Problems with Affermative Action

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When asked about his view on affirmative action and the quota system used within, Senator Daniel P. Moynihan responded, “This was just the sort of thing we assumed we Senator Moynihan was one of the first political figures to help in the fight against discrimination in the workplace. He helped in the writing of the executive order of equal employment opportunity. If a person who felt strongly about Civil Rights stated that quotas were something that shouldn’t be, why are they being implemented in big business.

Many people believe that sexual and racial quotas in business are interfering with the amount of qualified or to be more specific, the most qualified personnel being hired. For instance if a white male with a masters degree in sales applied for a managerial job in an upper-class clothing store whiten the same time zone as a black female with a bachelors degree in sales, it is very possible that the black female would receive the position.

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In this case the company may have already hired two white males in the previous months and the quota established by the company called for the hiring of a person in a minority group. I don’t believe it is fair for the company to have the right to disqualify a person because of his or her sex or race. This brings us back to the issue of equality, If all races and sexes are equal then their opportunity in the job market should.

The supreme court originally stated that rigid numerical quotas were illegal, however the court changed the ruling and left the decision up to the business owners. Since that supreme court ruling was made, many business chose to implement the numerical quota system. The reason many businesses are using these quotas is because they are required by law to follow the laws proceding the 1964 civil rights act. These laws state that employers cannot refuse to hire anyone due to their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

The civil rights act also states that it is illegal for employers to limit, segregate, or classify his or her employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Numerical quotas seem to contradict the idea of the civil rights act by limiting the number of certain races, sexes, and religions hired by Although numerical quotas do not seem to be in agreement with the civil rights act, it is still necessary to enforce the laws pertaining to civil rights. The only defence I can possibly find to support a numerical quota system it that of the business itself.

Numerous businesses have difficulty following the laws of the equal rights act without the help of a numerical quota system. If discrimination by the personnel hiring for these businesses were eliminated, the need for a numeric quota would be eliminated with it. In closing I believe it is important to cease all discrimination in the workplace. However it is not necessary to impede upon the rights of qualified personnel by implementing numerical quotas that retard the possibilities of these people receiving.


  1. The book: Jobs, Dollars, and EEO copyright 1983 by McGraw-Hill Book Company by Richard A. Fear and James F. Ross
  2. The Magazine: Harper’s December, 1980
  3. The WebPage:
  4. The WebPages:

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Problems with Affermative Action. (2018, Jul 21). Retrieved from

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