Tue 16 Oct, 2018 03:25 pm
Humans don't behave as perfectly independent individuals. They identify with groups and identify culture in terms of those groups. Sure, you might have learned to cook spaghetti from your white mother, but you still think of it as Italian food. Ethnicity is the practice of identifying culture with group identity. Some people are so hungry for ethnic identity that they resort to DNA testing that connects them at a biological level with a group of people, not just culture.
Identifying with other people because of biology is racism, i.e. the practice of identifying people according to their biological-group characteristics. Such racism doesn't have to be discriminatory, but often people hope for special treatment, especially if they are afraid that they may come up short otherwise, or if they are afraid of discrimination for being something other than what they are, e.g. non-white.
In an ideal world, we would all respect and appreciate all positive diversity in the world. Negative diversity, such as criminality/etc. is different, but if someone can trace their family line back to Scotland or Mongolia or the Cherokee or whatever, that provides some interesting conversation material.
Whose responsibility is it, though, to ensure that ethnic identity doesn't get misused as status for special treatment and thus discrimination in hiring? Do we need to have affirmative action laws and policies to ensure people with certain ethnicities and other identity characteristics don't get passed over in hiring and promotion, or can we trust everyone to be unbiased and always do the right thing in this regard?
Realistically, we can't really trust people to do the right thing, but you also can't trust people not to abuse affirmative action policies either. For example, if a person with Asian ethnicity gets passed over because white managers favor other whites naturally and favor blacks out of fear of looking racist, then Asians get discriminated against by virtue of there not being any fear of repercussions for having underrepresentation in that area.
Now, if we had an economy with high inflation and growth where everyone just worked and didn't bother saving any money because what's the point anyway if it's just going to be worthless in 20 years due to inflation, then we could just hire everyone at high wages. That is what many Democrats/socialists seem to want.
But others are concerned with inflation. We want to be able to save money and keep it for as long as we want without it losing value. There is also the problem of environmental/resource waste in an economy where money is always flowing. We need fiscal responsibility not just to protect saved money, but also to stimulate more conservative (anti-waste) behavior that naturally saves money.
So if businesses are under pressure to save money, then that gives them an incentive to avoid hiring more employees than necessary, which in turn makes it more likely for people to use things like ethnic identity and other social-status/club-membership to gain favor. This is as true for whites/majority as it is for any minority individual. Majoritiarian people just happen to have an easier time with it because they appear more neutral relative to minority-identified people, who appear more 'special' from an identity standpoint.
So what is the solution? Ideally, everyone should be able to work and that can be achieved without increasing inflation by cutting hours and/or pay to levels that allow everyone who wants a job to fit into an organization's budget.
The problem is that people want to compete to make more money, not settle for less so more people can get hired. So what is the solution then? Keep using inflation to boost growth and thus hire more people by dissolving the value of old saved money? If that solution is rejected, are there any avenues left?
Maybe providing unpaid job opportunities where people are paid directly in the products they produce is the solution? That way, if you are unemployed or underemployed for whatever reason, you can still go to a local farm or factory and use your labor and time to produce things you need. Such 'sustenance economics' may sound strange but that may be the only way to provide opportunities to everyone, including those who want to save money and not lose it to inflation over time.
The problem is that it costs money to create the facilities for people to produce their own goods and services, and if the government spends money to invest in those, it adds to inflation and government waste. So the challenge becomes how to realize such opportunities for people to sustain themselves economically in an otherwise conservative economy without causing inflation or environmental/resource harm. This is a huge challenge in an economy that has all but normalized waste and environmental destruction in the name of economic growth.