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Monday, July 09, 2012

Affirmative Action is not a cure all

Here in South Africa a lot has been made of Affirmative Action (AA). In fact, here it is called Black Economic Empowerment (BEE). To the ANC and its cohorts, this is the solution to all South Africa’s problems. However, after 18 years of being in power, the ANC still hasn’t made much headway concerning the poverty of the masses.

One of the major problems with this government, is that it is severely inept when dealing with the problems of this country. For instance, the Department of Education (DOE) battles to deliver textbooks to schools on time almost every single year. The South African school year runs from mid-January to the beginning of December. The stark reality of education in South Africa is that the DOE is still trying to get textbooks to many schools, more than halfway through the year. Clearly, AA has not benefited any of these children that must face end-of-year exams with a major backlog. The fact that many of these children are poor, is not what holds them back, but the very government that promises them the moon and the stars every election cycle. If only these people who run these government departments will stop looking for excuses, and produce what they are supposed to produce. In the case of the DOE, educated children!

But, of course, AA is easier, since people don’t have to work so hard to move ahead in this system. At least for the already wealthy, that is!

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Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Affirmative Action not likely to bring actual equality in society

Thomas Sowell wrote:

thomassowell“In short, the even representation of groups that is taken as a norm is difficult or impossible to find anywhere, while the uneven representation that is regarded as a special deviation to be corrected is pervasive across the most disparate societies. People differ—and have for centuries. It is hard to imagine how they could not differ, given the enormous range of differing historical, cultural, geographic, demographic, and other factors shaping particular skills, habits, and attitudes of different groups. Any ‘temporary’ policy whose duration is defined by the goal of achieving something that has never been achieved before, anywhere in the world, could more fittingly be characterizes as eternal.”
Thomas Sowell, Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study, Yale University Press, New Haven & London, 2004, p7.

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