Date Submitted:
03/18/2011 05:07 AM
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Set Aside Programs

Are minority set aside programs morally acceptable? Yet another great question to be pondered and answered in this class.   In order to answer this question I will discuss the deontological and utilitarian effects of “Affirmative Action” programs that set aside opportunities for minorities and cite cases to support my answer to this question.   In the end the answer is not as simple as a yes or no and any answer to this broad question must be highly qualified and devoid of emotion.
The effects of set aside programs are vast and on both sides of the moral “fence”.   If we look at a slice of the United States population it would be easy to identify the utility of these programs.   Quite simply it provides advantage to minorities.   This is a good thing if you qualify for the advantage.   For instance, according to David Sand, “some minority-owned businesses in Minnesota generate as much as 90 percent of their revenues as a result of minority business development goals or government set-aside programs. The state’s top minority construction firms earn more than $100 million in revenues; other minority-owned businesses, including those in food, computers, freight, and real estate, bring in revenues exceeding $400 million, according to the National Association of Minority Contractors and the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA)”.  
In the case of minority owned businesses in Minnesota in the mid nineties, the utility of the set aside programs was incredibly positive for income.   The disutility of this can be found on the other side of the fence.   If you were not a minority owned business, you may win the bid but not get the contracts because of the ethnicity of the business owner.   This has deontological impact as well.   The set aside programs give rights to the minority owned business that are not afforded to other businesses.   It could be seen as an unfair advantage, unless you are the minority business owner. The right to compete is hampered by skin…

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