Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 4th Nov 2013 17:14 UTC
Legal

Tim Cook, in a letter published in The Wall Street Journal:

Apple's antidiscrimination policy goes beyond the legal protections U.S. workers currently enjoy under federal law, most notably because we prohibit discrimination against Apple's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees. A bill now before the U.S. Senate would update those employment laws, at long last, to protect workers against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

We urge senators to support the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, and we challenge the House of Representatives to bring it to the floor for a vote.

It's hard to imagine for someone like me, from The Netherlands, but in the US, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have, in most states, far fewer rights than straight, non-transgender people. The LGBT community in the US still has a long fight ahead of itself, and large companies like Apple publicly urging Congress to address the archaic position of the LGBT community can only be seen as a good thing.

Most technology companies support the LGBT community's fight for equality, and considering the importance of this industry, that's a blessing.

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Gullible Jones
Member since:
2006-05-23

That sounds great, but doesn't mean a whole lot to people who lose their jobs due to others' irrational decisions. Especially if the economy sucks (because unregulated banks have been playing games with it) and they can't find a new one that pays a living wage (because minimum wage is too low to pay the bills and feed the family).

Look, I would love to believe that everything would just take care of itself if left alone. That's a wonderfully enticing idea. The problem is that reality is a lot messier than that. The universe is a kludge. Simple, intuitive solutions are not always correct. (c.f. every major discovery in physics since 1900.)

Free markets work wonderfully for some things, but not everything. One size does not fit all. Is that difficult to understand?

Reply Parent Score: 4

DrJohnnyFever Member since:
2012-03-07

If people can't make decisions for themselves that are on average the right thing to do, how can you possible expect them to pick a government that is doing the right thing ever?

Yes, if people and markets are so bad that nothing works, you can't possibly have democracy either. There is no rule that says any politician can make the right choices. In fact, government just makes making the wrong choices more dangerous, it amplifies the ramifications.

If Walmart or Google makes a bad choice, that's bad. If the Government makes a bad choice it can be truly horrifying. People can die, millions can be unemployed, the economy could fall apart...

If I am wrong, you are wrong. If we're both wrong, fuck life.

Reply Parent Score: 0

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Gullible Jones,

"Free markets work wonderfully for some things, but not everything. One size does not fit all. Is that difficult to understand?"

Quite frankly, the "free market" cannot solve discrimination. The free market implicitly assumes equal opportunity (which is often false even in the normal economic contexts that it gets applied to). Those who are discriminated against will have inherently less opportunity *because* they're discriminated against.

How severe is this problem, to me that's the unknown factor? I've witnessed racial and gender discrimination at the workplace; It is uncomfortable even when you aren't the one being discriminated against. I cannot imagine how laws can make these places a comfortable work environment when bigotry is so ingrained into the corporate culture. Luckily this problem isn't too bad here in NY at least.

Edited 2013-11-06 18:01 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

DrJohnnyFever Member since:
2012-03-07

The free market does not implicitly assume anything. A free market is just people offering to pay you a sum of money for your services. There is no moral judgement in the process. the reasons WHY people are willing to pay you money or whether they want you to work for them at all is irrelevant. The free market makes NO assumptions on people's motives.

The point is, however, that there are, as we know, many business that ARE willing to hire gay people. If XYZ bad company doesn't want to employ you, you have options. That is the essence of the free market.

Like I've said before, unemployment is lower among the openly gay and wages are higher too. Clearly gay people are being hired by somebody.

The free market has worked. Are there employers who discriminate? Indeed there are, and YOU SHOULD NOT WANT TO WORK FOR THEM. Let them make their mistakes, don't give them your labor. Work for someone who likes you. Would employers still discriminate under the proposed law? YES. It won't change people's motives.

Reply Parent Score: -1