Author Archives: DarkWaters

The One Minute Case Against Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action is racism

Affirmative action refers to a collection of policies intended to promote access to education and employment for minorities and women. In an attempt to guarantee such opportunities, government enforced and voluntary programs impose an assortment of racial criteria on businesses, public offices and universities. Compliance with these programs can often cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal and consultant fees as well as significant opportunity costs when organizations are forced make decisions based on race and gender instead of merit.

The underlying evil of all affirmative action programs is that individuals are categorized by their race. This principle inevitably prolongs racism. This is why an anxiety of appearing racist amongst white males is very common in the United States compared to their European counterparts, and why corporations desperately seek to present themselves as non-discriminating and careers are shattered by unjust accusations of racism.

Affirmative Action hurts employers

There are two kinds of jobs affected by affirmative action policies. The first are employment opportunities which seek individuals who possess a minimum set of skills. Some examples include factory workers, cashiers and food service workers. Such affirmative action policies make it more difficult for individuals from non-protected groups to be considered for a position.

Another kind of employment opportunity seeks the best possible candidate for the job. This category includes professorships, managerial and engineering jobs. In order to avoid the appearance of racism, consultancy groups may reluctantly employ an analyst who they know will not produce as many great ideas, hospitals may reluctantly employ a surgeon who they know will not be as effective in the ER, and universities will admit students who they know will not be as diligent.

Affirmative Action hurts employees

Because employment opportunities are given to less qualified, there will be less remaining opportunities awarded to the most qualified. Thus, applicants who don’t belong to a legally protected “under-represented” group compete for fewer positions and therefore face more exclusive standards for selection. As many high school graduates know, SAT scores and GPA requirements for admission to the most competitive of universities are seemingly higher for students of East Asian or East Indian descent. 1

Affirmative Action hurts minorities

A high school student with a below average academic record is likely to be a below average college student. Thus, students admitted through minority recruiting programs often end up in remedial classes with mediocre academic performance. Through simple cause and effect, affirmative action programs prolong the stereotype of minority students finishing near the bottom of their class by encouraging enrollment in universities beyond an appropriate level of difficulty. According to a federal study, just 39% of enrolled black students finish their degrees compared to 54% of white students. 2 Attending a university where the pace of learning is too difficult is just as counterproductive as attempting to lift too much weight at the gym.
The insistence on relaxed admission standards for minority students insinuates that such students are incapable of succeeding without such programs. This insult casts a permanent doubt on the real achievements of high-achieving minorities.

Affirmative Action must end

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed that one day we would live in a society where individuals would be judged by their character and not the color of their skin. The affirmative action policies of today are both unnecessary and detrimental to minority success. Moreover, they are significant barriers to the establishment of a racially-blind meritocratic society. Justice for all requires the end of affirmative action.


  1. Syracuse University – Office of Multicultural Affairs
  2. MSNBC: U.S. college drop-out rate sparks concer

Further reading:

  • Inside American Education by Thomas Sowell.
  • Individualism–The Only Cure for Racism by


Filed under Politics

The One Minute Case For Privatizing Education

Public schools are immoral

The title “public schools” is misleading. In almost all cases, these schools are run by the government, taught with government mandated curricula and run in a top-down fashion from state and local bureaucrats. “Government schools” is a more appropriate title.

All citizens are forced to contribute thousands of dollars towards government education through taxation regardless of their usage. Parents who home school or send their children to a private institution must pay for education twice. Because the government maintains a coercive monopoly in the education market, it is extraordinarily difficult for private institutions to compete when children can be enrolled at a government school at no marginal cost.

Furthermore, parents have the right to choose a school based on its overarching philosophy and its academic focus. Instead, parents must contribute to institutions that teach sexual harassment to primary school children, present creationism alongside with evolution or pledge to leave “no child left behind” even if it stunts the education of the more motivated children.

Government schools don’t work

By financially crippling their competition, government schools can afford to offer a lackadaisical education. A shocking number of high school graduates are illiterate and an embarrassing number struggle to write complete, coherent sentences. Worst of all, students do not learn how to think. Graduates typically have strong opinions on political and moral issues but are unable to offer a cogent argument for their convictions.

Government schools can’t hire quality teachers

Government schools can also afford to maintain a sub-standard workforce. Tenure is a system that rewards teachers who have seniority and play office politics. Tenured educators have an enormous amount of job security regardless of their competence. Terminating a tenured teacher’s contract is an elaborate, costly process as teachers’ unions invariably litigate the decision. Not only does this encourage retention of mediocre teachers but this also removes the incentive for educators to continue to develop new skills.

Moreover, the current near monopoly also cripples employment opportunities for educators. Not only are positions limited, but salaries are also dictated by bureaucrats and lobbyists, not the market. Public schools cannot offer merit-based salaries to attract more qualified professionals.

Government schools can’t compete with private school

Because they are immune from market pressures, government schools can also afford to allow costs to balloon to inexcusable proportions as costs of education are included in taxes and inflation. Washington DC spends over $12,000 per student each year – the highest cost in the nation. It also happens to have the lowest public school test scores of any state in the nation. A good private school will start at $8,000- $10,000 per year – so the median income DC resident would have to pay $22,000 to send one child to private school. Nationwide, public school teachers are almost twice as likely as other parents to choose private schools for their own children, a study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute found.

Privatizing education benefits everyone

A common misconception is that privatizing education will only benefit the wealthy. This is wrong. Removing government controls on schools will raise the standard of education for everyone.

Even if one insists on government subsidized education, children from impoverished backgrounds will be immeasurably better off if given a voucher to attend a private academy of their choice. This is portended by the successful programs in Milwuakee, Cleveland and Washington D.C. Although vouchers are an improvement, a direct tax credit for education would be far superior as it requires even less interference on the economy.

Further reading:

  • Market Education: The Unknown History by Andrew Coulson
  • Leonard Peikoff. “The American School: Why Johnny Can’t Think” in The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought. (Also on CD)
  • Tax Credits for Education by Ayn Rand, The Voice of Reason: Essays in Objectivist Thought.
  • Inside American Education by Thomas Sowell


Filed under Politics

The One Minute Case Against Iran’s “Right” to Uranium Enrichment Technology

Iran is the global leader of Islamic Totalitarianism

During the Iranian Revolution in 1979 a group of militant university students stormed a United States embassy, taking 52 United States citizens hostage for 444 days. These students were not a violent, autonomous faction but a group that received the whole-hearted support of the post-revolution Islamic regime of Ayatollah Khomeini.

Ever since, Iran’s financial, ideological and political sanctions of terrorism have been numerous. Iran supports Hezbollah who, amongst many other attacks, have been responsible for the bombing of the U. S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut in October 1983, the detonating of the Khobar Towers apartment complex in Saudia Arabia and the 1994 blasting of a seven-story building in Buenos Aires.1 Furthermore, Iran offers passionate ideological, political and in many cases economic support of both Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two Islamic militant organizations whose stated goal is the destruction of Israel.

Does the current Iranian President distance his administration from this recent history of fanatical bloodshed? Quite the opposite; President Ahmadinejad proudly identifies himself as a child of the (Iranian) revolution and has publicly rejoiced “God willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world without the United States and Zionism.” 2 Moreover, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the largest branch of the Iranian military, has been providing deadly weapons to radical Shiite insurgents in Iraq. 3

Iran’s motives are not peaceful

After taking office, President Ahmadinejad immediately transferred Iran’s nuclear program under military control and his administration has continued the clandestine relocation of nuclear technologies to fortified underground complexes. Furthermore, there are numerous, recently unearthed top-secret nuclear weapons components in Iran that are all simultaneously progressing. This includes a beryllium program, a metal commonly used in missiles and other aerospace products, an acquiring of a series of hot isostatic presses, which are commonly used to shape atomic weapons and a CMC production program, a graphite material commonly used in heat shields for nuclear weapons. 1 In addition, Iran has recently purchased 18 smuggled nuclear-capable cruise missiles on the Ukrainian black market. 4 Lastly, Iran has sought to bolster its defensive capability after agreeing to purchase 29 anti-missile defense systems from Russia. 5

Iran has also uniformly rejected all diplomatic approaches that involved any significant delay in their accelerated pursuit, including proposals to have their uranium enriched in Russia, which would have given the Islamic state access to a nuclear fuel cycle while the Russians would ensure the program is peaceful. 6

Power to weapons is just a matter of enrichment

Low-enriched uranium (LEU) is the fuel that is needed to run nuclear power reactors and high-enriched uranium (HEU) is what is needed for nuclear weapons. It is important to recognize that it takes significantly more resources to enrich uranium to LEU levels than it does to subsequently proceed to enrich uranium to HEU levels. By the time Iran can successfully mass produce LEU, it will have done 80 percent of the work in producing HEU for use in nuclear weapons. 1

Rights are forfeited after threatening to initiate force

A nation who protects, finances or endorses terrorists is a nation that encourages the violation of the inalienable rights of others. Such a nation has absolutely no right to any technology that will enhance its offensive capability.

The evidence that the Iranian Government has no respect for individual rights is undeniable. President Ahmadinejad has issued repeated unabashed threats to eradicate Israel and has insinuated that Iran will take appropriate military action if their pursuit of uranium enrichment technology is blocked. Iranian schoolchildren are taught to chant “Death to America” and are indoctrinated with anti-Western propaganda. Tehran is decorated with murals encouraging the destruction of the United States. Apostates are still threatened with the death penalty from the state.

If the Iranian government wishes to receive the right to uranium enrichment technology, it must issue a total renunciation of Islamic Totalitarianism, including a political condemnation of the activities of Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. In addition, Iran must impose a strict separation of mosque and state and it must embrace a constitution that protects individual rights. Until such overhauls are honestly completed, Iran has no rights to uranium enrichment technology.


  1. The Iran Threat: President Ahmadinejad and the Coming Nuclear Crisis by Alireza Jafarzadeh
  2. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatens Israel with destruction. CNN, October 27, 2005
  3. Bush: Iran Involved in Sending Weapons to Iraq. ABC news, February 14, 2007.
  4. Cruise missile row rocks Ukraine. BBC News, March 18, 2005
  5. Russia Fills Iran’s Air Defense Missile Contract. Fox News, January 23, 2007
  6. Iran rejects Russia nuclear plan. BBC News, January 1, 2006

Further Reading:

  • “Iran attack debate raises nuclear prospect” BBC News, April 10, 2006.
  • “No Substitute for Victory”: The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism by Dr. John Lewis, The Objective Standard, Volume 1, Number 4.
  • In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power by Daniel Pipes


Filed under Current Events