Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Government agencies causing problems again - Discrimination edition

British-themed pub in NYC got in trouble for saying "Being British definitely works in your favor".

As the story goes on to say, the firm ended up in trouble with NY City Commission on Human Rights.  The pub eventually had to pay a $2,500 fine to settle the case.  

This is terrible.  A firm thought a British person would be best for their position, and the government had to intercede.  While the firm was discriminating, they were discriminating to appease the tastes of their customers.  That shouldn't matter though.  As Friedman argues in Capitalism and Freedom and Murray argues in What it Means to be a Libertarian, private firms should be allowed to discriminate.  They may have to deal with market repercussions, but they shouldn't have to deal with government repercussions.  In most cases, discrimination based on gender, race, nationality, etc. will lead to lower profits for the firm (and usually will put them out-of-business).   The government is attempting to fix something that isn't a problem.

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