DEI, which stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, has recently become the leading mechanism to organize American society, especially in professional settings whether it is in academic milieux, or in corporate ecosystems. Universities and corporations use the DEI model to admit incoming students into their programs or to hire new employees.
The fundamental problem with this model is that the selection of the applicants, whether to go to university or to get hired by an employer, is not based on the applicants’ abilities or competencies but on their ethnic or racial background, and sexual orientation. And this model produces unintended consequences that lead to social central planning.
The very purpose of DEI has been to create environments where everyone feels valued, respected, and has the opportunity to reach their full potential. More importantly, the DEI model strongly emphasizes diversity in ethnic, racial, and sexual background rather than diversity of thought. The rationale of the DEI model is that a person’s ethnic, racial, and gender background shall not be a barrier in their pursuit of opportunities and betterment. Thus, in order to ensure that everyone has access to the same opportunities, the DEI model prioritized the selection’s mechanisms on secondary attributes (race, ethnicity, and gender) rather than skills, abilities, and competencies.
The DEI model is flawed because a person’s skills, abilities, and competency are not based on his or her skin color, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Thus, an applicant shall be selected on his analytical intelligence (ability to comprehend abstract concepts) and practical intelligence (ability to solve real-world problems and adapt to different situations). Today, many universities have abandoned standardized-test models as an admission metric in favor of the DEI model, which isn’t based on any objective metric. Admissions committees have argued that standardized tests have been a hindrance to students of color, mainly Black students, while Asian students (who are themselves) students of color, have been excelling at these tests and performing better their than White counterparts.
In fact, the DEI model has been imposed by government on universities and corporations. Government has compelled universities to meet certain quotas by admitting a certain number of students of diverse backgrounds in exchange for securing grants and subsidies. The universities that refuse to use the DEI model wouldn’t receive any federal funding. And the same goes for corporations in the professional world. For example, according to the New York State Bar Association, corporations that fail to hire a certain number of minority workers in their workforce risk an investigation from the SEC, discrimination litigation, and a fine of $75,000 under federal law, which could go all the way to $150,000.
Government, through the DEI model, attempts to control the decision process of private economic actors (universities and corporations) in order to maximize social efficiency. Maximizing social efficiency benefits government because it enables it to expand its electoral base, i.e. gaining more votes. We know that voters who prioritize social efficiency favor state intervention.
The DEI model is a form of social central planning where the goal is to advance the concept of equality of outcome by compelling the private sector to meet quotas as a way to increase social efficiency. However, selecting economic actors based on social factors rather than objective factors to maximize social efficiency does not lead to an optimal distribution of resources.