Thursday, July 15, 2010

US Commission On Civil Rights Not Amused By The Quotas In Financial Reform Bill

Well, this came as a bit of a surprise, a pleasant one at that. You will recall that Rep. Maxine Waters had inserted a provision into the Financial Reform Bill creating quotas for women and minorities for financial institutions.

But not so fast says the US Commission on Civil Rights, as this article by Caroline May makes clear, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Demands Changes to Democrats’ Financial Reform Bill. That pretty much says it all, but wait until you see what some of the members actually said about this issue:
[snip] Commissioners Peter Kirsanow, Ashley Taylor, Gail Heriot, and Todd Gaziano affixed their names to the letter, which charges the Senate with either “consciously or unconsciously” promoting discrimination.

“All too often, when bureaucrats are charged with the worthy task of preventing race or gender discrimination, they in fact do precisely the opposite,” the letter reads. “They require discrimination by setting overly optimistic goals that can only be fulfilled by discriminating in favor of the groups the goals are supposed to benefit.”

The letter continues, “In this case, the bureaucrats are not even being asked to prevent discrimination, but to ensure ‘fair inclusion.’ The likelihood that it will in fact promote discrimination is overwhelming.”

Holy moley - they are not mincing any words here. And good for them for that. But they did not stop there:
[snip] “Some legislators have evidently come to think of women and minorities as just another constituency whose leaders must be brought on board with incentives when major legislation is being considered,” the letter says. “The notion that legislation should include ‘a little something’ for everyone is troubling in any context, but it is especially troubling in the context of race and gender, given the requirements of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution.”

Commissioner Todd Gaziano told The Daily Caller that Section 342, whether it intends to or not, could have dire implications for the financial markets.

“The likely end of creating offices that require these types of racial and gender goals is that it will result in quotas and discrimination,” he said. “There are many existing laws and enforcement mechanisms that already prohibit discrimination. This provision, by contrast, takes affirmative steps to guarantee discrimination.”

That sounds like a fairly damning assessment to me. Clearly, there are so many problems with inserting these quotas on so many different levels. That the Civil Rights Commission is coming out against it, and so strongly, is telling. Previously, the former chief economist at the US Department of Labor, Diana Furchtgott-Roth, also came out strongly against this provision:
“This is a radical shift in employment legislation,” she said. “The law effectively changes the standard by which institutions are evaluated from anti-discrimination regulations to quotas. In order to be in compliance with the law these businesses will have to show that they have a certain percentage of women and a certain percentage of minorities.”

Furchtgott-Roth worries that this might be a harbinger of things to come.

“So what does this mean? Are we going to get rid of anti-discrimination laws all together and just put in quotas? Could this be what’s to come in other sectors?” she questioned.

And an excellent question it is. Disturbing question, too, I might add.

So what will become of this letter by some of the members of the US Civil Rights Commission on this issue? Well, I wish I could tell you it was going to make all the difference:
Commissioner Peter Kirsanow was more blunt.

“I don’t think it is going to have a substantial effect,” he said. “I think they will ignore it as they have other letters we have sent. Just recently, they ignored our concerns with the health care bill, which contains a number of highly suspect racial provisions embedded deep within the text. They will emerge at some point and we will have to deal with them.” (Emphasis mine.)

Kirsanow added that in addition to the constitutional problems associated with mandating quotas, the political implications are also troubling.

“There is considerable evidence over the years that these types of quota provisions dissolve into a political spoils system—we see it at the federal, state and local level—with certain positions being reserved for certain people,” he said.

Uh, yeah. Again, I urge you to read the full article here. It is well worth your time.

I just have to wonder why this was even put into this bill in the first place, especially if there is evidence showing it is so counter productive. Perhaps the excuse, um, I mean, explanation, will come to light at some point (though I am not holding my breath). At the very least, I hope this provision is removed.

I'm not holding my breath for that, either.


Anonymous said...

Rev. Amy- You bet they are going to ignore it! And, of course, any member of Congress who cites that letter will be called a racist...and that's how they get away with that crap.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

It really is remarkable, isn't it? Oh, and I think they had something to say abt the whole voting thing, too, after the DOJ whistleblower testified in front of them.

Ironic, isn't it, that the Civil Rights Commission is routinely ignored by this Congress and Administration? Wow...