Increasing Utility Through Affirmative Action Essay

1508 words - 6 pages

Increasing Utility Through Affirmative ActionSince the second half of the twentieth century governments and corporations have implemented numerous policies and programs which actively promote the hiring of minorities in the workplace. This active push towards diversity in the workplace is referred to as affirmative action.. Canada's Charter of Right and Freedoms even includes a sub-section that details the allowance of such programs. Opponents of these programs argue they create indefensible quotas that place unjust pressure on companies to hire minorities, and that they lead to the discrimination of sometimes more qualified white males. Furthermore, that the implementation of these programs are only creating more inequalities and ill-will towards the minorities the programs are intended to help; thus, they feel the programs, in any form, are not justifiable. While it is true that affirmative action does lead to more inequalities in some instances, this alone does not inherently lead to the conclusion that such programs are unjust. Instead, it leads to the problem of identifying the conditions under which such programs are justifiable. Whether priority should be placed on not creating more, temporary, inequalities or correcting past and present wrongs in hopes of eventually achieving equality. The conclusion that affirmative action programs are justifiable can be made by calculating their overall, long-term effects on society and by appealing to justice.Affirmative action programs take many forms. They can be adapted by educational institutions, financial institutions, landlords, and many other institutions that are in a position to award benefits in a society. For this paper I will be concentrating on affirmative action programs implemented by employers, concentrating on hiring and promoting practices. I will be making the assumption that minorities have been, and continue to be discriminated against in the workforce. Throughout the paper I will be using the term minorities to refer to everyone in the workforce who is not a white male. I will show that legal enforcement of civil rights is not an effective or efficient way of identifying discriminatory practices because such practices are deep rooted within the fibers of society. Furthermore, formulas and remedies that center on equal opportunity are not effective because discrimination is not shallow and easily detectable. Rather, discrimination is deep, camouflaged, and embedded in society, thus, the use of quotas and formulas that center on measurable outcomes are needed. I will argue that affirmative action programs, voluntary and government enforced, are justifiable on the grounds that they produce good social consequences and create fairness by increasing diversity in the workplace, and lead to greater overall equality.The general goal of affirmative action programs is the creation of a fair and just society. This eventually leading to a prejudice free environment in which affirmative...

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