March 20, 2006


It begins with an analysis and goes on to draw conclusions from the facts. For too long we have fought against inequality and disadvantage as if huge swaths of society - identified by race, gender, disability or sexual proclivity - suffer identical levels of discrimination. In fact "in some instances the variation within the group is much more than the average difference with the rest of society".
And within each subgroup there will again be groupings that suffer more discrimination than others, with the differences in discrimination levels getting larger and larger as the groupings get smaller and smaller. However by trying to stop discriniation on a group basis you create more of it. Such as positive discrimination, which is in the words of the report:
"the reserving of jobs and places in universities for women and black people."
Not that it always the commonly assumed groups that always face discrimination at all. According to a study by the Rand Corporation on health care in the USA
* Overall quality scores for blacks were 3.5 percentage points higher than for whites.
* Overall quality scores for Hispanics were 3.4 percentage points higher than for whites.
* Blacks had higher scores than whites for chronic care (61 percent vs. 55 percent).
* Blacks had higher scores for treatment than whites (64 percent vs. 56 percent).
* Hispanics were more likely to receive screening than whites (56 percent vs. 52 percent).
So you cannot even claim that because one group is discriminated against in one area they will be discrimated in all areas.

Tim Worstall points out that thinking about groups it the wrong way to go anyway:
we should ignore the group differences and only consider the individual. Rather the basis of whatever is left of western civilization actually, that it is the individual that counts. Just as with our legal system, it may indeed be good for society as a whole that the occasional mugger tap dances from a lamp post, would certainly discourage many others. But we do not allow the interests of the group to over ride the interests of the individual in that manner.


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