martedì 15 marzo 2016

8 Fairness II: The Symmetry Principle - Fair Play: What Your Child Can Teach You About Economics, Values and the Meaning of Life by Steven E. Landsburg

 8 Fairness II: The Symmetry Principle - Fair Play: What Your Child Can Teach You About Economics, Values and the Meaning of Life by Steven E. Landsburg - #discriminazioneasimmetrica #tolleraregliintolleranti #nuovidirittimenodiritti
8 Fairness II: The Symmetry PrincipleRead more at location 1127
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Mary owns a vacant apartment; Joe is looking for a place to live. If Joe disapproves of Mary’s race or religion or lifestyle, he is free to shop elsewhere. But if Mary disapproves of Joe’s race or religion or certain aspects of his lifestyle, the law requires her to swallow her misgivings and rent the apartment to Joe. Or: Bert wants to hire an office manager and Ernie wants to manage an office. The law allows Ernie to refuse any job for any reason. If he doesn’t like Albanians, he doesn’t have to work for one. Bert is held to a higher standard: If he lets it be known that no Albanians need apply, he’d better have a damned good lawyer. These asymmetries grate against the most fundamental requirement of fairness—that people should be treated equally, in the sense that their rights and responsibilities should not change because of irrelevant external circumstances. Mary and Joe—or Bert and Ernie—are looking to enter two sides of one business relationship. Why should they have asymmetric duties under the antidiscrimination laws? When the law is so glaringly asymmetric, one has to suspect that the legislature’s true agenda is not to combat discrimination on the basis of race, but to foster discrimination on the basis of social status.Read more at location 1154
Pastor Martin Niemoller, after eight and a half years in a Nazi concentration camp, wrote these words: They came first for the Communists, but I did not speak up because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, but I did not speak up because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, but I did not speak up because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, but I did not speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by then there was nobody left to speak up.Read more at location 1193
Why do we recoil from imposing the burdens of affirmative action on Joe and his fellow apartment hunters or Ernie and his fellow job seekers? I think it’s because we recognize that Joe and Ernie have a right to live according to their values, and that we cannot respect that right without allowing them to exercise it in ways we don’t like—even when they are motivated by intolerance or bigotry.Read more at location 1201
The idea of tolerating intolerance sounds suspiciously paradoxical, but so do a lot of other good ideas—like freedom of speech for advocates of censorship. In fact, freedom of speech has a lot in common with tolerance: Neither of them means a thing unless it applies equally to those we applaud and those who offend us most viscerally.Read more at location 1212
“gay civil rights” is a euphemism for restricting the civil liberties of those who, for whatever reasons, would prefer not to do business with gays.Read more at location 1229
Along the same lines, suppose you’re wheelchair-bound and therefore unable to reach the third story of your favorite shopping mall. Under the law, the mall owner can be required to install an elevator to accommodate you. But there can be no moral sense to such a law, because it requires the owner (a total stranger) to help you overcome your handicap, while allowing me (another total stranger) to ignore your plight completely.Read more at location 1241
The mall owner and I are equally indifferent to your problems; why should he be singled out to bear the entire cost of solving those problems while I go on my merry way?Read more at location 1244
You might want to counter-argue that the mall’s appearance did make you worse off by creating a new attraction that your neighbors can enjoy and from which you are excluded. But that counter-argument is based on the position that you actively dislike having good things happen to other people unless you can share in them. That’s a pretty crabbed view of what constitutes an improvement in the world—and taken to its logical extreme, it would require that you be compensated every time anybody does anything that benefits anyone.