“No Dogs or Chinese Allowed” – Bringing Discrimination Into the Modern Era At America’s Elite Universities

The New York Times has a nice debate about the fact that while the percentage of Asians in the general population has steadily risen, the percentage gaining acceptance into the elite Ivy League universities has hardly changed at all.  To receive equal consideration by elite colleges, Asian Americans must outperform Whites by 140 points, Hispanics by 280 points, Blacks by 450 points out of 1600 on the SAT.  To me, the point here is that racial discrimination is always wrong – even if you give it a sweet name like “affirmative action” or “holistic application review.”

The chart below – which compares Asian-American population growth, Asian-American admissions at race-blind CalTech, and admissions at the elite Ivy League schools, provides strong statistical evidence that something squirrely is happening.  Borrowing the Supreme Court’s “two or three standard deviations” standard, I think it’s irrefutable that there is some sort of discrimination happening.

Ron Unz, who prepared the above chart, writes:

After the Justice Department closed an investigation in the early 1990s into charges that Harvard University discriminated against Asian-American applicants, Harvard’s reported enrollment of Asian-Americans began gradually declining, falling from 20.6 percent in 1993 to about 16.5 percent over most of the last decade.

The last 20 years have brought a huge rise in the number of Asians winning top academic awards in our high schools or being named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists. It seems quite suspicious that none of trends have been reflected in their increased enrollment at Harvard and other top Ivy League universities.


Postscript:  It would appear that the “No Dogs Or Chinese” sign alleged to have been at Public Park in Shanghai, China is apparently a myth – the sign actually put it much more politely as “The Gardens are reserved for the Foreign Community.”  The image above is actually from the Bruce Lee movie Fist of Fury, which depicted the sign at the entrance to the park.


Yes, please:

It would be nice if people started with the presumption that the world is not run by an evil conspiracy, and then required strong evidence to falsify it, rather than the other way around.

I think this every time someone talks about a government or large corporate conspiracy.  Having worked for both the government and a large corporation, I can tell you that at the end of the day both are staffed by people.  Normal, ordinary people who would response to an ethically outrageous conspiracy the same way as you, your friends, or any of the normal people to whom you spin your conspiracy theories.  No organization has managed to cull together 1000s of evil, cackling geniuses, all equally committed to carrying out and keeping secret some grand scheme to deprive you of your liberty or happiness.

Congress Tries to Close Down Small Businesses

Congress, apparently afraid that this country has too many successful small businesses, has launched on a campaign to bury them in an avalanche of paperwork.

Hidden in the new health care “reform” law is a requirement that every time a business makes a purchase over $600, they must send an IRS form 1099 to that person and the IRS — which includes obtaining that person’s name, address, and taxpayer ID.  Here’s a summary:

Basically, businesses will have to issue 1099s whenever they do more than $600 of business with another entity in a year. For the $14 trillion U.S. economy, that’s a hell of a lot of 1099s. When a business buys a $1,000 used car, it will have to gather information on the seller and mail 1099s to the seller and the IRS. When a small shop owner pays her rent, she will have to send a 1099 to the landlord and IRS.

Now for large businesses that have an accounting system in place that is capable of handing this it will be difficult and burdensome, but still possible.  For a small business owner, collecting all this information and sending out these forms will probably require hiring another full time employee.  Not every mom and pop business out there has $100k in spare profits that they can see eaten up in government compliance costs.


New York City Discovers There’s No Free Lunch

Given this statement regarding a collection of housing units in NYC:

All are owned by private or nonprofit groups overseeing buildings that were already deeply distressed and populated by the poorest of residents, giving owners razor-thin margins to operate on. People bought co-op apartments for as little as $250, according to the city, while renters pay as little as $90 a month.

…tell me if this surprises you:

the residents of 1694 Davidson Avenue in the Morris Heights section of the Bronx, a formerly city-owned 42-unit building … say living conditions have gone from to bad to worse.The front door locks have long been broken. The garbage incinerator stopped working for months, leading to a stomach-churning stink and attracting raccoon-size rats.

Five years ago the elevator ground to a halt, forcing children of one tenant, Nina Mitchell, to take turns last year hoisting their mother, hobbled by a torn Achilles tendon, up and down four flights of stairs, in her wheelchair, until she healed.

Step one, break the market and impose artifically low caps on rental rates.  Step two, bemoan the poor condition of the city’s rental stock.  Anyone feel like these two are somehow related?

The Mentally Ill

It’s a fact that some people are incapable of caring for themselves.  It’s my opinion that when the person lacks a family willing or able to care for them, the state should step in and take responsibility for ensuring the person’s well being.  Which brings us to this recent ruling in New York:

New York State must immediately begin moving thousands of people with mental illness into their own apartments or small homes and out of large, institutional adult homes that keep them segregated from society, a federal judge ordered on Monday.

On the face of it, it seems like a good idea – who isn’t for better care for the mentally ill?  The problem, of course, is that it costs money.  And when judges pass ruling that prohibit the state from caring for the mentally in a cost efficient manner, states looks to control costs by turning many of the borderline cases out onto the street.  Take a trip through downtown Berkeley and you’ll see what I mean.