Friday, July 17, 2009

Make Discrimination Pay

As a libertarian, I figure that as long as people aren't actively attacking visible minorities they should have a right to hold their views. It's not as if government can force them to think a certain way anyway. As an employer and wayward value investor, I've always figured that so long as I'm not doing it, discrimination works to my benefit in creating undervalued assets - not to mention the idea that a company that actively values ideas and openness over 'what's on the outside' will tend to do better than those who don't.

It's why I find stories like this to be pretty cool - about a business that actively seeks autistic employees for the specific characteristics of their disability (BBC):

He has a form of autism called Asperger's Syndrome.

It gives him focus and persistence - traits which have helped him become a champion weight-lifter. [...] Given the right conditions, they excel at technical tasks. [...]

The experience in Denmark shows autistic workers are an untapped resource.

While the article itself goes on to support a number of legislative measures to encourage the practice, it is useful to note that this business has grown without it. Indeed, there are those who have pointed out that anti-discrimination legislation like affirmative action merely lead to the soft bigotry of low expectations not to mention the further resentment of employers who never liked the idea to begin with forcing any feelings to go unstated rather than be actively debated.

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