Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Cost of Affirmative Action Estimated at Hundreds of Billions

Affirmative Action: The Robin Hood Effect. by La Griffe du Lion "Calculation of income lost by whites because of affirmative action. In a quintile, the income lost by whites is approximately the difference between the white population of the quintile in a meritocracy and the actual white population, times the midpoint income in the quintile. The sum of these quantities is the net lost income, about $192 billion.
In 1997, because of affirmative action, about $192 billion in income was transferred from whites to preferred minorities. If we perform precisely the same calculation for blacks and Hispanics, we can break down the $192 billion into the amounts gained by each group. We find that $144.3 billion was transferred to blacks and $47.5 billion to Hispanics. Dividing these gains by the respective numbers of black and Hispanic workers, we can compute their average annual income enhancement. In 1997, on average a black was subsidized to the tune of about $9,400; a Hispanic gained an average of about $3,900. The cost of these subsidies was spread over 98,782,000 white workers who suffered an average loss of about $1,900 to pay the bill.
The cascade effect. The net displacement of whites by minorities is not uniformly spread across the quintiles. When high-earning whites are displaced down the employment ladder, they displace other whites downward by exerting pressure on the rung below. The effect is like a cascade. At the bottom there is no rung left. Low IQ whites, who in an affirmative action-free marketplace would be competitive in the $10,000 to $20,000 bracket, now pile up in the lowest-income quintile."

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