NCUA and Pay for Performance: IG Report Failed to Provide Necessary, Complete Evaluation and Analysis of NCUA’s PfP Program; PfP Can Be Barrier to Equal Opportunity

The report to Congress (OIG-14-09, issued November 26, 2014) prepared by the Inspector General (IG) of the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) showed generally that the NCUA was open to investigating potential problems relating to diversity and inclusion issues of its employee rating program (a pay-for-performance-based program). However, the report did not present the structure and rating effect of its pay-for-performance program.

Given this blog’s various postings on pay-for-performance-based evaluation systems, this lack of information is potentially troubling. Pay-for-performance systems can themselves be barriers to equal opportunity. As a result, the pay-for-performance programs cannot be presumed to be without fault. The NCUA’s pay-for-performance program, in totality (structure, operation, and results), should also be audited. In addition, Congress should monitor these agency programs closely as they can interfere with or obstruct goals of diversity and inclusion.

The IG noted on page 16, third full paragraph, second sentence, of the report that management told them that “Employees leave for various personal reasons, including, travel, job fit, and performance.” It is the last word of the sentence that caused me to want more information of the NCUA program. Did the employee leave because of low ratings or did the pay-for-performance program encourage resignations because of the results of the low rating.

There seems to be significant churn in the lower-graded examiners (page 16, third full paragraph), with managers tending to give these entry level workers lower ratings for “lack of demonstrated advanced knowledge, skill, and independence.” But do low ratings encourage improvement or encourage disappointment and departures? If the latter, do people in the lower grades actually advance to higher-graded positions, or do those in higher grades protect their positions by unfairly down rating their subordinates?

Without an examination of the NCUA’s pay-for-performance program, it is hard to evaluate the effect on equal opportunity and achievement of diversity in senior management. The conclusion suggested from the information provided on page 16 is that NCUA has a form of forced distribution rating system (also known as rank and yank, up or out, and so on), with the possible exception that those assigned to the lower ratings are denied pay increases or other benefits rather than being fired. But NCUA must provide more details for a firm determination of what its pay-for-performance program does.

[Postscript: NCUA would be well advised to review the research and ill results of forced distribution systems (for example, at Microsoft and Yahoo Inc.). Also, potential employees should consider, overall, the employee reviews of their employers at websites such as http://www.glassdoor.com (for example, NCUA and the Federal Reserve Board).]

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Wardell (Ward) Connerly and ACRI: Arizona Proposition 107 on Ballot; Sadly Might Pass

Wardell Connerly’s crusade against so-called racial preferences against the majority White racial group in America continues.

Arizona’s Secretary of State presents a video transcript of statements of proponents and opponents of Proposition 107.

As I have posted earlier, Arizona does not need this proposition, but Connerly is running out of states to propose these ballot proposals.

The Futility of “Colorblindness”: Senator Jim Webb (Legislator) Warns of Resentment of Poor Whites, Despite the Societal Power of Whites; My Recommendation–The Senator Should Work to Pass Pro-Poor Legislation

For war billions more, but no more for the poor.–Rev. Joseph Lowery

Senator Jim Webb has written an opinion piece deriding affirmative action for any other minority group except Black people.

Now the idea sounds reasonable until one considers which group is the majority and controls the society–Whites. With this chart, one can clearly see that the existence of a few programs for minority groups cannot and does not affect White people.

United States (population: 281,421,906 (2000 Census)

Race Percentage of population Number
White 75.1% 211,460,626
Black 12.3 34,658,190
Native American 0.9 2,475,956
Asian 3.6 10,242,998

See also the 2007 Survey of Consumer Finances (scf09 ) where Whites have significantly more net worth than any other group in the nation.

My suggestion to the Senator is for him to cease this useless and inflammatory opinion mongering and to use his legislative power to draft appropriate legislation that will help poor people of all races.

Senator Webb’s legislation would alleviate the suffering of the poor as well as prevent the destruction of necessary affirmative action programs through a rational-sounding plan of destruction in favor of “colorblindness“.  [We have seen the affects of this so-called colorblindness on Ms. Shirley Sherrod already.]

Given Senators zest to speak and not act,  I have no confidence that Senator Webb will do anything except pontificate and cause troubles that other people (especially Black people) will have to suffer through.

Wardell (Ward) Connerly: In Utah Pushing Legislation Against “Racial Preferences”; UT Is Not in Need of this Legislation, May Pass Anyway

It seems that Wardell (Ward) Connerly is still pursuing his “racial preference” campaign. This time he is in Utah. Considering the population demographics of Utah, I do not believe that Utah needs this “racial preference” language in Utah’s Constitution.

Utah (population: 2,185,974 (2000 Census))

Race Percentage of population Number
White 89.2% 1,992,975
Black 0.7 17,657
Native American 1.3 29,684
Asian 1.7 37,108

With these numbers, it appears that any affirmative action that is present in Utah is necessary to confirm that every element of the society there is truly equal. The supermajority power of the White population (numbering nearly 90 percent of the Utah population) makes this move to pass this Connerly-inspired legislation suspect.

Considering my consistent argument that the citizens in the social minority having their human rights put to the vote that they have no way to prevent, any action regarding so-called (fictitious) racial preferences should have the complete and full assent of the minority population. Anything less is intrinsically unfair and unjust.

Post Script
For background on Ward Connerly, see bigmoneyconnerly.org

For the Utah Legislation, see H.J.R. 24

“Colorblindness”: Senator Harry Reid’s Comments about Obama Reveals America’s Racial Truth

In the midst of the disastrous health care bill, it has somehow come to light that Harry Reid, U.S. Senator from Nevada and Senate Majority Leader, stated that

“He (Reid) was wowed by Obama’s oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama – a ‘light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,’ as he later put it privately,” according to the book.

I believe that Reid has spoken openly about reality in the United States. It is the reason why I could not believe that the election of President Obama represented a “post-racial” society. The statement should not allow anyone to forget the disgusting excise tax on high-cost health insurance plans.

American society is a White hegemonic system, where White people control social power. Even the President is half-White, a fact he specifically reinforced during the campaign.

United States (population: 281,421,906 (2000 Census)

Race Percentage of population Number
White 75.1% 211,460,626
Black 12.3 34,658,190
Native American 0.9 2,475,956
Asian 3.6 10,242,998

This system was related in the following saying:  If you’re White, you’re alright, if you’re brown, stick around, and if you’re Black, step back. Rev. Joseph Lowery referred to this in his benediction.

Even more, the latent issue of the cost of biracial upward mobility being used as a sign of progress. The unfortunate reality is that as these “success stories” are advanced, the old hierarchy of color is reinforced. From P.B.S. Pinchback, Douglass Wilder, Rev. Patrick Healy, S.J., former Senator Edward Brooke, and others, many of the so-called first Black people to gain a certain position appeared White.

In the end, Reid, in his statement only acknowledged the sad reality of American society. It should not at all distract from the horrible Senate health care “reform” bill.

“Colorblindness”: Summary of President Barack Obama’s July 17, 2009 Speech at the NAACP’s Convention in New York City

The President of the United States, Barack Obama, delivered a speech at the centennial convention of the NAACP in New York City on July 17, 2009. The President’s speech generally recognized the limitations that exist in society for Black Americans, but also encouraged continued work to improve oneself regardless of the barriers.

In theory, these are good ideas. For these theories to work better in reality, the effort of the government must meet the effort of those who strive to improve. The reader of the speech must first know that the societal majority in the United States is the White race.

United States (population: 281,421,906 (2000 Census)

Race Percentage of population Number
White 75.1% 211,460,626
Black 12.3 34,658,190
Native American 0.9 2,475,956
Asian 3.6 10,242,998

The President’s speech is vague on proposals to address problems of systemic discrimination but is specific and acerbic on criticizing the behavior of those who suffered. Of course, those who have suffered have a responsibility to act properly, but the social majority also has a responsibility to ensure that everyone has a true and equal opportunity to succeed.

A summary of the President speech follows (with my observations in brackets).

Change

Founders of the NAACP understood how change would come—unjust laws overturned, legislation needed to be passed, Presidents needed to be pressured into action. The President explained that the founders of the NAACP understood that change would have to come from the people, people who were tired of lynchings and violence (racial), Black people who were tired after raising other people’s children and operating their households who decided to walk rather than taking the bus (Montgomery bus boycott) [perhaps also anti-Black racial injustice?].

The President explained that because of what the people did, we [unsure who the “we” refers to] are [are getting closer to being] a more perfect union. Because Jim Crow laws were overturned, the President continued, Black Chief Executive Officers run Fortune 500 companies [5]. The President also stated that because civil rights were passed, Black mayors, Black Governors [3 in recent times (Wilder (VA), Patrick (MA), Paterson (NY)], and Black members of Congress [34 in House, 1 in Senate], and, implicitly, a Black President [1] served in places where they might have not only not been able to vote but also not able to take a sip of water.

Barriers

The President noted that even with these achievements, many barriers remain [The President did not explain the reasons for these barriers].

Employment-The economic crisis is bad but Black people are out of work more than anybody else, the President stated.

Health care-The President explained that health care costs crush everyone, but Black Americans are more likely to suffer a host of diseases but less likely to own health insurance than just about everybody else.

Prison-The President noted that the United States imprisons more people of all races but a Black child is five times more likely as a White child to go to prison.

HIV/AIDS-The President stated that the disease devastates nations abroad, particularly Africa. The disease also devastates Black people in the United States with devastating force, the President added.

New Foundation for Growth and Prosperity

The President stated that commitment is needed to overcome barriers. There should be a focus on eradicating prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination. The President stated that he is addressing this goal through tax credits, providing a second chance to ex-offenders, affordable housing, the Promise Neighborhoods, and providing unemployment insurance. [These ideas are good, but I do not see how they address the barriers caused by prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination.]

The President also presented a new foundation for growth and prosperity for all Americans—health insurance for everybody, energy reform, financial reform (with consumer protection to crack down on mortgage fraud, and education [It is interesting that the problems unique to Black people is subsumed into the problems of the larger society in a mere sentence. Also, Is a college degree absolutely required for success? College tuition is expensive, and starting salaries generally have not kept up with the expense].

The President devoted a significant portion of time on the education part of the new foundation. The President described his proposals for post-secondary, secondary, elementary, and pre-school education.

Parenting

The President stated that the new foundation would not make a difference if parents and community leaders fail to do their part by encouraging excellence in their children. The President explained that a new mindset was needed because one of the worst legacies of discrimination is the way we’ve (The President addressing the common background of being Black with the audience) internalized a sense of limitation—how so many in out community have come to expect so little from the world and themselves [The President did not explain why a Black person would have such an expectation. Discrimination and bigotry limited the horizons of many for a long time. Just changing that reality in the present is not sufficient to reverse the damage done over 400 years.]

The President explained that parents cannot tell kids to do well in school and fail to support them at home. The President suggested what a proper method is—no Xbox, reasonable bedtimes, attending PTA meetings, reading to children, and helping with homework.

Destiny Is in Your Hands

The President, addressing the limitation expectation, stated that the Black community (the President included) has to say that if you are Black, you face greater odds to grow up amid crime and gangs. If you are poor, the President added, you will face challenges that somebody in a wealthy suburb does not have to face. The President advised that this is not a reason for bad grades, cutting class, giving up on education and dropping out. Destiny is in your hands—no excuses, the President noted. [Blacks are likely to face both the effects of race and of being poor. These two signifiers cause barriers to rise and the limitation mentality the President refers to. Although the burden to fight against the ill effects of race and poverty is placed on those being burdened.]

The President explained that children should set their sights higher—not to be stars in sports and music, but to be scientists, engineers, doctors, teachers, Supreme Court Justices, and Presidents.

ACRI Ballot Initiative (Arizona): AZ Legislature Sends Initiative to the Secretary of State

The Arizona legislature has decided to send an initiative proposal from Ward Connerly to the Secretary of State.

The language of HCR 2019 is here. A previous move by Ward Connerly to get this proposal on the ballot through signatures failed.

It is unfortunate that a legislative item that can ill effect a portion of the population in Arizona is not fully researched and debated. Rather, it is placed on the ballot through a questionable strike all amendment process.

Post script:

Arizona Secretary of State