Sunday, February 21, 2016

Who should be hired ? Emotion vs. Logic

When conclusions and decisions are made based on emotion or rhetoric, they can contradict our basic definition of fairness, of right and wrong.

There have been an ongoing debate about fair representation of minorities in tech industry. The main argument or demand, especially from community leaders like Jesse Jackson, is that the workforce should be representative of the overall population.

Google's tech force is 60% White, 34% Asian, 3% Black or Hispanic. Facebook's employee racial profile is 57% white, 34% Asian, 4% Hispanic and 2% Black. Comparatively, according to the latest US Census data, non-Hispanic whites account for 63 percent of the total population, Hispanic or Latino people make up 17 percent, Black or African-American people account for 13 percent, and Asians make up 5 percent.

If we look at racial composition of NBA in 2015: it was composed of 74.4 percent black players, 23.3 percent white players, 1.8 percent Latinos, and 0.2 percent Asian. A similar picture is in NFL - African-American players currently comprise 67.3% of the league’s players. The remaining racial breakdown of NFL players is: 31% Caucasian, 0.7% Asian/Pacific Islander, 0.6% Latinos and 2% International and Other. Nobody says that racial representation of these professional leagues are not reflective of the society!!

Asian Americans's percentage in the two major tech companies is nearly 7 times its percentage in general population, African American' athletes are super majority in professional basketball and football with percentage over 5 ~ 6  times their percentage in general population.

Are there anything wrong for either scenarios? No.

These numbers in fact showed that the system of equal opportunity employment works. Equal opportunity means a leveled playing field, no discrimination based on race, gender, country of origin....., most qualified candidates win. Certain races got "over represented" while other races got "under represented" because of the talent pools, not because of their races.

The demand for proportional representation is against the principle of equal opportunity, it is against the foundation of our economy - free enterprise. The right questions should be  - are the right criteria established for a job? Does the most qualified person get the job?

The same logic applies to criminal justice - the outcry that certain minority is unproportionally  incarcerated has no merit. The question should be - are the laws applied correctly and fairly?

Recently in the Democratic Primary debate sponsored by PBS - Bernie Sander was asked if he’s worried about thwarting Clinton who could become the first female president. On national stage, the moderators, supposedly the elite in the field of the politics, raised a question that is anti-democracy, anti equal opportunity!! Earlier another "political elite" and Clinton supporter, former secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, proclaimed that women who don't vote for Clinton will go to hell.  When emotions are high - these elites forgot about the very fundamentals of democracy, the very fundamental of equal opportunity, they just want their candidate win. 

Emotion is paramount for devotion and participation, but the conclusions should be reached based on principles and logic.

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