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economics Affirmative Action

Affirmative action works. There are thousands of examples of situations where
people of color, white women, and working class women and men of all races who
were previously excluded from jobs or educational opportunities, or were denied
opportunities once admitted, have gained access through affirmative action. When
these policies received executive branch and judicial support, vast numbers of
people of color, white women and men have gained access they would not otherwise
have had. These gains have led to very real changes. Affirmative action programs
have not eliminated racism, nor have they always been implemented without
problems. However, there would be no struggle to roll back the gains achieved if
affirmative action policies were ineffective. The implementation of affirmative
action was America's first honest attempt at solving a problem, it had
previously chosen to ignore. In a variety of areas, from the quality of health
care to the rate of employment, blacks still remain far behind whites. Their
representation in the more prestigious professions is still almost
insignificant. Comparable imbalances exist for other racial and ethnic
minorities as well as for women. Yet, to truly understand the importance of
affirmative action, one must look at America's past discrimination to see why,
at this point in history, we must become more "color conscious".
History Of Discrimination In America: Events Leading To Affirmative Action. The
Declaration of Independence asserts that "all men are created equal."
Yet America is scarred by a long history of legally imposed inequality. Snatched
from their native land, transported thousands of miles-in a nightmare of disease
and death-and sold into slavery, blacks in America were reduced to the legal
status of farm animals. A Supreme Court opinion, Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857),
made this official by classifying slaves as a species of "private
property." Even after slavery was abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment in
1865, American blacks, other minorities, and women continued to be deprived of
some of the most elementary right of citizenship. During the Reconstruction,
after the end of the Civil War, the Fourteenth Amendment was passed in 1868,
making blacks citizens and promised them the "equal protection of the
laws." In 1870 the Fifteenth Amendment was passed, which gave blacks the
right to vote. Congress also passed a number of civil rights laws barring
discrimination against blacks in hotels, theaters, and other places. However,
the South reacted by passing the "Black Codes, " which severely
limited the rights of the newly freed slaves, preventing them in most states
from testifying in courts against whites, limiting their opportunities to find
work, and generally assigning them to the status of second or third class
citizen. White vigilante groups like the Klu Klux Klan began to appear, by
murdering and terrorizing blacks who tried to exercise their new rights.
"Legal" ways were also found for circumventing the new laws; these
included "grandfather clauses", poll taxes, white only primary
elections, and constant social discrimination against and intimidation of
blacks, who were excluded form education and from any job except the most
menial. In 1883, the Supreme Court declared a key civil rights statute, one that
prohibits discrimination in public accommodations, unconstitutional. And in
1896, Plessy v. Ferguson (163 U.S. 537 [1896]), the Court declared that the
state of Louisiana had the right to segregate their races in every public
facility. Thus began the heyday of "Jim Crow" legislation. In Justice
John Marshall Harlan's lone dissent, he realized it was a mockery. He wrote,
" We boast of the freedom enjoyed by our peoples above all other peoples.
But it is difficult to reconcile that boast with a state of the law which,
practically, puts a brand of servitude and degregation upon a large class of our
fellow citizens, our equals before the law. This thin disguise of 'equal'
accommodations for passengers in railroad coaches will not mislead anyone, or
atone for the wrong this day done." Not until sixty years later, in Brown
v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (347 U.S. 483 [1954]), was Plessy
overturned. Chief Justice earl Warren declared the unanimous opinion of the
court by saying: "We cannot turn the clock back to 1868, when the Amendment
was adopted, or even to 1896, when Plessy v. Ferguson was written." In
today's world, "separate educational facilities are inherently
unequal." This decision sparked racial tensions all across America. in
1957, President Eisenhower had to call federal troops into Little Rock,
Arkansas, after the state's governor forcibly barred black children from
entering white schools. In 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested and fined, for not
moving to the back of a public bus, ... more

economics

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In search of excellence...

In Search of Excellence

Knowledge about organisational behaviour has become very important to a manager's performance and success. Therefore, it is not surprising that writers often claim to have the information that managers need if they are to excel in their jobs.  In Search of Excellence is one of the most well known books of this type. In the book, Peters-and Waterman outlined seven principles that they claimed to be excellent management tactics and a “7-S Framework.” In Search of Excellence is a book dealing with many different principles of economics and what makes big business' excellent.

The first idea that the author discusses is his chart of the 7-S Framework. The graph is very simple but the ideas are fairly complex. In their research, they found that their concepts were too hard to explain and easily forgettable. They made this framework to deal with strategy, structure, style, systems, staff,  skills, and shared values. This has 7 S's and a graphical representation to visualize. This shows the businessman that problems can be managed. For example, anyone assuming that a new manager of a Macdonald’s will perform exactly as the old manager did is ridiculous. The workers must adjust and adapt to the new manager's way of business.

The first principle is a bias for action. This is basically saying "Stop talking and do something about it." When Macdonald’s has a rush of customers and their supplies for making food are low, they (usually) don't say "You know what, I have no more cheese" or "Could

someone get me some more cheese?" They take action and get the cheese, make it if necessary, and get the problem solved as quickly as possible.

The second Principle they deal with is to be close to the customer. This means good service and listening to what the customer has to say. If the producer, Macdonald’s, is not in touch with what the customer wants to eat, then the business will most likely fail. Although it also refers to customer satisfaction; quality food made right and good service, "Have a nice day and enjoy your meal!"

The third basic principle is productivity through people. This deals with the individual as the best means for efficiency improvement rather than capital investment. If Macdonald’s could put everyone in the area of work they most enjoyed (drive-thru, washer,...) then they could produce more food and maximize their business.

The forth basic principle is hands on, value driven. This is the standard setting and enforcing values in a company. This is keeping the boss in touch with the assembly line worker and projecting the company's original ideas, instead of an image of some suited businessman who confines himself in an office.

The fifth and often obvious principle is to stick to the knitting. The basically says that if a company is in the food business, it should not branch off into the computer business unless they have no where else to expand in the industry they are already in.
The sixth basic principle is a simple form, lean staff. This means leaving few people up top to manage a company and keep the form of management simple.
 The seventh and final basic principle is simultaneous loose-tight properties. This is another value-based principle. This could be described as the ability for a worker of Macdonald’s to do his/her job in his/her own way as they incorporate the company's values and concepts into their work. These values demonstrate that they don't just work because they work, but rather because they just make sense.
In search of excellence shows that the excellent companies had been based on the basics. The companies had to try to keep things simple. Sometimes, to a big business, it might seem logical that business should be run more complex the larger it is. From research, this is usually not true. Ignoring the seven principles above would be foolish in the business world. ... more

economics

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  • C: Affirmative Action C: Affirmative Action Affirmative Action Affirmative action works. There are thousands of examples of situations where people of color, white women, and working class women and men of all races who were previously excluded from jobs or educational opportunities, or were denied opportunities once admitted, have gained access through affirmative action. When these policies received executive branch and judicial support, vast numbers of people of color, white women and men have gained access they would not otherwise hav...
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