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Affirmative Action: Pros and Cons

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The Pro’s and Con’s of Affirmative Action Essay
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Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Because it appears that originally valid plans of affirmative action became in a way corrupted or abused, there have been some opponents to it. Affirmative action is a subject that has been debated and analyzed by philosophers, legal scholars, social scientists, politicians, journalists, editorial writers, and common citizens for three decades.

Basically, the debate has two sides: The Right, which is totally against it, states that Affirmative action only causes people to obtain what they desire not because they deserve it, but because they belong to a group that was discriminated in the past. According to this site, affirmative action is unmeritocratic, leads to reverse-discrimination, and is an un-American guarantee of equal results instead of equal opportunity. The Left, which supports it, states that affirmative action is a compensation for past injustices and a guarantee of a fair share of the economic pie.

To reconcile the two views, it could perhaps be said that an affirmative action plan might be proper in the beginning of a non-discriminatory period of time; women and people from minority groups should feel that they are not discriminated anymore. On the other hand, there is no reason for this period of time to last forever. For instance, in the United States discrimination became illegal a very long time ago, so previously discriminated people should not be given any kind of priority because of what it used to happen in the distant past.

When it became vital to take the affirmative action in the turbulent period of to , a careful consideration of the cultural and historical circumstances became absolutely necessary in its debate and an explanation for why it happened was needed as well.

Affirmative Action is believed to be one of the most controversial policies in the United States. This implies that a great deal of understanding is needed. Their reactions to affirmative action seem very intriguing. Why people who benefit from affirmative action oppose to it deserves the amazement of whoever learns of the fact.

It could perhaps be interpreted that they want to be equal — neither better nor worse. The fact that they are now granted more rights because they were once deprived of the ones they should have in the first place is likely to make them feel inferior.

In other words, their equality should be put in force and they should only obtain what they rightly deserve regardless of their background.

Affirmative action became a major issue in state courts in California and in Pennsylvania, where it was indeed claimed that its almost inevitable effect was reverse discrimination. In general, belonging to a minority group is due to an inborn or inherited matter, like women, African Americans, and people from different origins. On the other hand, there are some groups of people who willfully joined a minority group.

For instance, many people learned one religion at home and later converted to a different one. Homosexuality and bi-sexuality is debatable: Regardless of which theorists are right, homosexual and bi-sexual people were victims of discrimination in the past and later became beneficiaries of affirmative action. As we all know, African Americans were virtually the worst victims of discrimination. Without any right whatsoever, people were taken from Africa and brought to America to be sold as slaves.

The awful slavery was abolished a few hundred years later, but African Americans were still unable to obtain what the average person usually could. In the middle of the twentieth century, discrimination against African Americans became illegal and the law started to call for a total equality, and affirmative action was taken as a remedy.

Before focusing on the fact of whether or not affirmative action should be adopted to provide equal employment opportunity, we need to understand thoroughly the basic concepts or employment.

Edwards states in his book Industrial Relations: Theory and Practice that the employment relations has two parts: The former is more obvious because it covers price of labor, which embraces not only the basic wage but also hours of work, holidays and pension rights. In this respect, labor is like any other commodity, with a price which represents the total cost of enjoying its use. Yet labor differs from all other commodities in that it is enjoyed in use and is embodied in people.

A machine in a factory is also enjoyed in use and for what it can produce. Yet how it is used is solely up to the owner. Most companies have employees nowadays, given that it simply becomes impossible for the owner to do everything all by him- or herself. On hiring a new employee, companies have their own criteria.

We see quite often that the same employee who does not qualify for one company does for another one. In general, a large, profitable business is likely to choose a better skilled worker than a small business that operates at low budget.

Small businesses, which are usually constrained by the pressure of not exceeding their low budget, might also be selective in their own way. A very unskilled person, however economical he or she might be, is likely to be of no significant assistance to the company. As a result, the company might end up loosing money because of him or her. When a person is to be hired by a company, it is imperative that it be done under the equal employment opportunity basis.

The best candidate should be the one taking over the position. Failure to do so would be an unfair practice that might eventually lead to some significant problems. Often, when a problem has been identified, hiring or promotion goals are instituted. In classical affirmative action programs where the employer monitors to make sure that qualified people are hired and promoted the goals are derived from close study of the organization and are based on realistic appraisals of the labor market.

From the above, we see that classical affirmative action is a way in which equal opportunity employment is achieved, and supporters of affirmative action indeed focus on the remedy of unfair acts of discrimination performed in the past. Everybody believes that the employer is to monitor to make sure that qualified people are hired and promoted. In fact, the goal of affirmative action when it came to existence was equal employment opportunity. Nonetheless, its practice later on became corrupted and its present goal is to give priority to people who belong to a minority group that was discriminated in the past.

Many opponents of affirmative action would indeed oppose to discrimination and would agree to a policy in which only qualified people are hired and competent employees are promoted. Bernbach , who so much disapproves of discrimination wrote:. As the name implies, equal employment opportunity is the right of every single person to be employed regardless of his or her background, i.

In the United States there is an organization called Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that focuses on how this right is actually granted to every individual. In order to form a satisfactory picture of what public wanted on EEO, members of the congress would, ideally, want to know about three aspects of constituents attitudes: We see that the government is very much concerned about fair hiring and promotion practices.

It is indeed a fact that everybody wants equal employment opportunities; nobody favors priority on the basis of discrimination or affirmative action. People want the government to ascertain the equal employment opportunities are in effect and they do feel strongly about the issue.

The answer of most people is that the right person should take over the position he or she rightly deserves. Antidiscrimination programs are believed to be inefficient and costly. The reason might be the stagnant economy that has apparently not permitted to continue with them. Government pressures to employ or promote women and minorities may force firms to misallocate labor and thus suffer production losses.

Keeping with the current concern over productive efficiency can rather be an antidiscrimination effort. Burestein, Equal Employment Opportunity, , p. Better production in a company as a whole could rather achieve equality.

For instance, a company has been in business for many years and, on analyzing their activities, they come to see that their production was better when they had people with more skills in the engineering department. As a result they decide to hire a high-skilled engineer.

When doing so, they carefully evaluate every candidate regardless of their background until they end up hiring the most suitable one. One year later, the company analyzes their activities and see some remarkable improvements. One might want to ask how it is possible for someone who is not so skillful to become skillful in the future. The answer would be quite simple: There are many ways online that would enable one to obtain it, and there are many regular schools that could help.

Some people take their not being hired as a lesson to get more education or training. Inevitably, when the person being hired is from a majority group, some people accuse the company of being discriminatory, and, when someone from a minority group is hired, the company might also be accused of having taken affirmative action.

The beginning of antidiscrimination and or against affirmative action is perhaps freedom. One might question what freedom has to do with either discrimination or affirmative action, and the answer might be the actual explanation of what freedom means.

Freedom is the right to share fully and equally in American society — to vote, to hold a job, to enter a public place, to go to school. It is right to be treated in every part of national life as a person equal in dignity and promise to all others. In a society in which freedom is in existence, the equal opportunity employment practice is easier to put in practice. Measures of affirmative action are always very controversial, because they mean a temporary preference for a particular group over another in order to compensate for past inequalities, and the provision of equal opportunities to the targeted groups for example, women, ethnic minorities at present, for the realization of all fundamental freedoms, particularly in education, employment and business.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy The essence of the positive discrimination is rather controversial. Proponents of affirmative action believe that it helps to increase the benefits of diversity in all sectors of society, as well as to compensate for damage caused discrimination. Some argument for affirmative action are: Compensatory justice demands affirmative action programs.

It is necessary to permit fairer competition. Shaw, The main objection is that positive discrimination, according to opponents, is in fact nothing more than a tool of infringing on the rights of the majority in favor of minorities. Opponents of affirmative action argue that it reduces the value of the achievements of the individual, assessing the achievement of the principle of membership in a particular social group, rather than his qualifications.

For example, the achievement of minority representatives in the eyes of society are not significant, perceived as the result not of their own efforts, but only due to the provided benefits. So the Arguments against affirmative action are: It injures white men and violates their rights.


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The Pro’s and Con’s of Affirmative Action Essay The principle that all men are equal in rights and should be treated equally is the cornerstone of human rights theory, and is based on the dignity of every person.

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Affirmative Action is defined as positive steps to enhance the diversity of some group, often to remedy the cumulative effect of subtle as well as gross expression of prejudice. It is the practice of giving preference to racial minorities or women when hiring employees, giving awards or deciding /5(8).

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Free Essay: Affirmative action has been the topic of debate for many years. It has been controversial because it has been said to be a form of reverse. There are pros and cons to the policy, though it remains to be seen which side outweighs the other. Most of the time, the effectiveness and appropriateness of affirmative action have to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

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Read Affirmative Action: Pros and Cons free essay and over 88, other research documents. Affirmative Action: Pros and Cons. Affirmative action was introduced in as a method of addressing the discrimination of minorities that /5(1). Pros and Cons of Affirmative Action Affirmative action is defined as policies that seek out, encourage, and sometimes give preferential treatment to employees in groups protected by Title VII. (site text book) This is usually done through educational or economical benefits.