Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Lowering the Bar so Everyone "Feeeeels" Good....

These sorts of efforts are so blatantly counterintuitive that it makes me wonder whether the glaringly obvious “unintended consequences” of actions like these aren’t “unintended” at all.  I don’t know what the upshot would be to an institution like Harvard, but when you see that a protected class isn’t making the cut, instead of finding out why and fixing the problem, you lower the bar for everyone?

Or even worse, in the case of the military and others, you make special exceptions for that class? 

So your choice is either to lower the bar for everyone and leave everyone worse off in the end, create a special exception for a certain class of individual, thereby creating the perception (rightfully so) that people in that class are less valuable to prospective employers*, or, you allow your protected class to live up to the same standards as everyone else, and succeed or fail on their own merits. 

Yet somehow, option #3 seems to be the wrong choice; the classist, racist, sexist choice, when it is most obviously the correct and most logical choice.

*What I mean by that is this – say you have a race of people, let’s call them Vulcans, who don’t have the same success rate as another race, the Sporks.  In order to fix this, you lower the success standards for Vulcans, so that they have equality in result (as opposed to equality in opportunity), and you feel as though the problem is solved.  Knowing this, what employer would hire a Vulcan over a Spork, knowing that the Vulcan was held to lower standards and likely cannot perform to the same standards as a Spork?  What employer would pay a Spork and a Vulcan the same money for the same job, knowing the the Spork is probably more qualified and can perform to a higher standard? 

What about the rare case where you actually have a Vulcan that exceeds the Spork against whom he is competing for work?  Having nothing else to go on, why would that employer risk hiring the perceived lower-performing Vulcan over the Spork? 

Do you still think that changing the standards for Vulcans is actually helping them?  Or is it just serving to make the university feel better about themselves?  

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