Center for Equal Opportunity

The nation’s only conservative think tank devoted to issues of race and ethnicity.


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The Center for Equal Opportunity asks:  Why do race, ethnicity, and sex need to be considered at all in deciding who gets awarded a contract?  It's good to make sure contracting programs are open to all, that bidding opportunities are widely publicized beforehand, and that no one gets discriminated against because of skin color, national origin, or sex.  But that means no preferences because of skin color, etc. either--whether it's labeled a "set-aside," a "quota," or a "goal," since they all end up amounting to the same thing.  Such discrimination is unfair and divisive; it breeds corruption and otherwise costs the taxpayers and businesses money to award a contract to someone other than the lowest bidder; and it's almost always illegal—indeed, unconstitutional—to boot. Those who insist on engaging in such discrimination deserve to be sued, and they will lose.


For those who want to challenge such programs, here are a couple of useful links. 

Surprise result when city ends preferences in contracting

Supporters of racial and gender preferences in public contracting claim that preferences are needed because, without them, few contracts would go to minority- or women-owned firms. But a study recently done for Charlotte, N.C., reached exactly the opposite conclusion. After race and gender preferences ended, work awarded to minority- and women-owned businesses increased.

How can that be?

A bit of history is needed: Not long ago, Charlotte had a Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprise (MWBE) program with preferential goals in its public contracts. The goals were suspended in 2002 as the result of a court challenge. The following year the city started its Small Business Opportunity program.