If you were offered raisins, crickets or pebbles would you prefer that they were chocolate covered or plain? They would seem palatable at first if coated with chocolate, but after a few bites you would know their true nature. Everyone prefers to see things in their unadulterated form if there is risk of ingesting something distasteful. Oddly though this natural preference is artificially negated when we interact with groups of individuals. Some groups (businesses and social organizations) are legislatively required to pretend to be something they are not. In less abstract terms I’m referring to anti-discrimination laws. Before I go further let me dispel any misunderstandings – I am not in any way endorsing or promoting bigoted behavior. It is socially and morally reprehensible… but that does not mean it should be legally reprehensible. Some might say immoral behavior should be outlawed. I disagree; it is not the place of the state to impose morality on society (unless you’d like to live in a theocracy like Iran). If you want someone to adopt your morality, lead by example, not by force.
Our laws treat groups of individuals differently than they treat the individual even though there is no logical basis to do so. For example, if an individual does not allow certain types of people into their home or does not purchase goods from them they are free to engage in such behavior. But if we substitute the word “individual” with “group” and “purchase” with “sell” it suddenly becomes a criminal action. This is arbitrary and illogical. Why is it ok if one person does it but not ok if two people do it? I’m not advocating that we impose anti-discrimination laws on the individual though; rather we should repeal anti-discrimination laws. That does not mean I’m “pro” discrimination. Rather, I’m pro transparency. For example, if you are seeking employment and the government has forced the discriminatory employers to behave as though they are non-discriminatory then how are you going to discriminate yourself between the good and the bad employers? I often read about court cases where people fall into this trap. Only after many years of employment do they finally realize the employer is actually bigoted and they either have to quit or file a lawsuit. Even if they win why would they want to keep working for an employer that they know is bigoted? As an employee I’d much rather know what kind of company I might be working for in advance so I can avoid the jerks and work for an employer that will treat me right. A good employer will flourish in a system where they can attract the productive employees that the shortsighted discriminatory firms are ignoring. In such a system the discriminatory firms will atrophy and die. Why? Because they have restricted themselves to a narrow talent pool that ignores potentially more productive employees. Productive discriminated employees will go to the non-discriminatory firms and help them outcompete the discriminatory firms. Additionally, the public would cease to patronize such discriminatory firms were their true nature known. In other words, the market spontaneously regulates such bad behavior by punishing those groups stupid enough to hold such unacceptable positions.
The knee jerk reaction against the idea of eliminating anti-discrimination laws is based on the faulty premise of believing government is our savior by citing the civil rights laws of the 1960s. Government simply fixed the very problem it had created. Discriminatory Jim Crow laws were upheld and enforced by government fiat. However after nearly 50 years the most serious wrongs have long since been righted. There is no longer a reason to outlaw stupidity. Please, let us see who the stupid people are so we may ourselves discriminate and avoid them entirely.