1995 and 2007. It assessed federal contracting in 2007 as a $233 billion market.

The study found that although federal services contract actions have increased on average 7.8 percent in the past four years, the average contract value has decreased about 60 percent to $403,000 in 2007, the last year for which data was available.

The contracting market will continues to grow during the next few years, said David Berteau, director of CSIS’ Defense Industrial Initiatives Group.

But he said 2008 will be slightly down as expected. “We’re seeing roughly a five to six percent increase in ’08. Depending on what you think is going to happen in FY ’09, with recovery act funds, etc., we may see a very dramatic change in FY ’09 data.”

The Defense Department remains the largest buyer of contract services, followed by the Energy Department and NASA, he said. “We think that will continue as well.”

The report said so-called fully competed contracts account for the greatest dollar amounts and the largest average awards. The study also refuted the notion held by some lawmakers and other industry experts that no-bid contracts have “run amok.”

The data did confirm another popular notion of concern. The report said that midtier contractors are steadily being squeezed out of awards by the consolidation of industry and requirements from above, and by small businesses with federal set-aside awards from below.

Part of that squeeze is due especially to the large increase in the number of small businesses, Berteau said.

“Small contract actions represent the vast majority of the contract actions,” he said. Awards “under $250,000 [represent] 92 percent of all contract actions. The remaining 8 percent has about 95 percent of the dollars.”

About the Author

David Hubler is the associate editor of Washington Technology.

Black Woman said...

Why is affirmative action mostly talked about in terms of race? The biggest beneficiaries of affirmative action have been white women.

Black Woman said...

What you forget in your analysis is that white people had affirmative action in this country for more than 200 years, due to constraints placed on blacks with slavery and Jim Crow.

As my grandmother said about vice president Dan Quayle: "He's so dumb. If that were a black man, he'd be shining shoes."

Also, if you are white in this society and you aren't wealthy, I would say there's something wrong with you, given all the preferential treatment you've enjoyed for hundreds of years.

Ronduck said...

Black Woman said...

The biggest beneficiaries of affirmative action have been white women.

If you are a White man and you get passed over by a woman for a job there is a marginal chance that sh is qualified. If a White man gets passed over for a job in favor of a Black then in all likelihood the Black is in no way qualified for the job he received. Second, a White woman who gets AA uses it to help her husband and kids, who is often White so a White man knows it is going to his own kind. A Black man who receives AA uses it to support another races kids with an income he is not qualified to receive.