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Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more

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Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 04 May 2018, 23:01
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Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more generally, affirmative action are phrases that carry powerful emotional charges. But why should affirmative action, of all government policies, be so controversial? In a sense, affirmative action is like other government programs, e.g., defense, conservation, and public schools. Affirmative action programs are designed to achieve legitimate government objectives such as improved economic efficiency, reduced social tension, and general betterment of the public welfare. While it cannot be denied that there is no guarantee that affirmative action will achieve these results, neither can it be denied that there are plausible, even powerful, sociological and economic arguments pointing to its likely success. Government programs, however, entail a cost; i.e., the expenditure of social or economic resources. Setting aside cases in which the specific user is charged a fee for service (toll roads and tuition at state institutions), the burdens and benefits of publicly funded or mandated programs are widely shared. When an individual benefits personally from a government program, it is only because she or he is one member of a larger beneficiary class, e.g., a farmer; and most government revenue is obtained through a scheme of general taxation to which all are subject. Affirmative action programs are exceptions to this general rule, though not, as it might at first seem, because the beneficiaries of the programs are specific individuals. It is still the case that those who ultimately benefit from affirmative action do so only by virtue of their status as a member of a larger group, a particular minority. Rather the difference is the location of the burden. In affirmative action, the burden of “funding” the program is not shared universally, and that is inherent in the nature of the case, as can be seen clearly in the case of affirmative action in employment. Often job promotions are allocated along a single dimension— seniority. When an employer promotes a less senior worker from a minority group, the person disadvantaged by the move is easily identified: the worker with greatest seniority on a combined minority-non minority list passed over for promotion. Now we are confronted with two competing moral sentiments. On the one hand, there is the idea that those who have been unfairly disadvantaged by past discriminatory practices are entitled to some kind of assistance. On the other, there is the feeling that no person ought to be deprived of what is rightfully his, even for the worthwhile service of his fellow humans. In this respect, disability due to past racial discrimination, at least in so far as there is no connection to the passed-over worker, is like a natural evil. When a villainous man willfully and without provocation strikes and injures another, there is not only the feeling that the injured person ought to be compensated but there is also consensus that the appropriate party to bear the cost is the one who inflicted the injury. Yet, if the same innocent man stumbled and injured himself, it would be surprising to hear someone argue that the villainous man ought to be taxed for the injury simply because he might have tripped the victim had he been given the opportunity. There may very well be agreement that the victim should be aided in his recovery with money and personal assistance, and many will give willingly, but there is also agreement that no one individual ought to be singled out and forced to do what must ultimately be considered an act of charity.


1. The passage is primarily concerned with

(A) comparing affirmative action programs to other government programs
(B) arguing that affirmative action programs are morally justified
(C) analyzing the basis for moral judgments about affirmative action programs
(D) introducing the reader to the importance of affirmative action as a social issue
(E) describing the benefits that can be obtained through affirmative action programs



2. The author mentions toll roads and tuition at state institutions in order to

(A) anticipate a possible objection based on counterexamples
(B) avoid a contradiction between moral sentiments
(C) provide illustrations of common government programs
(D) voice doubts about the social and economic value of affirmative action
(E) offer examples of government programs that are too costly



3. With which of the following statements would the author most likely agree?

(A) Affirmative action programs should be discontinued because they place an unfair burden on non minority persons who bear the cost of the programs.
(B) Affirmative action programs may be able to achieve legitimate social and economic goals such as improved efficiency.
(C) Affirmative action programs are justified because they are the only way of correcting injustices created by past discrimination.
(D) Affirmative action programs must be redesigned so that society as a whole, rather than particular individuals, bears the cost of the programs.
(E) Affirmative action programs should be abandoned because they serve no useful social function and place unfair burdens on particular individuals.



4. The author most likely places the word “funding” in quotation marks in order to remind the reader that

(A) affirmative action programs are costly in terms of government revenues
(B) particular individuals may bear a disproportionate share of the burden of affirmative action
(C) the cost of most government programs is shared by society at large
(D) the beneficiaries of affirmative action are members of larger groups
(E) the cost of affirmative action is not only a monetary expenditure



5. According to the passage, affirmative action programs are different from most other government programs in the

(A) legitimacy of the goals the programs are designed to achieve
(B) ways in which costs of the programs are distributed
(C) methods for allocating the benefits of the programs
(D) legal structures that are enacted to achieve the objectives
(E) discretion granted to the executive for implementing the programs





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Originally posted by SajjadAhmad on 04 May 2018, 11:36.
Last edited by Bunuel on 04 May 2018, 23:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more  [#permalink]

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New post 04 May 2018, 19:39
Can someone explain to me why number 3 isn't D?
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Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more  [#permalink]

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New post 05 May 2018, 11:29
ng.phg.mai wrote:
Can someone explain to me why number 3 isn't D?


The correct answer is (B). This is an application question. In the first paragraph the author states that affirmative action is designed to achieve social and economic objectives. Although he qualifies his claim, he seems to believe that the arguments are in favor of affirmative action. So (B) is clearly supported by the text. (A) is not supported by the text since the author leaves us with a question; he does not resolve the issue. (C) can be eliminated on the same ground. The author neither embraces nor rejects affirmative action. (D) goes beyond the scope of the argument. While the author might wish this were possible, nothing in the passage indicates such restructuring is possible. Indeed, in paragraph three the author remarks that the “funding” problem seems to be inherent. Finally, (E) can be eliminated on the same ground as (A). Though the author recognizes the unfairness of affirmative action, he also believes that the programs are valuable.

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Re: Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more  [#permalink]

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New post 05 May 2018, 22:43
Would anyone please Explain question no 5.. How to eliminate both A and C ??
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Re: Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more  [#permalink]

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New post 06 May 2018, 08:18
soumya170293 wrote:
Would anyone please Explain question no 5.. How to eliminate both A and C ??


soumya170293

The correct answer is (B). This is an explicit idea question. In paragraph one, the author mentions that affirmative action is like other government programs in that it is designed to achieve certain social and economic goals. So, (A) cites a similarity rather than a difference. (C) can also be eliminated. In paragraph three the author states that the relevant difference is not the method of allocating benefits. The salient difference is set forth in the same paragraph, and it is the difference described by (B). (D) and (E) are simply not mentioned anywhere in the selection.

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Re: Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Aug 2018, 01:10
Why is answer to Q4 not B? B is clearly implied when the author states " In affirmative action, the burden of “funding” the program is not shared universally".
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Re: Reverse discrimination, minority recruitment, racial quotas, and, more &nbs [#permalink] 24 Aug 2018, 01:10
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