Law School Discussion

OMFG

redemption

Re: OMFG
« Reply #40 on: May 05, 2006, 07:58:54 AM »
Ok, let's take it out of the realm of ls apps.

Let's say a general contractor is selecting subcontractors for a job.  Company 1 employs mostly hispanics but is owned by a white male.  They have an excellent safety rating, an excellent reputation, always get the job done right/on time/etc.  Company 2 employs mostly hispanics but is owned by a black male.  They have a pretty good safety rating, a pretty good reputation, and they've only had a couple of jobs in which they didn't finish the job on time.  Now, the client for whom the GC is working has a policy regarding WAMOB (women and minority owned businesses) which means that the GC must select Company 2 because it is owned by a minority.

Would you say that there is a reason that does not include racism that one might oppose this?

Is it possible? Maybe. It depends on a lot of things. It's not the conclusion, but the pattern of reasoniing that i look at.

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Re: OMFG
« Reply #41 on: May 05, 2006, 08:03:25 AM »
 ::)

Fine.


I oppose this use of AA b/c it disadvantages company 1 based exclusively on race.  That in and of itself makes it racist.  Which I think is wrong.  Therefore, I oppose it.

redemption

Re: OMFG
« Reply #42 on: May 05, 2006, 08:05:26 AM »
there's nothing inherently wrong with it, but there is something wrong with it if what we want is to move toward a society where racial categories don't matter.  they'll continue to matter as long as members of a racial group identify more with each other than with nonmembers.  every time a person is treated one way or another based on their race, it just reinforces that identification because it makes them believe that they have more in common with other members.  

now obviously AA is outweighed by lots of other things in terms of identity formation, but still, it is a contributing factor.  probably small but still.

of course, if you don't care whether or not racial categories continue to matter, then it's all fine and good.

It depends on what you mean by "matter", and I'm not being a hairsplitter here.

There's nothing wrong with cultural/racial identity if it doesn't lead to hierarchical discrimination in the public sphere. That's what gives us diversity, and we should delight in it. in this sense, identity matters - but in a positive way.

Does AA make URMs as a group look down on others? Doubtful.
Does AA make others look down on URMs? It probably re-awakens and intensifies what was already there. And this second point would be a consideration in evaluating the merits of AA, but obviously only one of many considerations.

redemption

Re: OMFG
« Reply #43 on: May 05, 2006, 08:08:42 AM »
::)

Fine.


I oppose this use of AA b/c it disadvantages company 1 based exclusively on race.  That in and of itself makes it racist.  Which I think is wrong.  Therefore, I oppose it.

But what if you widen the frame, and think of it in public policy terms rather than solely in terms of what is better in that single transaction?

Clearly the client is the government in this case; the contract is probably cost+fee. if the client said that their reason for AA in the set-aside is to giv opportunities for black business to grow until they are eventually fully competitive, and if the government is picking up the cost of the differential, what would be your moral stance then?

redemption

Re: OMFG
« Reply #44 on: May 05, 2006, 08:13:18 AM »
I'll choose a common example: ancient Rome.

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Re: OMFG
« Reply #45 on: May 05, 2006, 08:17:44 AM »
::)

Fine.


I oppose this use of AA b/c it disadvantages company 1 based exclusively on race.  That in and of itself makes it racist.  Which I think is wrong.  Therefore, I oppose it.

But what if you widen the frame, and think of it in public policy terms rather than solely in terms of what is better in that single transaction?

Clearly the client is the government in this case; the contract is probably cost+fee. if the client said that their reason for AA in the set-aside is to giv opportunities for black business to grow until they are eventually fully competitive, and if the government is picking up the cost of the differential, what would be your moral stance then?

How about we just talk about this single transaction.  My position was clearly framed in the context of the specific, I have made no assertions about public policy.

The client is not clearly the government.  In fact, I was thinking about several such clients that my company deals with on a regular basis, clients that are very much not the government.

The contract is not necessarily cost+fee, though I'm not sure how you think this is germane.
The reason given for AA is to give opportunity so that the WAMOB can be competitive.
However, company 2 (and other similar companies) are already just as competitive as other companies with the same qualifications.  The ONLY distinction is that they are owned by a minority.  As stated before, we're not dealing with the government. 


Do you consider my position/my reasoning to be racist?

redemption

Re: OMFG
« Reply #46 on: May 05, 2006, 08:20:20 AM »
Do you support AA as national policy?  Why?

I think an argument in favor of AA might (generally) be: it does more good than harm.

I would ask to whom does it do more harm?

redemption

Re: OMFG
« Reply #47 on: May 05, 2006, 08:31:57 AM »
How about we just talk about this single transaction.  My position was clearly framed in the context of the specific, I have made no assertions about public policy.

The client is not clearly the government.  In fact, I was thinking about several such clients that my company deals with on a regular basis, clients that are very much not the government.

The contract is not necessarily cost+fee, though I'm not sure how you think this is germane.
The reason given for AA is to give opportunity so that the WAMOB can be competitive.
However, company 2 (and other similar companies) are already just as competitive as other companies with the same qualifications.  The ONLY distinction is that they are owned by a minority.  As stated before, we're not dealing with the government. 

Well your argument is looking a bit shaky, even though it's still early.  :D

1. You say the Co. 2 is "just as competitive", even though your hypo states that it underperforms.

2. You say that this transaction is racist - thereby placing it frmly within a pattern - but you're not willing to examine the pattern, and want to stay narrowly focused on a single transaction.

3. the whole rationale of minority set-asides is that they are (intended) as a blunt instrument to counteract a pattern. Right?

4. if the client is a private entity, and their purpose is to advertise the fact that they're contracting out to minority groups so that they earn goodwill points, why not characterise this as a commercial reason for the set aside program, rather than as racism?


redemption

Re: OMFG
« Reply #48 on: May 05, 2006, 08:32:49 AM »
i think AA probably does less harm than good, but that's just depending on how big the backlash is.

it does do harm in the sense of reinforcing racial identities, if you consider that a harm.  personally it's okay with me.

Gotcha.

redemption

Re: OMFG
« Reply #49 on: May 05, 2006, 08:35:19 AM »

margee's hypothetical contractor, for one.  But taking the wider view you recommended, does AA not do more good than harm and therefore should one not support it?

Wait. you think that the general contractor is the only entity involved in margee's transaction? is the minroty firm not a factor in the cost-benefit calculus? Why?