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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Can Fairness Be Harmful?

The debate of affirmative action can be intensive.  In general, I agree that there was a time in history when Affirmative Action had to be enacted.  There has been a demand on progressive equality and diversity in workplace for "seeking to increase representation or attainment of disadvantaged groups by positive (affirmative) action" (Bach, 2005 p. 197) thus I believe that Affirmative Action has played an important role to correct historical discrimination against minorities, mainly African Americans in the United States.  On the other hand I share the same concern with many people excessive policy restrictions could cause our country's weakening competitiveness in global marketplace. As I see in the trend of our society, it is moving from social freedom to social justice, which would shift focus from competitiveness to fairness and equality.  As we often say life is not fair that means absolute fairness does not naturally exist and ultimate equality is hardly reached, thus it becomes necessary to implement policies to artificially regulate social conditions, and our communities and organizations may proliferate unrealistic fairness to the public.  For example, our schools may promote an “everyone’s a winner mentality” because it is only fair if everyone wins. While such mentality may help kids build a positive attitude, it may also mislead them to phantom reality, which would result in a new generation short of hard-working spirit and ability to handle real world challenges. In consequence, our country will lose ground in global competition, which will eventually harm our living standard and national security as well. To avoid such problem, a balance must be reached in policy making to allow everyone to fairly compete. As for a fair play, an opportunity should be earned by hard work but not be given by an authority.


Bach, S. (2005). Managing Human Resources: Personnel Management in Transition (4th ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

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