Monday, May 21, 2012

An Argument for Merit Over "Diversity."

I'm sure that all fourteen of you have heard someone on the Left spouting some platitude about "fairness." Somewhere, there's always something or someone who isn't being "fair" about something.

Inequity is fairly screaming for someone to right this grievous injustice. This self-appointed hero will come riding in on his or her white horse and gleaming armor to save the day for the downtrodden masses. Ideologically, it all sounds well and good, right up until you discover what their remedy really is: some new, stifling government regulation that adds unneeded complexity and additional cost to your life. It really doesn't fix the problem. It creates a new set of them. Which calls for new regulations, creating more problems, ad infinitum.

The end result is what we see today, culminating in the Progressive\Obama Administration. The size and cost of the Federal government has increased some thirty percent during this time. There have been over 10,000 new regulations issued. Our debt is at record high levels and shows no sign of even being addressed, much less reduced. Thanks, Harry Reid, for blocking all the House's attempts to reduce the budget.

To backtrack just a bit (without fully digressing), the idea of "fairness" has translated into a leviathan government that only cares for those who inhabit it, negative real-world impacts be damned.

Now, back when I was young and dirt was still clean, there was one truism that everyone knew: Life Is Not Fair. You weren't always going to get everything you wanted. Some things wouldn't proceed according to your plan. Roadblocks would be put in your way. But if you persevered, you would eventually win the day.

Intertwined in this truism was the concept of merit: that if you did the very best you knew how, learned as much as you could and became the best at what you did, you were rewarded with success. For a long time, this concept was the core of the American mindset. It was a societal normative, one of the rules by which great things could and would be achieved.

Now, I'm not pining for the fiords when I write this. I'm not some curmudgeon longing for the good old days when men were men, your word was your bond, honesty was valued and a hard day's work was rewarded.

Well, actually, I am. So what?

In today's America, we're bombarded with the word "diversity." It's the Leftist cultural dogma that any group of people must reflect the racial divisions of the country, regardless of any other consideration. This was born out of the racial inequalities of  the post WWII era, and that were fixed to a great extent with the Voting Rights Act of 1964 and various other pieces of legislation that sought to right the past's injustices. For the most part, and while some may disagree, those inequities have been solved or at least greatly reduced. We're just that type of people.

But that wasn't good enough for lots of Leftards. After the psychological seed was planted that America was somehow inherently racist, all sorts of people grabbed a rake and a hoe and proceed to tend this garden and foster the idea that even though we fought a civil war to abolish slavery and have passed numerous laws to correct institutional racism, we were still a nation of racists. Take a look at Bell's "Critical Race Theory" as an example. This was in the early '70's. A young Barack Obama was one of his supporters. Given the racially selective nature of the enforcement of laws during his tenure, do you doubt that he still supports this outrageously false "theory?"

Sensing an opportunity to tap into the emotion of guilt, many people and organizations sprang up to harvest the garden of racism and sell it's false product to the public. You know to whom I'm referring: the professional racists Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and their various organizations, many of whom extort and threaten boycotts of innocent businesses in order to enrich themselves. You only need to look at the misinformation and outright lies surrounding the Trayvon Martin case to see this in action. Ask yourself whether they look at character or skin color.

The victim in this debacle is the idea of merit. "Diversity" is to be valued above and beyond merit and actual knowledge and accomplishment. Do I need to point out that, as the melting pot of the world, we were already a diverse culture?

Our Founders were bold enough to build our country around the idea that all men (and women, that's implied, but you already knew that) are equal before the authority of the law (which we all agree upon through our representative form of government, wherein our neighbors act in our stead in Washington to write our laws, in theory at least). But this idea has been perverted, to our great detriment, by those whose delusions of grandeur compel them to extend this notion to life itself, with them as the arbiters of this supposed "fairness" they force upon the rest of us.

So, how's that working out?

How is taxing the rich helping anyone else? Is that money going into your pocket? Do you have a better job because some eeeevvilll rich person has less money?

You know damned well you don't.

At least the notion of merit isn't completely dead. Here's a link to an article by the American Enterprise's Arthur Brooks over at The Blaze entitled True Fairness Means Rewarding Merit, Not Spreading the Wealth.

Here's a sample:

There are two main ways to define fairness: fairness in terms of opportunity, and fairness in terms of outcomes. The first means leveling the playing field, and the second means spreading the wealth around. The first means lifting people up on the basis of merit, and the second means bringing successful people down.

By focusing on raising taxes on the wealthy rather than pursuing meaningful policies to reduce unemployment or encourage economic growth, the President is using this second definition of fairness.

It's far past the time for us to embrace the idea of merit in the workplace and in life.

No comments: