Just A Little Help

As mentioned last week, the next part of First Do No Harm Part II can be found here. This week it looks at America’s history of human radiation experimentation. 

SEED Money

In an income experiment residents of Stockton, Calif., in need received a $500 a month stipend. This was the first-of-its-kind guaranteed-income program and they found that people who got the stipend were more likely to find full-time jobs, be happy and stay healthy. “The Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration, or SEED, was founded in February 2019 by then-Mayor Michael Tubbs and funded by donors, including the Economic Security Project.” The income program provides regular, unconditional payments from the government to people. Starting in February 2019, the Stockton program has provided monthly payments for two years to 125 people living in neighborhoods with a median income below $46,034. Participants can use the money as they see fit, without work requirements or other restrictions. Despite the common adage that  money with no strings attached will become a disincentive for people to work or will encourage them to spend it on drugs and alcohol, that was not the case. In this year long experiment, recipients were twice as likely to gain full-time employment than others. Most of the money distributed was spent on food or other essentials. NPR: California Program Giving $500 No-Strings-Attached Stipends Pays Off, Study Finds

NewYorker: The Promising Results of a Citywide Basic-Income Experiment

Bias A Clue

“For years, Google’s recruiting department used a college ranking system to set budgets and priorities for hiring new engineers. In lieu of a tier, Google labeled HBCUs “long tail” schools, in reference to the fact that it could take a long time before these universities would produce a large number of graduates qualified to work at Google. Google for years has been celebrated as trying to fix Silicon Valley’s race gap, with praise highlighting the company’s efforts to build relationships with HBCUs. But while Google had a head start, it also undervalued and underinvested in Black engineering students at HBCUs, according to interviews with current and former Google workers, HBCU graduates, former faculty members, emails, planning documents and performance reviews. Last summer, as Black Lives Matters protesters marched in cities throughout the country, Google’s recruiting department agreed to stop using the ranking system, after about a dozen of the company’s college recruiters, all of whom were Black, argued that the policy perpetuated racial bias, according to a June letter that the recruiters sent to Google’s head of human resources and that was viewed by The Washington Post.” WaPo: Google’s approach to historically Black schools helps explain why there are few Black engineers in Big Tech.  You cannot address the problem if you go in with the assumption that HBCU graduates are inferior candidates. Where better to get Black engineers than from Black schools? To undervalue them from the start is the exact problem the company claims to want to address. Remember, there is an HBCU graduate is in the White House. All HBCU graduates need is an equal playing field. So, if you take the bias/prejudice out of your diversity efforts, they’ll go a lot better.

Olympic Hopes

A Black female Republican U.S. House candidate essentially was played by a consulting firm. Kim Klacik was a hopeful Republican congresswoman who had a viral video where she walked through Baltimore and said Democrats do not care about Black people. Her video raised millions. It was shared on social media by then President Trump and his eldest son. After an interview with Mike Huckabee she was told, “to stop disclosing how much money the ad had raised for her campaign against Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D) — because she wouldn’t be keeping much of it. The company that produced the video, Arsenal Media Group, would take a cut. And a firm hired to promote the video, Olympic Media, would keep up to 70 percent of the money it generated.”  In the end, Klacik raised $8.3 million and Olympic was paid $3.7 million of that. Klacik is now a frequent Fox News and Newsmax commentator.

“Her campaign is an example of how some consulting firms are profiting handsomely from Republican candidates who have robust appeal in today’s politically charged environment — even when they are running in deep-blue districts where it is virtually impossible for them to win. The more viral the candidate goes, the more money the companies make — a model possible only through the online outrage machine of hyperpartisan politics.” WaPo: Donors gave a House candidate more than $8 million. A single firm took nearly half of it.