With the understandable focus on debates, the Iowa caucuses, Donald Trump’s Twitter account, and Marco Rubio’s boots, we sometimes forget that elections affect pesky things like “issues.” So there is nothing like some more dubious executive actions from the President, as announced today, to remind us about what is at stake at 2016.
With this new order, the EEOC will now be collecting detailed salary data by race and gender for every business in the country with more than 100 employees, thus opening up a gold mine for frivolous race- and sex-discrimination lawsuits from the plaintiff’s bar. It’s hard to know what’s more dispiriting — the fact that the White House is still trumpeting the so-called pay gap, which they fully must know is almost entirely mythical, to score cheap political points, or the fact that, by executive order, they will execute one more intrusive action by the EEOC into private business. And of course, this will add one more compliance cost into products and services that every American uses.
It will be particularly lucrative for those looking to go after Silicon Valley. If one wanted to look to allegedly “discriminatory” pay practices, one could hardly pick a better poster child than Google. 82 percent of Google’s lucrative engineering positions are filled by are filled by men, of whom 35 percent are Asian-American and 59 percent are white. (Just 3 percent are black or Hispanic combined.) All of these numbers are wildly out of step with U.S. demographic norms, particularly the overabundance of Asian Americans. Or perhaps the EEOC could take on Apple, which, as of a few years ago, had an executive team that was exclusively composed of white men, despite having its headquarters in a county in which only 17 percent of people are white men. Of course, those evil white men helped turn Apple into the world’s most valuable company.
Yet no region has led the economy more strongly than Silicon Valley, over the last two decades — it is without a doubt the world’s most economically productive region, in both innovation and wealth creation. If the affluence and innovation coming out of Silicon Valley are the result of “discrimination,” then every other place in the world could only wish they were discriminating more.
Despite the implicit threat of racial and gender bean counters in Washington dictating their employment policies, Silicon Valley still supports the president, hoping not to kill the goose that lays the golden egg (yet): Because Silicon Valley loves Democrats. Google employees were the second largest contributors to Obama. And if one looks at the leading contributors to unabashed Socialist Bernie Sanders, Google (or more precisely its parent company, Alphabet Inc.), Apple, and other tech companies lead the way.
Of course, any attempt to make the Silicon Valley engineering workforce more demographically proportionate would primarily hit Asian-American men (and to a lesser extent, whites) — but don’t wait for Asian-American civil-rights groups to pipe up.What would be nice is if the GOP presidential candidates spoke out against the Obama administration’s endless race- and gender-based attempts to divide Americans while damaging the U.S. economy. It might even be the key to getting some increased donations from Silicon Valley, for those in the RNC who care about that sort of thing.
If he showed any interest in actual policy, one could imagine Trump having the “bad manners” to call the administration out on this issue. But since he doesn’t, our best hope is that Cruz or Rubio would speak up and speak out — or perhaps Rand Paul, who has one of the only meaningful GOP constituencies in the Valley. But while the Obama administration continues to engage in shameless racial and gender pandering, backed by implicit legal threats, we cannot afford to have GOP leaders remain silent.