I posted a piece on the total lack of diversity on the women's soccer team. Subsequently I was informed that one player was biracial. But back to the point. I was stunned by the responses I got that totally were off point (to me). I am a free market economist and am a devotee of Adam Smith, Milton Friedman and the great Karl Brunner (my phd advisor). I analyze everything in turns of market solutions. When teaching my students on the effects of restricting the market by doing something like fixing prices I illustrate the difference between a market solution and one made by individuals. I say what is the price of a ticket for a football game between UT and Alabama. They say $50. Is that market clearing? They all say no. Then what is the result? They say scalpers and long lines at the ticket office. I then say suppose the tickets were priced at the market clearing? They say "no lines". I then say suppose you had all the tickets how would you distribute them? They invariably say "first come first served". I say: that is your tastes and preferences but don't be politically correct, what would you really do? They say: I would give them to my fraternity brothers or I would only give them to cute girls. I then say those are your tastes and preferences too. The point being that discrimination is more likely if individual tastes and preferences rather than markets determined the distribution of goods and resources. So in asking why is the soccer team 100 percent Anglo (subsequently corrected), I got points raised that told me why it should be mostly white but not all white. Some pointed to (mostly) black basketball teams or to (mostly) white swimming teams or to (mostly) black sprinters forgetting that swim teams and sprint teams are actually market determined. They are selected solely based on timing heats. Surely that is nondiscriminatory. However soccer teams and basketball teams are ultimately selected by individuals who make judgments making 100 percent of anything more likely. Again I would proffer the same question regardless of the racial composition of any squad if it were selected and turned out to be 100 percent one race. You see, I don't care about the race of the team. That is intellectually uninteresting. If it were the US basketball team, the same question would occur to me. I care about addressing the question as to why it is 100 percent one race (not knowing about Shannon Box). I see this as being totally consistent with my market principles. That it generated such a firestorm with me being accused of racism has been illuminating. So keep those comments coming. I will publish them but this my last word on the matter.
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com