It’s time to end anti-discrimination law

Originally protecting blacks, anti-discrimination laws have expanded to new protected classes including women (not men), immigrants, religious minorities, nonwhite races that were not historically unprivileged, the disabled, illegal aliens, and now homosexuals and other sexual fetishists. There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.

Laws forbidding private parties such as individuals, corporations, clubs, homeowners associations, and restaurants from discriminating against members of protected classes are blatantly unconstitutional. The 14th amendment states (in part):

No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Denying private parties the right to conduct business or to refuse to conduct business with whomever they choose deprives those parties their liberty and the use of their property.

Laws requiring people to interact with people they do not want to interact with are oppressive*. Under a fair reading of the constitution, such actions would only be permitted as punishment for crime**, were they not blatantly cruel and unusual.

The federal government and states should be free to forbid discrimination within their own organizations, but they may not apply these restrictions to private parties.

The original purpose of anti-discrimination laws was to correct the longstanding abuses of black Americans by pro-discrimination laws. But pro-discrimination laws were eliminated during the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Jim Crow laws have been gone for over 50 years. Anti-discrimination laws’ justification has elapsed.

Anti-discrimination laws should be struck down now.

*Under the current reading of the law that disparate impact among protected classes is evidence of discrimination, these laws are also capricious.

**Maybe this is the justification for forcing convicts to share prison cells with homosexual rapists.


Economist: 18th Century Economic Growth May have Occurred Despite Liberalized Government

An article in the Economist outlines an argument that 18th century Britain’s robust economic performance was not the result of liberalized institutions, but were instead caused by financial innovation largely independent of political developments. Indeed, we hear that:

institutions in many cases became weaker, rather than stronger, after the Glorious Revolution. When William III, a Dutchman, became king in 1689, English governments became more extractive and rent-seeking—not less—in order to fund growing military engagements. The rising tax burden presented a challenge to property rights, and rent-seeking monopolies were allowed to grow in some sectors of the economy that had before been restrained under more absolutist governments.

This provokes some observations about how England changed after granting more power to Parliament: England experienced growing military engagements; rent-seeking monopolies (i.e. corruption) increased; and institutions became weaker. When asked whether a parliamentary democracy or an absolute monarchy would produce more war, more corruption, and weaker institutions, what would the average student of history answer?

This is, of course, old news in certain dark corners, but it is interesting seeing this point of view in a mainstream publication.


Mark Steyn on Veterans Day

Mark Steyn reposted his annual Veterans Day column. It’s a good read.

This was originally written after the September 11 attacks in 2001. One point of emphasis is the West’s inability to understand war on a scale of World War I anymore:

Sacrifice on the scale McCrae witnessed is all but unimaginable in the west today — in Canada, in Britain, even apparently in America, which instead of sending in the cavalry is now dropping horse feed for the Northern Alliance, in the hope they might rouse themselves to seize an abandoned village or two, weather permitting.

The best part:

So for many of us “sacrifice” is all but incomprehensible. Responding to Robert Putnam’s recollections of “civic community” in World War Two — “victory gardens in nearly everyone’s backyard, the Boy Scouts at filling stations collecting floor mats for scrap rubber, the affordable war bonds, the practice of giving rides to hitchhiking soldiers and war workers” – Katha Pollitt in the current edition of The Nation sneers: “Those would be certified heterosexual, Supreme-Being-believing scouts, I suppose, and certified harmless and chivalrous hitchhiking GIs, too – not some weirdo in uniform who cuts you to bits on a dark road.” Somehow I don’t think poor paranoid Ms Pollitt has met that many fellows in uniform, weirdoes or otherwise.

People like Katha Pollitt run our schools now.

Have a great day, and thank a veteran.