Liberalism’s Zero-Sum Racial Spoils System

Liberals have long believed that economics is a zero-sum process (think back to Lester Thurow’s old book, The Zero-Sum Society): people only get rich by taking from the poor. You see this in liberals’ long-used rhetoric about how income tax cuts, which allow people to keep more of what they earn, are described as “redistributing” wealth. The idea of positive wealth creation seems beyond the grasp of most liberals.

Now transfer this same zero-sum thinking to the domain of race, and you see the same problem: if advancement is marked out strictly on racial lines, as is now Democratic Party orthodoxy, you get stories like this from Buzzfeed:

Biden Is Already Facing Pushback From His Own Base On Judicial Nominees

President Joe Biden announced his first judicial nominees last month, a slate intended to send a message about his commitment to diversity. Liberals are eager for Biden to reshape the bench after four years on the sidelines, but they’ve also already shown they’re prepared to call him out if his picks don’t embody the depth of professional and racial diversity they want to see.

The White House announcement of Biden’s first nominees on March 30 was met with an immediate chorus of praise from liberal advocacy groups and Democrats in Congress. But that evening, two Latino civil rights organizations, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and LatinoJustice PRLDEF, released a statement saying they were “extremely disappointed” that just one of the 11 nominees was Latinx.

Ed Whelan points out, “nine of the eleven nominees are female, five are African American, three are Asian American—I’m including one who is Arab American (as well as Muslim)—and one is Latina. All three of the nominees to federal appellate positions are African American women. None of the nominees is a white male (unless you count the Arab American as white).”

You can see where this is heading: racial groups will increasingly fall out with one another over the spoils of office, hiring, college admissions, etc. Question for liberals: does a just society require that everything be apportioned by quotas reflecting the relative racial and ethnic populations of the country? It’s worked so well for Lebanon, I can’t imagine how it could go wrong here.

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