Re: Markets and employment

From: Chuck Kuecker (
Date: Sun Dec 23 2001 - 12:19:56 MST

At 08:56 AM 12/23/01 -0800, you wrote:
> > >From: "Mike Lorrey" <>
> >
> > Olga, where is the racist jibe? I don't see one. ... He didn't even
> > about the situation. He simply gave his view of why he lost his job,
> > plausibly.
>I took the very fact that Mike posted what he did into consideration. In
>the past he has referred to various cultures in South America and Mexico as
>kleptocracies, and if I remember correctly - was one of the people who saw
>nothing racist in that lovely article that someone posted by Fred Reed. But
>(please oh please oh please) we don't need to rehash the Reed screed.

I read "kleptocracies" to refer to the governments, rather than the people.
Maybe I misunderstood.

>It may in fact be Mike's opinion that he is being displaced by "Indian job
>shops." I'm not exactly sure what that is, and I am assuming he didn't mean
>"Indians" from a particular Indus Valley civilization, but our own native
>kind, yes?

For whatever it's worth, there is a booming software development business
in India. I have had a number of Indian (yes, Asian) firms solicit business
from me in the past two years. They are in direct competition with small
operators like myself and Mike.

Most of the work I do requires "hands on" the hardware, so it is harder to
outsource than Windows or Linux applications, which only require a PC to

Incidentally, I would welcome seeing "Native American" based firms in this
market. So far, the only visible "Indian" businesses here have been casinos
and oil / coal businesses.

>In my own locality of King County, Washington, voters defeated an
>Affirmative Action bill not too long ago. Do I think that was racist? Yes.
>While some people think Affirmative Action itself is "racist" (even though
>the group of people who've benefited the most from Affirmative Action in the
>past, I believe, have been "white" women) I think it balances things out
>better (and much faster) than if humans were left to root out for the milk
>of human kindness on their own.

Affirmative action as practiced is code for putting less qualified persons
into slots just because of their sex / age / religion / national origin / etc.

Anytime government gets into the act of "balancing" or "correcting" social
ills, it causes much more harm than good. As far as educating people that
racism is bad, I think in many case it has the direct opposite effect -
those who are already racist now simply need to point out a qualified white
who did not get hired while a less qualified minority did, to convert
others to their point of view.

Around Chicago, it is common for white controlled companies to spin off a
"woman" or "minority owned" firm so they can bid for city work and have a
better chance at getting the job. Because of the law, they get two bids in
instead of one, and now the city can accept the "minority" bid at a higher
price than the "old boy" bid, and so enrich the "old boy" while appearing PC.

Anecdotal evidence: I went to an all-male high school in Chicago - one had
to pass a test to get in. There were about 10% black students - and ALL of
them passed the tests - this was about the percentage of blacks in the area
served by Lane Tech, so they were "equally" represented. They were among
the highest scoring members of the student body, too. There was very little
white - black tension or racism.

There was a dearth of Latino, particularly Puerto Rican students - so the
Board of Education let a "balance" number of unqualified students in. They
tended to be disruptive, and some of them were the ONLY students in the
school who had to repeat years. There was a fair amount of racist remarks
made by both black and white students against these kids. Affirmative
action reinforced the present anti-Puerto Rican sentiments, and instilled
them in some places they had never existed.

Later, PC concerns led the Board to allow female students - actually, it
was two years after I graduated - but their approach was not to just allow
qualified students in - they had to remove some shop classes to make way
for "home economics" and "sewing" labs (no joke!) in a technical / college
preparatory high school. The air conditioning and aviation shops were shut
down to make way for these "girl" subjects. The anti-female sentiments were
increased by the apparent destruction of the whole reason for the school's
existence by the changes.

Recently, I read in the alumni newsletter that many of the original girls
who went to Lane Tech did so specifically to get those shop and technical
classes. In this case, affirmative action / PC hurt the population it was
supposed to be helping.

My oldest daughter was actively discouraged from taking "shop" classes in
our high school - as they were for "jocks". When she finally took a small
engines course, she discovered she already knew more than the course would
teach simply from hanging around with me, working on our cars.

If affirmative action results in persons or firms getting jobs they are
unqualified to do, then all of society suffers.

Chuck Kuecker

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