It’s an open secret that government bureaucracies in the United States hire minority racial groups significantly over their proportion in the general population. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the EEOC overhired blacks by 623%, the U.S. Dept. of Education overhired by 462% and HUD overhired by 430%. Other federal agencies beat their racial quotas by similarly high ratios, so that only 23 out of every 100 new federal jobs went to non-preferred individuals. My experiences indicates that less drastic but similar patterns are found within state-subsidized as well as large private bureaucracies within private industry, particularly those with low skill/intelligence requirements such as H/R departments, janitorial services and especially university staff.
I think that this overt and institutional racism is due to three factors: (a.) policies which explicitly discriminate against non-preferred groups, (b.) the dominance of leftist politics within minority areas such as inner cities and public universities, and (c.) a self-reinforcing anti-entrepreneurial, pro-entitlement mentality within minority groups.
While the focus of advocates for color-blind policies has been on the harm done to those discriminated against, I think the primary damage is to the very beneficiaries of racist hiring policies. The very environment of government bureaucracies is extremely anti-productive and destructive of the human spirit. It is impossible to maintain a productive workplace when merit depends primarily on race, seniority, and political wrangling rather than individual achievement of productive values. (This may actually be a positive in the case of state agencies, where “productivity” usually means finding better ways to pilfer from the public.)
A relevant example comes from post-colonial African and Asian countries where young men pin their hopes on getting a position in public office as their highest aspiration. This attitude has led to massive bureaucracies within the capital cities which drain scarce wealth and brains from the rest of the nation while destroying productive activities with socialist regulations and price controls. The eventual consequence of policies which destroy productive activity and the entrepreneurial spirit is the destruction of civilization and ultimate reduction to tribal warfare, as has been evidence over and over in places like Serbia, Rwanda, Uganda, Sudan, and a dozen of places all over the world.
The United States, which has the most diverse and integrated society on earth is both particularly resistant and susceptible to this fate. Resistant, because of the remnants of an enlightenment philosophy which values individual achievement over collectivism. Susceptible, because that enlightenment philosophy has been rejected by its leading intellectuals and all but forgotten in its universities while competing political groups use the democratic process to rob other blind in an undeclared state of civil war.
Could such a great nation annihilate itself in an orgy of collectivism and multiculturalism like so many other societies? I believe that depends on whether a new generation of intellectuals rejects the predominant intellectual climate and returns to our enlightenment values.