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Discarded Human Capital

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On December 12th of 2020 the New York Post published a story about an emergency services worker producing content for an internet based subscription service to make ends meet. No, they were not talking about yours truly, this was a private transport medic named Lauren Kwei. Miss Kwei didn’t do edgy humor or talk about dissident politics, instead, she showcased her naked body on Only Fans, which by the estimation of the current zeitgeist is imminently more respectable than telling a racist joke. The “public”, such that it is, took to their social media soapboxes and loudly proclaimed that what a worker does off the clock to make money should have no bearing on their employment as an EMT. Lame-duck fake socialist Ocasio Cortez herself even called Lauren Kwei for a moment of “solidarity” over the phone.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t view this as a huge slap in the face after the protracted witch-hunt I was subjected to merely for being on a podcast. 

But see, unlike the striptease paramedic, I’m a white male adult. We are, in the words of Lauren Silva Laughlin, “discarded human capital”. We were once the all singing, all dancing crap of the world, but now we’re human junk, tossed out to the curb because our ethnic group has just gone out of style. Laughlin points out that employers want to diversify their corporations, and that they’ve made quite a lot of headway on that initiative:

“At Apple, for example, women made up 38% of workers under 30 in 2018 versus just 31% four years earlier. The share of under-represented minorities in that group rose 10 percentage points to 35%. Meantime the employment-to-population ratio of white men fell from 76% in 1972 to 67% in 2018.”

Who would be interested in a gaggle of unwanted white males cynically cut adrift before they hit retirement age? Why China, of course! Laughlin’s article is provocatively titled “China INC will recycle used white guys” and goes on to acknowledge that white dudes might just “have value for the right employer”. While it would be easy to crack a joke about Laughlin’s writing being a perfect example of what happens when a qualified white male is passed up for a gender diversity hire, I’d rather focus on the overall economic meta of the United States. Our esteemed author seems to believe that the “discarded human capital” of laid-off honkies represents some kind of intellectual talent pool that China would love to capitalize on, which raises an obvious question:

If corporations are intentionally choosing to put their best talent out of work, exactly how does this improve their position relative to their competitors? China already has the largest manufacturing output on the planet at 28 %, so why would US corporations accelerate their losses by exchanging good employees with mediocre replacements? If China really does snap up those out-of-work white dudes, then it becomes a force multiplier effect for America’s biggest rival. None of the usual libertarian theories can even begin to address why a reverse brain-drain effect would take root in the former economic powerhouse of the world.

A lot of this strikes me as hubris, as believing that one can afford to sacrifice good talent while making the fatal assumption that all this happens in a vacuum and that there aren’t competitive entities lurking out there unburdened by your idiotic moral assumptions about diversity. Even in gross cost diversity initiatives are themselves an expensive albatross around the neck of many an institution, as others have noted, the total cost of these schemes regularly exceeds millions upon millions of dollars. All of this stacks up into a surefire way to become less efficient, less intelligent, less able to seize opportunities and innovate because your institution or business is too busy working on “social equity” instead of focusing purely on primary objectives like making good products or winning wars.

For countries like China that don’t view diversity quotas as a raison d’etre, they are strategically poised to outcompete the United States on every single front. They might even be willing to incorporate some of that “discarded human capital” to do it. What does it say about a country when the people that made it can only find employment by working for that nation’s greatest rival? 

At the rate things are going, I shouldn’t be resentful about the support Lauren Kwei received after getting “doxxed”. I should be asking her for a job.

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