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Equality and discrimination — some thoughts.
Is all the focus on equality and discrimination, actually getting in the way of achieving these?
Equality for all, one set of laws and rules, that are the same for everyone is a very desirable objective, but is all this virtue posturing and “celebrity” grandstanding actually getting in the way of achieving the objective? Does the existence of a “race relations” industry (by this I mean there are people paid to be involved in inter-race relationships) stop this from being achieved?
Keeping things simple may not suit the bureaucrats, lawyers, and officials, who are all getting handsome salaries out of confusion and disagreement, but it is the best way, in the medium and long term, of reaching the objective. Simply make all laws and rules apply equally to every adult, (people over 18 years old) with other rules and laws for all people under 18. Any complaint of discrimination or inequality would then be simple to judge. Gender race, religion or colour would not enter into it.
One big issue at the moment is equality of pay. When applied to people doing exactly the same work to the same standard, for the same length of time; this is a simple judgement; everyone should be paid the same.
Dissent and problems arise when people are not doing exactly the same tasks to same standard for the same length of time. This is an area where that rare commodity — common sense, can be used. For example: should male and female sports performers be paid the same? If they bring the same income to their employer, then yes. Performance-based pay is the key. The greater income going to the player's employers, the more the players get paid. I see golf — professional golf — seems to be going towards mixed gender events. May be that is the way forward, all sports should ignore gender, race, religion and choose professional employees based on ability to win events only. Football (soccer), cricket, even rugby and American football could all be “mixed” teams. The trick is to call them all players and not mention gender, etc. Tennis could abandon two separate championships and just have one open to all players.
In the commercial workplace, there should be the same discarding of gender, all are employees and all doing equal work, equally well for the same lengths of time should get the same pay. How to judge “equally well” could be contentious but rational debate, without cries of discrimination, should resolve this. Take out the gender issue and debate the quality of work, and the income it brings the employer, rationally, so you are just comparing two workers as employees with no other issues involved.
In the entertainment industry, there is a great outpouring of angst over inequality of pay. I am including all forms of television and all other commercial media systems. Ignore, for the moment, the incredible amounts paid to people who read auto-cues or compare shows, the situation where a comparer is paid more than the performers is another topic. In a discussion about equality we are concerned only with eliminating differences that are not attributed to ability or performance. Again keep it simple, what is the income generated? Maybe the easiest answer is to pay all presenters, actors, etc. a basic rate, based on the previous evidence of generating income, with a profit share bonus, again all ignoring gender etc.
Another issue is immigration, again keep it simple; the welfare and health care, that are paid via taxes, should only be available to citizens; citizenship should be open to all who have been lawfully in the country and not committing criminal acts, and paying taxes, for 5 years. Keep it simple.
The whole point of all this is to keep things simple and have one set of rules that apply to everyone. The worst possible action is “positive discrimination,” This is a recipe for chaos, it can only cause resentment, bad management, and disruption. Almost as bad are quota systems, these just add to the worst human feelings. A person, getting a position because they fit in a quota, can never feel totally confident they have earned the job on merit alone and all those who fail to get the job will convince themselves this was discrimination against them.
Everyone who fails to achieve an aim, especially in a competitive situation against other people, feels dissatisfaction. This is natural. The better motivated people just get over it and strive to do better next time. The less well motivated will seek to blame others or blame discrimination and inequality, these are the people the present situation encourages into the hands of the lawyers and compensation vultures. The legal profession does very well out of the present situation and they will seek to preserve areas of discontent and confusion. Do not let them. Keep it simple.