Yet Another Thing Liberals Do to Demean Women and Minorities
Massachusetts State Auditor Suzanne Bump published a state audit this week that revealed the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) didn’t hire enough women and minorities for contract jobs.
Nope, as is the case with most government audits, there were no findings of waste, fraud, or abuse of taxpayer money. Auditors instead admonished the DCR for not bowing to political correctness.
Massachusetts law requires that state construction contracts have 15.3 percent participation goals for minorities and 6.9 percent for women. Auditors lectured the DCR to develop new policies and procedures to meet those thresholds.
But whatever happened to the idea of simply hiring the best and most qualified candidate for the job, regardless of race and gender?
And, no, this trend of a state government hiring someone for a contract job based on demographics — as opposed to talent — isn’t limited to liberal Massachusetts. This seems to run rampant in several states.
In a 2012 analysis on Governing.com, Senior Web Editor Caroline Cournoyer wrote that these type practices among state governments complicate efficiency. Companies find ways to circumvent all the government red tape.
“Are the businesses actually owned by women or members of minority groups?” Cournoyer asked.
“Or are they just Potemkin companies that look one way on the outside and another on the inside?”
Cournoyer cited a Philadelphia prison contractor receiving nearly $200 million from the city. Philadelphia officials believed they were handing 40 percent of a contract over to a female-owned business. But, as Cournoyer went on to write, that prison contractor paid a subcontractor to use its name and assigned the work to companies that didn’t meet the city’s standards for minority-, female-, or disabled-owned vendors.
“Also harmed are taxpayers who may not see their tax dollars used for the best contractor — but rather for the one that stretched the law in order to camouflage itself as a woman- or a minority-owned company,” Cournoyer said.
And then there are the companies that are genuinely women- and minority-owned.
Someone who, at the time, worked for a state agency in a Southern state said that all too often, she saw her employer hire women- and minority-owned contractors for a specific task. The contractor ultimately performed shoddy workmanship. Then the state agency had to spend additional taxpayer dollars to hire someone else to fix the prior contractor’s work and do a quality job.
But virtue signals matter more than the wise and efficient spending of taxpayer money, right?
By not hiring the best and most qualified individuals to do a construction job from the get-go, state agencies waste taxpayer money. They reinforce what George W. Bush said about a “soft bigotry of low expectations” for women and minorities. They insult women and minorities. The politicians and bureaucrats who wrote these laws clearly do not believe that women and minorities can get contract jobs on their own merits.
This is not to say that women-and minority-owned businesses are incapable of making themselves the best and most adept contractor to perform a certain construction job. But with these policies in place, most people generally assume they are not capable and that they benefit from charity and/or pity.
Most of us would agree that failure is the best teacher. Failure makes a person work harder and strive to do better. Laws in Massachusetts and countless other states robs individuals of the chance to live up to their fullest potential in life.
And that’s demeaning.
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