A Reader Wonders How Much Affirmative Action Costs America—We Don't Know For Sure, Because The Answer Would Cost An Economist His Job
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From: An Economically Minded Reader [Email him]

I sometimes wonder how much dead weight loss an economy can endure. Two recent anecdotes known to me, one a race/sex harassment overt shakedown case that cost a small business probably $50, 000 and the other an illustration of how firing an incompetent black by a well-known public corporation has a routine $200, 000 settlement price tag to avoid bad publicity, suggest that the cost of race crime isn't just measured by Medicaid and incarceration expenses.

Wealth redistribution takes many forms, Affirmative Action being among the best hidden. Will those on whom these ever-increasing costs fall ever reach the point where we yell, "No more?"

James Fulford writes: In Forbes Magazine in 1993, Peter Brimelow estimated the cost of Affirmative Action at 4 percent of GNP. [When Quotas Replace Merit, Everybody Suffers]

4 percent of $5.7 trillion was about $225 billion. In 2015, GDP was almost $18 trillion. 4 percent of that is….a lot. Would you like a more recent estimate of the cost of Affirmative Action? As far as I know, there isn’t one—it wouldn’t be safe for a financial journalist or economist to make one, but when you consider that America has had an Affirmative Action President since 2008, it may be well above 4 percent.

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