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Archive for August, 2017

Affirmative Action’s Failure in Higher Education

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 25, 2017

In the 1970s concerns grew that people of color were inappropriately represented in America’s institutions of higher education.  Social engineers and the judicial branch of government determined that this inequity could be addressed by programs that became known as Affirmative Action.  While the inequity was real, evidence indicates the corrective actions have failed.

The New York Times published an article whose headline speaks of Affirmative-Action’s failure:  “Even With Affirmative Action, Blacks and Hispanics Are More Underrepresented at Top Colleges than 35 Years Ago”.  The article includes data indicating that since 1980 the percentage of African-American students in America’s top 100 schools has remain “virtually unchanged”.  The Times indicated, however, that there have been gains for African-American and Hispanic in “less selective colleges”.

The Times only offered snippets of potential reasons behind the Affirmative-Action’s failure in America’s top 100 schools.  This includes what the Times refers to as “equity issues that begin earlier” and “distinct disadvantage to begin with”.  A deeper dive into these issues could have been informative and point towards corrective actions.  Did the Times avoid such discussion in fear of who may be to blame for the failure of the Affirmative Action Programs?

The Times indicated that the number of white students enrolled in the top 100 universities has declined since 1980.  During this same period there has been an increase in the number of Asian students.  The reasons behind these changes deserve study, but were ignored by the Times.

Social engineering is at best a soft science with a record of success that has been spotty.  It is often riddled with crony-capitalism.  Programs that fail to successfully meet the goals set up when they were created need to be canceled or radically changed.

Social engineering programs should be judges based on results, not emotion.  Programs that have proven successful should be considered for expansion.  Those that have failed should be eliminated.  Unfortunately this type of results-based performance evaluation are rarely used by social engineers and their partners in the government.

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Bernie Sanders Pushes Healthcare that Failed in Vermont

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 9, 2017

Politicians of both political parties promote programs to satisfy their political base to ensure reelection.  Unfortunately, the tests of efficacy or reasonableness for programs are not based on hard facts or economic realities, but instead on how they could affect politicians’ reelection chances.  This perversion of logic typically results in programs that cause more harm than benefit, especially in the long-run.

Recently, Senator Bernie Sanders, the Independent-Socialist from Vermont who caucuses with Democrats, promoted a single-payer healthcare system that is long been popular with the political Left, who Sanders counts on for reelection.  This is overly simplistic solution to America’s significant healthcare problems avoids addressing the real issue, the high cost of healthcare.  Instead, single-payer systems merely move costs around like a shell game, promising Americans more for less.  Politicians make a career out of playing this same broken record.

During a recent interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Sanders indicated he will introduce new single-payer health care legislation.  Tapper then asked Sanders why his own state of Vermont, or California, both Democratic states, could not be successful passing single-payer health care: “Let’s talk about single-payer, because it was attempted in your home state of Vermont, and it didn’t work because they couldn’t get the funding, because it would be too expensive, the Democratic governor said.”  Tapper concluded his question by stating that both Democratic governors admitted they could not find funding for single-payer systems in their states.

Tapper then concluded with the following question: “How do you make it national if you can’t even get it in Vermont and California?”  Sanders got uncomfortable and merely answered that it was “difficult”.

Bernie Sanders’ position on single-payer health care is a textbook example of how politicians serve special interests to ensure their reelections.  It also helps demonstrate how flawed programs continue to be promoted, irrespective of efficacy.  In this case, even though the single-payer system could not pass in staunchly Democratic states of Vermont and California due to economic constraints, Sanders would inflict this unviable program on entire Country.

Since the election, Donald Trump has shown significant character flaws that are difficult to support.  However, his suggestion last week to have senators and congressmen live under the same healthcare plans that most Americans do, strikes a chord.

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