Thursday, 18 November 2010

An end to the Duty to Discriminate

Harman's Law - the public sector Duty to Discriminate on Taste Grounds - is to be scrapped to universal rejoicing and to great benefit to the economy. Make no mistake, taste discrimination (what economists term discrimination on the grounds of sex, caste, creed, faith, sexuality or colour) is a thoroughly bad thing and has no place in hiring, firing and promotion and reward decisions in the public sector. 

For despite all the lefty rhetoric about 'bad' capitalists discriminating on taste grounds, the overwhelming mass of taste discrimination exists in the public, and not the private sector. You see, capitalists (with the exception of those at the Mom and Pop enterprise level) are out to maximise profits and will employ the very best people to help them do it, irrespective of their colour or sex. This is also the reason for most of the difference in pay between men and women.

Employment and reward decisions in a fair and equal jobs market with no taste discrimination are made on the basis of education, ability, experience and an 'employability' factor. The American Hay system, for example, scores these in a grid, and is used as an example of how employment decisions should be made in the public sector. Now, overall in the working population, women will score on aggregate significantly lower on the 'experience' factor simply because many women spend many years out of the workplace having babies. When I learned my post-grad economics, the academic consensus was that this experience difference accounted for about 14% of a then 18% pay gap, with about 4% due to taste discrimination. 

So eliminating taste discrimination altogether from the public sector should leave us with an overall pay gap of about 14% between men and women. Anything less than this is an indicator of inefficient and poor quality employment and reward decisions. 

I'm sure Theresa May understands all of this. The tragedy is that the Deputy Leader of the Labour party simply doesn't. 


Anonymous said...

Positive discrimination is discrimination - there is a clue in the name somewhere. And it should be noted that there is nothing at all positive about it.

Coney Island

hatfield girl said...

'The tragedy is that the Deputy Leader of the Labour party simply doesn't.'

There is much to be regretted that the Labour party ruins are occupying part of the political site where a democratic party other than a Conservative party might be built. There is a Labour-created brown-field site that needs to be cleansed of historical and inappropriate social and institutional configurations that supplied other purposes in that other country, the past.

Tragedy insists on inevitable outcomes that damage all; Labour hasn't that quality - it just needs burying, like Lenin's corpse.