Thursday, February 22, 2007

Discrimination Laws Discriminate?

For a while I thought I was moving at a reasonable pace, but it is occuring to me that what we have gone over so far is so extremely basic that we still haven't really gotten anywhere yet. So, we understand government theft. We understand how welfare recipients are associated with that, but we have not established an essential immorality of the people, simply of the system. Why? Because people are not inherrently immoral.

Today, I think it would be good to analyze discrimination, that terrible word. I suppose a definition is relevant, since so many people misuse the term. Until modern verbiage changed the term (much more recently than you think) it meant:

discriminate - to note or observe a difference; distinguish accurately

So discrimination is something you do every day. You pick out your car in a parking lot. You are discriminating right now at the difference between this word and the next. Quite simply, to discriminate is only the act of observation, not of action. Now, the word has recently been noted to mean:

discriminate - to make a distinction in favor of or against a person or thing on the basis of the group, class, or category to which the person or thing belongs rather than according to actual merit; show partiality

Thus, discrimination has come to mean an action, specifically, treating someone different based on the observation made. This is because of politics, but I'm not going to get into that right now. Instead, we understand that there can't be anything wrong with noticing that there is a difference in skin color between two people, let's analyze whether or not there is something wrong with treating them differently based on that observation.

In the formally ethical sense, ABSOLUTELY NOT. In my personal opinion, ABSOLUTELY NOT. Even the law currently says ABSOLUTELY NOT. I'd bet that most of you feel exactly the same way. But how would a government legislate such actions? It seems very difficult to monitor the observations people make without a camera in their heads. So what does the government do to stop people from making decisions based on observations?

There are thousands of ways that politicians have found. Among the most popular of which are "wrongful termination" and "affirmative action". The direct result of these has not, however, been the elimination of discrimination, but the expansion of it. Let me reiterate:

Discrimination laws increase, not decrease, discrimination.

That doesn't make sense? Of course it does. In order to identify what people are thinking, the government must first discriminate (observation) which people are in which categories. Then, it must discriminate (treat differently) and tell their employers either to hire them or not, based on solely the color of their skin. However, it goes much deeper than that. Discriminating practices on the part of the government have increased the discrimination involved in employment. Employers, afraid of government interaction, discriminate on their own and avoid not hiring, or firing employees who are of specific characteristics lain out by the government. At the moment, I'll leave the specifics on those characteristics for another post because that discussion will be lengthy.

In any case, the major thing to take away from this post is that discrimination laws do not minimize discrimination,but necessarily maximize it.


It is not the business of government to make men virtuous or religious, or to preserve the fool from the consequences of his own folly. Government should be repressive no further than is necessary to secure liberty by protecting the equal rights of each from aggression on the part of others, and the moment governmental prohibitions extend beyond this line they are in danger of defeating the very ends they are intended to serve. – Henry George

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