Discrimination: The “Good” & The Bad

We "discriminate" every day. But there are types of discrimination. Not all are bad...

In the car, tune your radio to NPR,  go to CNN.com on your phone, read The New York Times on your tablet, or watch MSNBC at home on the couch and you will be bombarded with urgent reminders of rampant discrimination in America and other Western countries. These claims are typically buttressed by statistics that showcase disparate outcomes for different groups.

There’s an assumption that goes along with this line of reasoning: In the absence of malicious human bias and unjust inequalities of opportunity, in all human endeavors, the representation of groups would be equal to their proportions of the general population.

This assumption has no empirical basis whatsoever. As economic historian, David Landes said: “The world has never been a level-playing field.” 

Sometimes, because we misunderstand the problem, our solutions are ineffective or counterproductive.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.