His third, "replace ethnic affirmative action with socioeconomic affirmative action," is not a "no-brainer," but is in fact something about which reasonable, intelligent, well-meaning people have been disagreeing since forever. Racial and socioeconomic disadvantage are not mutually exclusive. And there's the issue of representation - once whichever influential institution ceases to be an all-white (or zero-black) entity, it will de facto become an institution that's open to blacks. And, more to the point, if what Murray wants to do is to bring about solidarity between whites of different classes (and we'll assume he means this in a non-exclusionary sense...), it's hard to imagine that if the children of plumbers were labeled a disadvantaged category, and known to get into college with lower grades and scores, this despite any history of systematic discrimination against plumbers and their families, that this would, I suppose, go over well. And if the issue is more (as becomes apparent with the fourth point) that it should be possible to make a living with a blue-collar (which is to say, college wasn't a prerequisite) job, then why should we care if children of blue-collar families are proportionately represented at elite colleges? Why shouldn't it be enough to make sure that elite colleges are accessible to them? Why would affirmative action be needed?
Murray's final point - that the BA shouldn't be required of job applicants if the position doesn't specifically require it - sounds appealing at first, but is impractical. Most obviously, a liberal-arts education doesn't prepare you for any particular job. So if it's ridiculous to ask a plumber to have a BA, it's nearly as absurd to ask this of a journalist. Also, I'd think, obvious: entry-level jobs virtually never require the skills acquired in Philosophy 101. The BA is required because if one is to ascend whichever ladder and be in more of a decision-making position, whichever "critical thinking" skills might come into play. (As for his bit about how the BA "has become educationally meaningless," this kind of unsubstantiated nostalgia for a Golden Age of when everyone left college a distinguished Aristotle scholar, I will simply ignore.) Point being, if no job could draw a direct connection between skills needed for the position (again, not the career, the position) in question and a BA, this would mean eliminating college for all, not just opening up fields where demanding a BA feels preposterous.