PHI 2397 Lecture 19
Discrimination in hiring/promoting; what's wrong?
• Discrimination in hiring and firing is against the law
o It is morally wrong
• Discrimination undermines
o "Open market"
• If the market is supposed to be open, there should be free & fair competition
• If anyone is left out, then there wont be an open market
• The open market allows you to get the best people to make the best product
o "Equal citizenship" i.e., democracy
• If there is no equality in hiring, there should be no equal right for anything else
• If one can vote, can be part of the government, they should also be able to get any job with no
• They should be able to function like equal citizens in society
• Sometimes discrimination could be seen ok
o Like an elderly person passing a driving test
• Since there are seen to lose many different reflexes some people discriminate wi thout even thinking
• This isn't so bad because it is logical
• "Discrimination" of concern here
o Unequal treatment for an irrelevant/unjustifiable characteristic
o This is an unjustified treatment of discrimination
Unemployment: A right to a job?
o Is person A has a right to a job, then some person/institution B must have a duty/obligation to provide it
• This can't always be expected for a couple of reasons
§ Rights vs goals
• Goals don’t imply rights
• So - full employment is a goal of government; not a right as such
• This would push the inflation to increase if we push too far
• (Note - "full employment" actually assumes 4%+ unemployment)
§ If everyone has a right to a job, then who will supply it?
• This is a kind of a right that req uire to achieve something
• You have to guarantee and give a job to someone
• This is not a right that the government can just stay away and not intervene
Historical sequence; discrimination and attempted correction
• Past often: discrimination by intent, ag ainst race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
o Even though it was wrong, discrimination was more accepted
o Employers wouldn't even consider some people because of one characteristic that doesn't affect the job in
• Over time, it became prohi bited by law
o Over a long period of time, discrimination became illegal
o There are some places where this is still not illegal
• Continuing discrimination, especially by effect ("systemic discrimination")
o Sometimes people discriminate others without thought