I’m starting a new series of posts on a new book tracing the decline of competence in organizations due to affirmative action hiring, and how it is leading to economic stagnation and declining growth for everyone.
It’s a new Age of Incompetence, with deadwood managers at the heart of our government and regulated institutions like banks and hospitals leading to costly failures and decay in performance of their functions. From the mortgage meltdown that brought down the world’s economy in 2008, to the disastrous launch of the healthcare.gov website for Obamacare, major segments of business and government in the US have grown more expensive and less competent over the past few decades. Billions of dollars of waste in government contracts for IT projects, weapons systems, and service failures at the VA are in the news every day. Public schools are widely seen as mediocre, and in the poorest urban districts they are failing to provide a decent education for the students who need good schools the most. Costs for regulated services like schools, colleges, medical insurance, drugs, courts, prisons, and infrastructure like roads and bridges rise far faster than inflation, while times to complete major projects stretch out to decades, and many fail completely and are cancelled after billions have been spent.
We will trace the factors that have hobbled growth and damaged organizational competence. From overregulation to HR departments that actively sabotage the hiring of the best candidates for jobs, bureaucratic mindsets and by-the-book mediocrities placed in positions of responsibility are crippling the organizations affected.
Silicon Valley and the tech industries are the next targets. If you’re a manager at a tech company, we’ll suggest some ways to protect your people from HR and its emphasis on credentials and affirmative action over the best fit for a position. Corporate leaders need to be sure their HR departments are managed to prevent infiltration by staff more interested in correct politics than winning products. And we’ll show why appeasement of diversity activists is a dangerous strategy that may make your organization a target for further extortionate demands.
The idea for this book came from the author’s personal experience seeking a mortgage from Chase Bank in 2012. I owned a large house free and clear which I was selling, and was trying to get a mortgage for a much smaller and cheaper house because rates were so low—2.75% on a 15-year fixed mortgage. Given that I had much more than the amount of the mortgage in stocks and cash, plus a more valuable house for sale with no mortgage, I assumed it would not be so difficult. But the amount of paperwork required was enormous, with every detail of every account documented multiple times. Unexplained, lengthy delays took months. This was true everywhere in the country, as every lender had to sell to one of the government buyers — Fannie, Freddie, or VA, which were the ultimate funding for nearly all mortgages being made, and where crackdowns on the low-documentation (“liar”) loans and sub-prime loans had led to an overreaction.
After months of drama and repetitive responses to their information requests, the loan was funded just in time to complete the purchase of the house. All seemed well, but I got a letter one week later demanding proof of insurance, which had already been provided to the bank and approved by Fannie Mae in the packaged-up loan. I had been working with a executive-level expeditor (one key sign of problems is that Chase had to set up an office of expeditors just below upper management to force its own bureaucracy to make reasonable decisions), so I got him on the phone, and he set up a conference call with a VP in their servicing division, a woman with an uneducated accent who stonewalled — “That’s just how we do it, Sir.” No amount of talking would get her to concede that Chase’s approval and sale of the loan to Fannie Mae was ipso facto evidence that insurance coverage on the house had already been proven as of a few weeks earlier. Both I and the expeditor gave up on her and I never heard from them after that. While it’s true that the VP title at a bank is handed out to thousands of managers, her complete lack of interest in common-sense solutions to prevent waste and customer anger was a sign that efficiency and customer satisfaction were of little concern to her.
I started to investigate and discovered that a generation of affirmative action policies has placed mediocrities at major decision points in most large companies, government agencies, and highly-regulated institutions like schools and hospitals. A small percentage of deadwood can be routed around, but over time feedback effects from the generalized lack of accountability and lowered standards for performance cripple the institution. We see this in the failures and extreme cost overruns of almost all large government projects and a tolerance for incompetence so long as policy manuals are followed to the letter. This effect is largest in government and education, but also visible in larger companies where HR departments are staffed by progressive sorts who believe in correcting non-progressive thoughts. In high tech, women and minorities dominate HR in part because companies wanted to balance their male-and-Asian-heavy engineering staff to make their numbers look better, but now are just realizing they’ve created an internal enemy to product quality and excellence in staffing engineering teams. (A corporate manager comments: “How do you know HR is lying? Their lips are moving…”)
The diversity activists want group identity to replace competence and merit in hiring — or they want to collect contributions and consulting fees to harass some other organization instead of yours. Whether your company satisfies them by dumbing down your teams or pays them off, you will find it harder to compete when hobbled by their demands.
From Healthcare.gov to the VA, billions of dollars of tax money are being wasted by governments more concerned with politics and the skin color and sex of the work force than competence. The last engines of growth, tech companies, are under pressure to hire based on diversity rather than performance. It’s time to say no to mediocrity.
Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations
[From Death by HR: How Affirmative Action Cripples Organizations, available now in Kindle and trade paperback.]
The first review is in: by Elmer T. Jones, author of The Employment Game. Here’s the condensed version; view the entire review here.
Corporate HR Scrambles to Halt Publication of “Death by HR”
Nobody gets a job through HR. The purpose of HR is to protect their parent organization against lawsuits for running afoul of the government’s diversity extortion bureaus. HR kills companies by blanketing industry with onerous gender and race labor compliance rules and forcing companies to hire useless HR staff to process the associated paperwork… a tour de force… carefully explains to CEOs how HR poisons their companies and what steps they may take to marginalize this threat… It is time to turn the tide against this madness, and Death by HR is an important research tool… All CEOs should read this book. If you are a mere worker drone but care about your company, you should forward an anonymous copy to him.
More reading on other topics:
Jane Jacobs’ Monstrous Hybrids: Guardians vs Commerce
The Great Progressive Stagnation vs. Dynamism
Death by HR: How Affirmative Action is Crippling America
Death by HR: The End of Merit in Civil Service
Corrupt Feedback Loops: Public Employee Unions
Death by HR: History and Practice of Affirmative Action and the EEOC
Civil Service: Woodrow Wilson’s Progressive Dream
Bootleggers and Baptists
Corrupt Feedback Loops: Justice Dept. Extortion
Corrupt Feedback Loops, Goldman Sachs: More Justice Dept. Extortion
Death by HR: The Birth and Evolution of the HR Department
Death by HR: The Simple Model of Project Labor
Levellers and Redistributionists: The Feudal Underpinnings of Socialism
Sons of Liberty vs. National Front
Trump World: Looking Backward
Minimum Wage: The Parable of the Ladder
Culture Wars: Co-Existence Through Limited Government
Social Justice Warriors, Jihadists, and Neo-Nazis: Constructed Identities
Tuitions Inflated, Product Degraded, Student Debts Unsustainable
The Morality of Glamour
On Affirmative Action and Social Policy:
Affirmative Action: Chinese, Indian-Origin Citizens in Malaysia Oppressed
Affirmative Action: Caste Reservation in India
Diversity Hires: Pressure on High Tech<a
Title IX Totalitarianism is Gender-Neutral
Public Schools in Poor Districts: For Control Not Education
Real-Life “Hunger Games”: Soft Oppression Destroys the Poor
The Social Decay of Black Neighborhoods (And Yours!)
Child Welfare Ideas: Every Child Gets a Government Guardian!
“Income Inequality” Propaganda is Just Disguised Materialism
The greatest hits from SubstrateWars.com (Science Fiction topics):
Fear is the Mindkiller
Mirror Neurons and Irene Gallo
YA Dystopias vs Heinlein et al: Social Justice Warriors Strike Again
Sons of Liberty vs. National Front
“Tomorrowland”: Tragic Misfire
The Death of “Wired”: Hugo Awards Edition
Hugos, Sad Puppies 3, and Direct Knowledge
Selective Outrage and Angry Tribes
Men of Honor vs Victim Culture
SFF, Hugos, Curating the Best
“Why Aren’t There More Women Futurists?”
Science Fiction Fandom and SJW warfare
More reading on the military:
US Military: From No Standing Armies to Permanent Global Power
US Military: The Desegregation Experience
The VA Scandals: Death by Bureaucracy