Are minority set aside programs morally acceptable? The answer to this should be obvious but somehow it does not seem to be. A minority program of any kind is that also belonging within the scope of an affirmative action. There is to be no discrimination based upon certain Federal protected classes such as sex, age, religion to name a few and so in this, minority set aside programs by all rights should be morally accepted.
The biggest problem with set aside programs is that they were originally based upon a social policy, by a policy maker who is no longer alive and no one to take up where the policy maker left off thus allowing the set aside program to struggle and possible eventually falling apart. There are a small handfull of set aside programs that are accepted such as the ones that the Small Business Administration has for minorities to include women, entrprenuers. These programs make sure that the minorities also get a fair share of the governments money under certain conditions.
These set aside programs have helped many a woman or minority owned business get started and off the ground to become competitive within the real worl markets. For those who do not believe in having these set aside programs must suredly still be in the old school, political thought process that women or minorities, no matter what their reason for being a minority is, shouldn’t either be allowed to be given money for one reason or another or should be allowed to make it on their own like the “big boys” would. Often times, even the big boys obtain loans and grants as well as help from family members.
Is there an inherent fear in a woman or minority starting or running a business and obtaining monies to do so? Many people have a utilitarian outlook upon certain ethics or morals and it is the affirmative action in regards to employment that seems to be the most hard hit, despite this being a protected class. It would be safe to say that if this utilitarian view happens with employment then it should be no surprise that when this same thought process happens with set aside programs. In our deontological world there are ethics and morals of these set aside programs as well as with individuals.
The affirmative action groups and laws deal directly with this. If a woman or minority group feels that they have been discriminated against in the sense of obtaining business funds then it is these groups that will generally go into action to enforce an already written legislation or policy or federal law; to make sure that the faction causing the issue realizes and acts accordingly to accept that minority set aside programs morally acceptable. The one thing about the actual formation of set aside programs is that they assume the problems of these minorities instead of the individual or other protercted class being held in the limelight.
They deal with both the deontological aspects of values, ethics and morals as well as the utilitarian process of abiding by the rules and laws of these programs. Our nation, dating clear back to the days before slavery and colonization has been discriminatory against those with different colored skin, those who were women or those of different races or handicaps and slowly, over the evolvement of time we have overcome this thought process which makes it more morally acceptable to have the set aside programs but the bottom line is that this discrimination still exists.
My utilitarian opinion is that set aside programs are for the greater good. Until we can look past the race, gender, and religion of our people and base our opinions upon their merit, we will alwas have the continuing need for programs that addresses these concerns. Today is a changing world and the term equal opportunity should not be held loosely but be held within the strictest sense so that all have equal opportunity in which to work, form and maintain their businesses, no matter what their protected class is. While some people may not morally accept the protected class status they need to not only by law but by fairness.
We live in a liberal world now where so many things that were once conservatively looked down upon has now been accepted within society to Supreme Court Rulings that this should be no different. Know that each state within the United States has their own statutes regarding set aside programs. These statutes also follow the Federal laws of engagement. Each state has their own progrmas and each differ in some small way. Check with each state capital to determine what programs are available and the process through which to obtain the particular set of funds you are seeking and what is required.
Edward I. Koch, , Equal Opportunity – Without Minority Set-Asides, February 1989, http://www.nytimes.com/1989/02/20/opinion/equal-opportunity-without-minority-set-asides.html
Jill Mccullough, With set-aside programs changing, minority firms might want to be going corporate, March 2002, http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2002/03/04/smallb1.html
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