Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Why the NASDAQ’s Attempt to Advance Diversity Through Coercion Is the Wrong Way to Go

Some more bread and circuses comedy. Although now that the bread supply has decreased, the ruling class seems to be doubling down on the circuses.

Theoretically, I would prefer that all organizations were voluntary (meaning genuinely voluntary, unlike state-capitalist corporations). That means organizations could be as diverse or non-diverse as they wanted and have whatever diversity quotas they wanted. I would also prefer for financial, industrial, and technological organizations to be operated as stakeholder partnerships,  which would presumably include quite a bit of diversity. But this is obviously a ruling class effort at self-legitimation.

By Gary M. Galles, Foundation for Economic Education

The inherent benefits of diversity are a common article of faith in our democratic/populist times. Its “market share” of public discourse about universities, businesses, politics, entertainment, etc., has risen sharply. Anna Holmes wrote in the 2015 New York Times Magazine about “the recent ubiquity of the word,” and that trend has only accelerated since.
The most recent example is NASDAQ’s proposed requirement that boards must have at least one woman and one minority or LGBTQ director for companies to be listed. That follows on the heels of California’s new mandatory diversity standards for companies headquartered there. The justification, as Michael Hiltzik wrote about such requirements, is that “Those companies plainly recognized that diverse boards are good for their bottom line.” In fact, Hiltzik termed the NYSE’s less coercive approach—creating an advisory council aimed at “connecting diverse candidates with companies seeking new directors” as “pretty thin gruel,” clearly not up to snuff on the diversity bandwagon.

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