Monday, September 01, 2008

Should Affirmative Action be income rather then race-based?

In an interview with public radio, Robert Reich suggests that affirmative actions programs should be based on income more than race.

“Despite the fact that one of the great social achievements of the last quarter century is the emergence of a black middle and professional class, people of color are still over-represented among the poor and working class.
“The advantage of income-based affirmative action is it would address many of the same issues as race-based affirmative action, but it would also address the needs of low-income whites. And income-based affirmative action would not create tensions between lower-income whites who don’t benefit from race-based affirmative action and blacks who do — demagogues would have a harder time using race to stoke the fires of economic resentment.

“Finally, income-based affirmative action would lead to more economic diversity on our college campuses. And more economic diversity is a key to reversing America’s trend toward widening inequality.”

Separately, in a guest post on the Freakonomics blog, William Bernstein looks at the dangers of income inequality.

“Extreme income and wealth inequality alone may hinder growth. After all respect for property rights is really, in most cases, shorthand for respect by the have-nots for the property rights of the haves.
”If those on the bottom rungs do not feel that they are getting a fair shake, the very bedrock of our prosperity crumbles into social and economic apartheid as millions of Americans flee to gated communities, millions more are required to staff the burgeoning private security industry, and yet more millions fill our prisons.”

—borrowed from the Wall Street Journal's economic blog


Blogger Asa Dodsworth said...

I'm glad to finally hear this message reach the level of social dialog. It fundamentally would recognize the abuse of the american populace, and our nations tax system.

And the selection of well to do upper and middle class black folk over the forgotten untouchables, the poor white trash, is senseless offense that drives the fires of white supremacy.

And the relatively wealthy, white metro folk just cant understand why the "untouchable" poor white trash are so angry.

10:07 PM  

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