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  1. #1
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    Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    A protected group or protected class is a group of people qualified for special protection by a law, policy, or similar authority. In the United States, the term is frequently used in connection with employees and employment.

    Where discrimination on the basis of protected group status is concerned, a single act of discrimination may be based on membership in more than one protected group. For example, discrimination based on antisemitism may relate to religion, national origin, or both; discrimination against a pregnant woman might be based on sex, marital status, or both.[1]

    U.S. federal law protects individuals from discrimination or harassment based on the following nine protected classes: sex, race, age, disability, color, creed, national origin, religion, or genetic information (added in 2008). Many state laws also give certain protected groups special protection against harassment and discrimination, as do many employer policies. Although it is not required by federal law, employer policies may also protect employees from harassment or discrimination based on marital status or sexual orientation. The following characteristics are "protected" by United States federal anti-discrimination law:

    Race – Civil Rights Act of 1964
    Religion – Civil Rights Act of 1964
    National origin – Civil Rights Act of 1964
    Age (40 and over) – Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
    Sex – Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Civil Rights Act of 1964
    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission interprets 'sex' to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity[2]
    Pregnancy – Pregnancy Discrimination Act
    Citizenship – Immigration Reform and Control Act
    Familial status – Civil Rights Act of 1968 Title VIII: Housing cannot discriminate for having children, with an exception for senior housing
    Disability status – Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
    Veteran status – Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 and Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
    Genetic information – Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_group

    Some individual states have added protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and perhaps other characteristics.

    So the question for this thread is: Should federal law protecting classes of people against discrimination in employment be expanded and, if so, to cover which additional groups? Or should federal law remain as-is? Or should the list of protected classes be pared down in some way?

    I'm thinking that employment should also not be denied on the basis of political ideology, alcoholism, low IQ, natural body odor and flatulence, because those are all immutable characteristics of an individual.
    Last edited by evensaul; May 26th, 2018 at 01:41 PM.
    "If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth." - Ronald Reagan

  2. #2
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    Re: Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    The root of all this is the American egalitarian principle of equality under the law and by extension of that, equality within society.

    The legal principle behind these laws is that the government has an obligation to serve the public in protecting them from significant harm. Civil rights legislation was done in the face of wanton discrimination following a long period of legal discrimination. Both race and gender have been codified by US law as unequal for a good long time, despite the rhetoric of the founding fathers and our foundational documents.

    We have gone somewhat beyond that however so I don't know hos justified such federal regulations really are if there isn't a history of legal discrimination in law. If it is merely widespread social bias, then I think that gives less standing, and if it is relatively narrow social bias, even less so.

    The social agenda is to have people treated without significant prejidice in the wider marketplace. And in a country so defined by the ethos of capitalism and the market, and steeped int he idea of egalitarianism, I think it makes sense we would seek to reduce or eliminate bigotry in marketplace transactions, especially those as essential as work contracts.

    I think it is a well intentioned goal, but I'm not convinced federal regulation is the appropriate vehicle for it. State legislation is better, but ultimately, social and market enforcement is probably the most effective and appropriate remedy for more edge case discrimination.

    I fully support race and sex as they were so badly enforced by law for so long. I support the others in the sense that I think they deserve equal treatment, but I tend not to actually favor such laws at the federal level on principle, even if I do support them from an ethical standpoint. I'm just a bit reluctant to turn all my ethical principles into law.
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    Re: Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    [INDENT]natural body odor and flatulence
    Has this happened to you?
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    Re: Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    Quote Originally Posted by CowboyX View Post
    Has this happened to you?
    LOL!. I should have expected that.
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    Re: Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    The social agenda is to have people treated without significant prejidice in the wider marketplace. And in a country so defined by the ethos of capitalism and the market, and steeped int he idea of egalitarianism, I think it makes sense we would seek to reduce or eliminate bigotry in marketplace transactions, especially those as essential as work contracts.

    I think it is a well intentioned goal, but I'm not convinced federal regulation is the appropriate vehicle for it. State legislation is better, but ultimately, social and market enforcement is probably the most effective and appropriate remedy for more edge case discrimination.

    I fully support race and sex as they were so badly enforced by law for so long. I support the others in the sense that I think they deserve equal treatment, but I tend not to actually favor such laws at the federal level on principle, even if I do support them from an ethical standpoint. I'm just a bit reluctant to turn all my ethical principles into law.
    Where would you place sexual orientation and gender identity in all of that? Are they worthy of federal protection, state protection, or "social and market enforcement" (which I don't understand)?
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    Re: Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    [QUOTE=Sigfried;560025}I fully support race and sex as they were so badly enforced by law for so long. I support the others in the sense that I think they deserve equal treatment, but I tend not to actually favor such laws at the federal level on principle, even if I do support them from an ethical standpoint. I'm just a bit reluctant to turn all my ethical principles into law.[/QUOTE]

    Assuming one agrees that every single American should have such protections, then a federal law definitely makes sense.

    As a scenario, if we left it to the states and one of the states decides that they won't protect blacks from being fired just for being black (and if was agreed that such a policy cannot stand) then the state would have to be overruled by a higher authority which in this situation would have to be federal government.

    ---------- Post added at 10:40 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:38 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    Where would you place sexual orientation and gender identity in all of that? Are they worthy of federal protection, state protection, or "social and market enforcement" (which I don't understand)?
    Of course they should receive protection. If gays can't find a job because they are gay, then they will have a harder time surviving within our society than a straight person.

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    Re: Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    Quote Originally Posted by mican333 View Post
    Assuming one agrees that every single American should have such protections, then a federal law definitely makes sense.

    As a scenario, if we left it to the states and one of the states decides that they won't protect blacks from being fired just for being black (and if was agreed that such a policy cannot stand) then the state would have to be overruled by a higher authority which in this situation would have to be federal government.
    It's a question of what federal authority they are claiming such legislation under. From a legal standpoint, the feds can't simply make any law they like, it has to fall under the implicit or explicit powers granted to congress. The states have a much wider latitude. So long as they are not violating the federal or state constitution, they can make just about any law they like.

    ---------- Post added at 11:36 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:34 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by evensaul View Post
    Where would you place sexual orientation and gender identity in all of that? Are they worthy of federal protection, state protection, or "social and market enforcement" (which I don't understand)?
    It's well-intentioned, aka I don't think it is ethical or right to discriminate in the market against someone for those reasons. That said, I think it has to be shown to be a widespread problem in order to justify federal legislation from a legal perspective.

    I'm happy we have such laws, I'm not entirely sure they are legally justified.
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    Re: Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    I think such laws inherently violate the freedoms to associate. While it is nice and good to not discriminate for stupid reasons it is ultimately the job of the church and not the state to effect people's moral choices like these. It also isn't effective as long as people put a little thought into their actions. Like, you can in fact discriminate based on sex, if you call then models. As it is a motivation that is being legislated against, it can be impossible to police, and is impossible to actually stop in by the state.
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    Re: Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I think such laws inherently violate the freedoms to associate. While it is nice and good to not discriminate for stupid reasons it is ultimately the job of the church and not the state to effect people's moral choices like these. It also isn't effective as long as people put a little thought into their actions. Like, you can in fact discriminate based on sex, if you call then models. As it is a motivation that is being legislated against, it can be impossible to police, and is impossible to actually stop in by the state.
    What happens, though, when your religious institutions fail to do so? Are complicit. Or worse yet, their beliefs are used to support such practices?

    As for your example, the law makes provisions for "reasonable accommodations". Yes, you're not going to have a fat, bald, hairy guy as a waitress at Hooters, nor would you have a non-endowed female. But that doesn't preclude them from working in the kitchen, as management, or in the corporate office.
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    Re: Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    What happens is society is screwed. It is just like me saying. He gives is not equipped nor is it it'sjob to raise kids, that is the job of parents.. and you respond, what happens when your precious family unit fails or is complicated in raising children.. then what. See that objection doesn't change the gov proper roll or better equipped it to do what it can't do.

    Your Hooters example doesn't address my point.
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    Re: Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post

    Your Hooters example doesn't address my point.

    It addresses your model example perfectly. What else should I address, your last post is a bit muddled. Could you explain it a little better for me?
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    Re: Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    My point was that you can still descriminate if you put some thought into it. I appealed to basically the Hooters example. You responded by repeating the example and calling it reasonable. However that doesn't address my point that people can discriminate if they put a little thought into it and don't come out and explicitly stating so as to be a clear indication of discrimination.
    My point is the states inability to effect motive. That is the roll of the church. Not a church or a religion, but religion in general.
    So when you asked, as opposed to making a counter argument, what happens when the church fails it job. The answer is that society is screwed, because there is no other mechanism capable of addressing that. Just like parents are the only mechanism capable of raising children en mass, and the state is completely inadiquite to take parents place if they fail as an institution. So like the answer to your question as it applies equally here. If they fail society is screwed.
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    Re: Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I think such laws inherently violate the freedoms to associate. While it is nice and good to not discriminate for stupid reasons it is ultimately the job of the church and not the state to effect people's moral choices like these.
    But I assume you agree that society does have a responsibility to ensure that societal rules do correspond to obviously correct morals.

    For example, regardless of where we get the moral edict "don't murder", it is society that has a responsibility to inhibit murder and punish those who murder innocent people.

    And the same principle applies to economic laws. For example, we have laws against fraud so businesses can't steal from each other.

    And assuming that one agrees that amongst our economic laws, we SHOULD have laws against denying access to the market based on race or gender (and so on), then society should have laws against certain kinds of discrimination.

    ---------- Post added at 03:57 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:47 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    So when you asked, as opposed to making a counter argument, what happens when the church fails it job. The answer is that society is screwed, because there is no other mechanism capable of addressing that. Just like parents are the only mechanism capable of raising children en mass, and the state is completely inadiquite to take parents place if they fail as an institution.
    People can certainly address moral issues without a church. As far as I know, there is no significant difference in the morality of people who do and don't go to church and countries that have had a significant decrease in religious participation (like many European countries) aren't any worse off morally.

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    Re: Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    I think such laws inherently violate the freedoms to associate. While it is nice and good to not discriminate for stupid reasons it is ultimately the job of the church and not the state to effect people's moral choices like these. It also isn't effective as long as people put a little thought into their actions. Like, you can in fact discriminate based on sex, if you call then models. As it is a motivation that is being legislated against, it can be impossible to police, and is impossible to actually stop in by the state.
    Considering there are a good number of claims and judgements, I would not say it is impossible to police. It is impossible to police it 100%, but that is true of nearly every crime in the books.

    It does impinge on freedom of association to some small degree, though I think it leaves that right mostly intact and is justified by a long history of laws specifically designed to prevent such freedoms in a much more egregious way. When you commit a crime, you loose some your rights, and I think that is just. America commited the moral crime of saying that some people were property, and then that some people were not full people in the eyes of the law. Now, we must limit ourselves to some small degree by not allowing any such discrimination in our commercial markets. That seems rather just to me.
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    Re: Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    But I assume you agree that society does have a responsibility to ensure that societal rules do correspond to obviously correct morals.

    For example, regardless of where we get the moral edict "don't murder", it is society that has a responsibility to inhibit murder and punish those who murder innocent people.

    And the same principle applies to economic laws. For example, we have laws against fraud so businesses can't steal from each other.

    And assuming that one agrees that amongst our economic laws, we SHOULD have laws against denying access to the market based on race or gender (and so on), then society should have laws against certain kinds of discrimination.
    The role of gov is not to rule on morality, but to rule on rights. So all the things you bring up, are dealt with by the state due to rights arguments... not moral arguments..and you really don't want the state to rule on moral arguments, because that makes it an arbiter of religion. It would only be a matter of time before some religious minded person was elected seeking to make the nation an "x religion" state due to moral based arguments and rulings.

    I do agree that morals are related, in that it is moral to protect rights.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    People can certainly address moral issues without a church. As far as I know, there is no significant difference in the morality of people who do and don't go to church and countries that have had a significant decrease in religious participation (like many European countries) aren't any worse off morally.
    Yes, but that is not relevant to my point at all now is it.
    What you say does not make it the states job, and it doesn't make it not the churches proper roll.
    It doesn't falsify my point in any way. Wouldn't you agree?

    Quote Originally Posted by SIG
    Considering there are a good number of claims and judgements, I would not say it is impossible to police. It is impossible to police it 100%, but that is true of nearly every crime in the books
    So your correct that nothing is 100%, but I don't see how that effects my point. There are a good number of claims, however many could have been avoided with simple re-wording of things.
    Again, the state can not police intent.
    So for example, a large rental company may get tagged for wrongful racial discrimination, but any small rental can get away with it by just not saying "I'm not renting to any Insert racial slur". Also, I would argue that the cases that do exist should not, as they infringe on individual rights to association in many cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by SIG
    It does impinge on freedom of association to some small degree, though I think it leaves that right mostly intact and is justified by a long history of laws specifically designed to prevent such freedoms in a much more egregious way. When you commit a crime, you loose some your rights, and I think that is just. America commited the moral crime of saying that some people were property, and then that some people were not full people in the eyes of the law. Now, we must limit ourselves to some small degree by not allowing any such discrimination in our commercial markets. That seems rather just to me.
    That argument has a time limit IMO. Just like the south had rules to prevent it from doing racial stuff, those rules did in fact violate states rights. So very similar. Just recently those rules were taken away because of time.
    I would say discrimination laws and protected classes are the same way. It was a major problem.. now it isn't, and the few ass hats left, should be free to be ass hats.
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    Re: Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    The role of gov is not to rule on morality, but to rule on rights.
    That's not really a relevant distinction in regards to my argument. I didn't say "government". I said "society". And the way society promotes certain moral positions is by having laws which the government enforces. The fact that these protections are put in the form of "rights" doesn't really make a difference in regards to my argument. So you aren't really countering it. It's quite obvious that the reason that we have a legal "right to life" in our legal system is because that strongly reflects the moral position of the people.

    And you didn't address the rest of my argument so I'm going to re-post it.

    For example, regardless of where we get the moral edict "don't murder", it is society that has a responsibility to inhibit murder and punish those who murder innocent people.

    And the same principle applies to economic laws. For example, we have laws against fraud so businesses can't steal from each other.

    And assuming that one agrees that amongst our economic laws, we SHOULD have laws against denying access to the market based on race or gender (and so on), then society should have laws against certain kinds of discrimination.


    So I am saying that we do have a valid reason to have laws against discrimination in economic matters (employment, buying, and selling).

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    Re: Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    That's not really a relevant distinction in regards to my argument. I didn't say "government". I said "society". And the way society promotes certain moral positions is by having laws which the government enforces. The fact that these protections are put in the form of "rights" doesn't really make a difference in regards to my argument. So you aren't really countering it. It's quite obvious that the reason that we have a legal "right to life" in our legal system is because that strongly reflects the moral position of the people.
    No, rights are deemed as "self evident", not a product of general consensus.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    And you didn't address the rest of my argument so I'm going to re-post it.
    I am addressing your argument directly.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    For example, regardless of where we get the moral edict "don't murder", it is society that has a responsibility to inhibit murder and punish those who murder innocent people.
    Where we get the moral edict is not relevant, and society responsibility is not relevant. The gov power, and roll is what is relevant.
    Gov's roll is not to enforce general consensus morality, gov proper roll is to protect rights.

    The distinction couldn't be more clear and your muddying the waters by arguing a line that is not used in the establishment of our gov. Your basically not describing the united states, but some other fictional gov. One that isn't based on inherent rights, or a limited gov.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    And the same principle applies to economic laws. For example, we have laws against fraud so businesses can't steal from each other.
    We have laws against fraud to protect the rights of both parties in legal contracts.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    And assuming that one agrees that amongst our economic laws, we SHOULD have laws against denying access to the market based on race or gender (and so on), then society should have laws against certain kinds of discrimination.
    Which is religious tyranny.

    I am pretty sure right now you can get a majority of people to say that we SHOULD celebrate Christmas. That people SHOULD stay married.
    Heck, I bet there are a lot of "shoulds" that are not law right now.

    And I would argue that, that is not a sufficient basis for making a ANY law. If we allow that to be a valid reasoning, one day you may find yourself under sharia law.

    Here is an example.
    1) People should not engage in prostitution. (Majority consensus)
    2) We currently have laws against such act.
    3) Such laws violate right to freely associate and are thus not the job of the gov.
    4) The idea that the gov can limit the actions of two consenting adults in regards to sex is too dangerous a power for the state to have.
    What is next, making homosexual sex illegal? .. wait we had that too. This is the danger of the state ruling on moral issues and not doing its job of protecting rights.

    Quote Originally Posted by MICAN
    So I am saying that we do have a valid reason to have laws against discrimination in economic matters (employment, buying, and selling).
    Moral arguments are an invalid reasoning for the gov to make.
    Your taking a subjective approach to morals, and rights, and building your case from the ground up. Which is all fine and stuff, but it isn't how the gov is built and so it doesn't apply to our gov. Rights are viewed by the gov as objective and inalienable, and we should not accept any reasons that compromise that, or else we unchain the gov an release it to the worst kinds of evil.
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    Re: Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    No, rights are deemed as "self evident", not a product of general consensus.
    I didn't say otherwise. Let me repeat my final statement.

    It's quite obvious that the reason that we have a legal "right to life" in our legal system is because that strongly reflects the moral position of the people.

    I am referring to the legal principle of protecting one's right to life, not the origin of the right itself.

    Let me put it another way. The reason that our legal system protects people's rights to life is because doing so strongly reflects the moral position of the people (who believe it is an appropriate use of state power to protect the individual right to life).



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Where we get the moral edict is not relevant, and society responsibility is not relevant. The gov power, and roll is what is relevant.
    Gov's roll is not to enforce general consensus morality, gov proper roll is to protect rights.
    Difference without a distinction.

    The reason the government has the role to protect CERTAIN rights is because it is the general moral consensus of the people that the government should protect those rights. The only reason the constitution is what it is is because that's the way the people want it.

    The constitution has been amended at different times in history and it's plainly obvious that the alterations were due to how people think the government SHOULD behave - in other words, based on people's morals.



    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    We have laws against fraud to protect the rights of both parties in legal contracts.
    Because the people agree that such rights should be protected.

    If the people didn't care if companies ripped off each other, then there would be no enforcement of such rights.

    The government has no inherent obligation to protect any particular right. It only protects the rights that people want it to protect.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Which is religious tyranny.

    I am pretty sure right now you can get a majority of people to say that we SHOULD celebrate Christmas. That people SHOULD stay married.
    That is not my argument at all. I have not said that we should not base our law on constitutional principles which override the whims of the majority.

    So you are essentially attacking a straw man.


    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    Moral arguments are an invalid reasoning for the gov to make.
    Your taking a subjective approach to morals, and rights, and building your case from the ground up. Which is all fine and stuff, but it isn't how the gov is built and so it doesn't apply to our gov. Rights are viewed by the gov as objective and inalienable, and we should not accept any reasons that compromise that, or else we unchain the gov an release it to the worst kinds of evil.
    And I'll concern myself with that when I make an argument that says that we should abandon constitutional principles in favor of what I'm arguing. But I made no such argument.

    So you are not addressing the argument that I am making but attacking a straw man.

    ---------------------

    So in short, I have not argued that we not use the constitutional method for promoting the people's moral vision of society so the argument that my argument does that is not valid. Since that seems to be your general attack on my initial argument, I'm going to repost my argument and make it clear that while I am referring to societal morality, I absolutely am allowing it to be advanced by constitutional principles. So here is it again:

    But I assume you agree that society does have a responsibility to ensure that societal rules do correspond to obviously correct morals.

    For example, regardless of where we get the moral edict "don't murder", it is society that has a responsibility to inhibit murder and punish those who murder innocent people.

    And the same principle applies to economic laws. For example, we have laws against fraud so businesses can't steal from each other.

    And assuming that one agrees that amongst our economic laws, we SHOULD have laws against denying access to the market based on race or gender (and so on), then society should have laws against certain kinds of discrimination.
    Last edited by mican333; May 29th, 2018 at 05:57 PM.

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    Re: Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    Quote Originally Posted by MindTrap028 View Post
    That argument has a time limit IMO. Just like the south had rules to prevent it from doing racial stuff, those rules did in fact violate states rights. So very similar. Just recently those rules were taken away because of time.
    I would say discrimination laws and protected classes are the same way. It was a major problem.. now it isn't, and the few ass hats left, should be free to be ass hats.
    How about we keep them for as long as the jim crow laws lasted? The started in the 1870s and lasted until the late 1960s. So 90 years of blacks being second class citizens. So this kind of protection, to be fair, should last until about 2050 for it to be balanced.
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    Re: Protected Classes: Expand, Reduce or Maintain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    How about we keep them for as long as the jim crow laws lasted? The started in the 1870s and lasted until the late 1960s. So 90 years of blacks being second class citizens. So this kind of protection, to be fair, should last until about 2050 for it to be balanced.
    Or how about we learn from history?
    If people had spoken up sooner, the jim crow laws could have been abolished sooner. It was a mistake to keep them so long, I believe the same applies here.
    We have gone about 60 yrs since jim crow laws. During those 60 yrs even teenagers (of any sex or color) now can and do become millionaires by the power of the internet. It has probably been the best yrs for a human to be alive in history.

    Maybe to be "fair", we should just consider all men/women (adult, able bodied, etc) are created equal and give all equal protection. I'm sure there are valid exceptions, but in general, all should be treated equal under the law.

    ---------- Post added at 03:24 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:17 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigfried View Post
    I think it is a well intentioned goal, but I'm not convinced federal regulation is the appropriate vehicle for it. State legislation is better, but ultimately, social and market enforcement is probably the most effective and appropriate remedy for more edge case discrimination.
    I think you make two very awesome points here.

    1. The federal gov't has a spotty record "enforcing fairness". Sometimes it turns out good, sometimes not. we should be careful of what we wish done at the federal level.
    2. In a free market, the power of the consumer can be utilized very effectively. Add the growing power of social media and markets have no choice but to "listen" to the will of the people thru their spending habits.

 

 
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