The Actual Civil Rights Act
By David Henderson
Over at Marginal Revolution, Alex Tabarrok points out that much of the discussion of the Civil Rights Act is so 20th century. (My words for his thought.) One could even say “so 1960s.” The reason: The Act was applied to reduce discrimination in hiring for only a very short time. Since then it has been used to increase racial discrimination. Various defenders of the law seem to be defending a 1960s version, not the actual law as it is enforced.
What I’ve noticed in the discussion on the two posts (here and here) I have done on this is that no one seems to disagree that one can make a strong case for using federal law to override state law that required discrimination on racial grounds. Also, everyone who commented agreed with me that federal law should not require discrimination on racial grounds.
So here are my two questions:
1. Can we agree that the federal government should quit favoring one racial group at the expense of others? If not, why not?
2. Would it be a good idea for the federal government to override state governments’ and local governments’ quotas (aka, “goals and timetables”) for filling various jobs? If not, why not?