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More Mush from the Wimps


Well, that may be a bit harsh, but I’ve always liked that headline. Anyway, the Bush administration’s head of the Small Business Administration has an op-ed today in The Hill, defending the agency’s proposed rule on set-asides for female-owned companies (there will be House hearings tomorrow)As I wrote on NRO yesterday the rule is under attack from various women’s groups, but in fact it is quite reasonable –except that the administration really should just say no to set-asides altogether.  It irritates me that in the op-ed the administrator brags about how the SBA has, apart from the new rule, a 5 percent “target” for female-owned companies, and that “Agency field staff is focused on contracting to businesses owned by targeted groups, including women.”  But if you are targeting some, then you are discriminating against others, and if you have a 5 percent target, then that inevitably becomes a 5 percent quota.  The only acceptable target here is awarding contracts to the lowest bidder regardless of sex.