|Ethan: “Any attempt by the government to legislate what you can do with your personal property, in this case, someone's company, is an attack on that persons property. It is an initiation of force just as much as them coming in and taking something physically away.”|
But if a government agency suspects that personal property is being used in rights violations, they can justifiably confiscate it. Governments can also justifiably pass laws regarding the use of property, from cars to firearms to building standards.
The question isn’t so much about whether or not force can be justified, as what are the proper limits of that force, and I think anti-discrimination laws in employment are justified in the sense that they are an attempt to set up a level playing field in a very important area of our lives, that is, our means of livelihood.
Jon: “I understand that you are saying job opportunities must be open to all, not that any particular person must be hired. My example fits—my example does not say that you must work for that particular boss, however, by your logic you are treating him unfairly by removing yourself from the pool he can choose from…”
I don’t think this is consistent with the way the employment market works. Employers typically advertise a job offer, applicants respond to the offer, the employer chooses from the pool, presumably the “best” candidate for the job. So it’s a situation where a contract is offered, and various candidates step forward to accept the offer. Outside of that situation, none of these considerations apply.
So nobody is forcing the employer to offer a job; and nobody is forcing a candidate to apply. But once the offer is made, the employer is required to consider all qualified applicants.
In the case of the applicant, should he be willing to consider the job despite the poly-thing? Of course he should. If he doesn’t like the sound of it, he shouldn’t apply. If you mean the applicant finds the boss creepy, you’re entering a real grey area of personality. You can’t easily establish objective criteria for this sort of thing, whereas factors such as race and gender are more objective characteristics.
Nature: “Mmm-hmm. Ain't America great? I take it you live in some barbaric land which lacks this sort of high culture.”
Yeehaa! Where can I find these Hooters girls? We’re not so much barbaric here as backswoods. The best we can at our local is ogle the resident slapper when she’s in her cups. Mind you, she’s not too bad at 3am in a dim light.
“The goal of Hooters is to provide an environment where people can enjoy fine dining while being waited on by people dressed in the above fashion, so for Hooters, “merit” includes looking somewhat like that.”
I’ve no problem with that, whether you want to call those attributes “merits”, “qualifications”, “requirements” or some other word, whatever it takes for the job. So a Hooters’ girl will be a female with certain attributes – big teeth and hair and so on.
But as I say, all other things being equal, I think we should try to ensure a level playing field in employment. As to the impossibility of applying a single law to many circumstances, you may as well abolish all laws, since every law in practice applies to many individual circumstances.
Pete: (quoting Rand): “Just as we have to protect a communist's freedom of speech, even though his doctrines are evil, so we have to protect a racist's right to the use and disposal of his own property.”
Bad analogy. To make this consistent, Rand would also have to grant the communist not just freedom of speech, but also the right to put his doctrines into practice, since she has granted the racist that right. I don’t think she’d be prepared to do that.