Age Discrimination 
Author Message
 Age Discrimination

In several threads recently - "Where are all the COBOL Jobs??" and "COBOL
needs your help." there has been considerable discussion of the future of
COBOL programming.  I recently had a reader e-mail me with the following in
response to an article in www.aboutlegacycoding.com about the COBOL job
market:

"You are guilty of the same thing most other articles on COBOL
are guilty of - you fail to mention the age descrimination towards COBOL
programmers!"

I'd love to write an article (or find someone to write it - any volunteers?)
about Age Discrimination but I've never experienced it personally.  And
since the average age of staff here is about 45, it doesn't exist in our
company.  So I don't feel qualified to comment.

I assume what the writer was talking about is the discrimination that older
COBOL professionals feel when they apply for programming jobs where they
will learn and use newer languages; either exclusively or in parallel with
COBOL?

If any of you have any stories that you can share (with or without real
names) I would appreciate hearing them.  These may be stories where you were
discriminated against, or stories where - as a manager you did or did not
hire because of age.  Please explicitly state that I may use your story in
an article for publication on the Web and let me know if you wish your name
used or just a nick.  Post it here or e-mail it to me directly.
--
Buddy Ray
Editor
About Legacy Coding

www.aboutlegacycoding.com



Sat, 30 Aug 2003 05:36:07 GMT  
 Age Discrimination

Quote:

>In several threads recently - "Where are all the COBOL Jobs??" and "COBOL
>needs your help." there has been considerable discussion of the future of
>COBOL programming.  I recently had a reader e-mail me with the following in
>response to an article in www.aboutlegacycoding.com about the COBOL job
>market:

>"You are guilty of the same thing most other articles on COBOL
>are guilty of - you fail to mention the age descrimination towards COBOL
>programmers!"

>I assume what the writer was talking about is the discrimination that older
>COBOL professionals feel when they apply for programming jobs where they
>will learn and use newer languages; either exclusively or in parallel with
>COBOL?

I don't know about working as an employed COBOL Programmer in the United
States (I've been {*filter*} for 27 years but worked  as an "employee" in New
Zealand for 10 years before that) but I DO know about marketplaces.

Any company that allows age, sex, skin colour, religion, education, accent,
fashion sense, sports, hobbies, {*filter*} preference, or ANY other
non-job-related attribute to colour their judgement when hiring people for a
job (ANY job, not just Programming) is just plain stupid.

These companies invariably get the people they deserve, and you should count
your lucky stars you DIDN'T get to work for them.

The ONLY criterion should be ability to meet  (or exceed) the requirements
of the job. Obviously, if you make "social interaction and ability to fit
in" part of the job requirement, then some of the things above MAY assume
more importance.

I have employed people who were complete social misfits (made me feel at
home...<G>) and have even been warned NOT to employ certain people by their
previous employers, but gone ahead and done it on merit anyway. I have NEVER
regretted this policy and in nearly thirty years I've NEVER had to fire
someone I hired. (I have had to fire people who were hired by others.)

Sadly, there are companies where young Managers will feel threatened by an
older employee. The best thing to do is to be open and friendly at the
interview. Show your enthusiasm (this is an ageless and priceless commodity
and people who demonstrate it get my vote every time) and be interested in
listening to what they are doing, what their problems are, and suggest how
you believe you could contribute solutions to them. Demonstrate how you
enjoy working as a team player and interacting with others to solve
problems. Be energetic and enthusiastic. By listening  to and showing a
supportive attitude, the person hiring will not even consider how old you
are.

It's a market place. They need skills; you need a job.

Leave them feeling that they can't afford NOT to employ you even if you were
100!

If you approach an interview on the basis that you are likely to be too old,
don't blame the Hirer for agreeing with you.

Unfortunately there are places where you won't even get an interview once
they look at your age. If the Job market is buoyant you can afford to write
these ones off (and good riddance!). If it isn't and you REALLY want to get
to the interview then leave the date of birth blank on the interview form.
If they say they want it, lie! Claim later it was a misprint...like "1956"
becomes "1965"...OK, I'm not serious, but you catch my drift. You could
legitimately ask if there is an age range for the job and if so, why wasn't
it advertised to save you wasting time coming down there?

Try this one: "I don't like to give personal non-job-related data to people
who may not employ me. How about I fill this in after you make a decision on
whether I'm going to work here or not...?"

The bottom line is that if you sell yourself and your experience (and I
really don't mean bullshit your way in...if you've had many years writing
COBOL you can do it on merit without dishonesty), because it is a
marketplace, a deal will be struck.

If you approach it as being "over the hill", tired, non-receptive to new
ideas, then expect to be "discriminated against".

It always annoys me when people claim "discrimination" (on ANY basis) when
the reason they didn't get it was simply because they weren't right for it
or up to it.

Finally, many years ago I was a young would-be programmer trying to get a
job. I had no experience and couldn't get any unless they employed me...(see
there are TWO sides to this age argument...).

I wrote over 50 applications, made phone calls, persevered. Finally a man at
a company in Auckland agreed to see me. He said they had just taken delivery
of a new System 360 to replace their old 1401 and really needed an Operator
who would work shifts. I said I would sweep the floors, punch cards, make
the coffee if they would just give me access to it and the manuals that came
with it. Working shifts..? No problem. (I was fairly newly married but
figured I'd square it with the wife later...).

The Manager had been interviewing all day and was tired but he was amused by
my enthusiasm and asked me if I'd like to see the new machine...Next thing I
knew I was in front of this blue-grey cabinet with hundreds of twinkling
lights, in a room full of whirring tapes and a deafening 1403 that chattered
intermittently. It felt real good.

"So what do you think?" he asked.
"Can't wait to get my hands on it!" I replied fervently.

I started on the Monday. Within three months I was learning Assembler from
reading manuals on the night shift and the rest is history...

Never underestimate enthusiasm...

Pete.

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Sat, 30 Aug 2003 10:33:48 GMT  
 Age Discrimination

"Peter E. C. Dashwood"

Quote:
> Any company that allows age, sex, skin colour, religion, education,
accent,
> fashion sense, sports, hobbies, {*filter*} preference, or ANY other
> non-job-related attribute to colour their judgement when hiring
people for a
> job (ANY job, not just Programming) is just plain stupid.

<snip>

EXCELLENT post. Exactly the right attitude. I concur wholeheartedly.
(Except for the part about hiring people with nose-rings.)



Sat, 30 Aug 2003 20:22:59 GMT  
 Age Discrimination
Some age discrimination is really price discrimination.  The companies don't
want to pay for veteran free agents.

Some of it is the result of socialistic practices such as company run retirement
plans which they haven't funded correctly so that they aren't paying for young
employees.  Or union seniority pay.

Sometimes a worker has proven his worth in one company, and doesn't want to
start at the bottom with another company.  So his starting price is higher.

Sometimes a company wants young bodies who are willing to work 80 hour work
weeks.  This is the reputation Microsoft has.

Some managers don't believe older workers are willing/able to change to new
technologies.  After all, if they wanted to be successful, they would be
managers themselves, right?

Of course, age discrimination may be overstated.  Because it is against the law
in most countries, nobody will state that they discriminate because of age.  So
an older worker makes assumptions about why he isn't hired.   Is it age
discrimination if a company doesn't want to pay what 50 year old workers are
used to getting, but is willing to pay what 20 year old workers are used to
getting?

The older I got, the more I did contracting.  My current job started off as a
contracting one.  A company is willing to pay more for expertise in a
contracting position - where there are no dangers of having to pay retirement
and no morale problems with some employees getting significantly more pay than
their younger peers.



Sat, 30 Aug 2003 22:03:33 GMT  
 Age Discrimination

Quote:

>EXCELLENT post. Exactly the right attitude. I concur wholeheartedly.
>(Except for the part about hiring people with nose-rings.)

Jerry, I suspect you are using irony here and don't intend your comment to
be taken at face value. (Actually it really made me smile...<G>)

But just on the off-chance that you're serious (or even for the benefit of
people who may think you are) I have to respond...

So what about tattoos? And {*filter*} rings? And people called "Mervyn"? ... As
soon as you start to exclude on the basis of prejudice, there is no stopping
it.

It is good for the both the Hirer and the Employee to focus on what is
important and set aside what is not. Having to ignore the nose ring can be a
"growth" process for all concerned...<G>

Pete.

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Sun, 31 Aug 2003 00:52:17 GMT  
 Age Discrimination

Quote:

> >EXCELLENT post. Exactly the right attitude. I concur wholeheartedly.
> >(Except for the part about hiring people with nose-rings.)

> Jerry, I suspect you are using irony here and don't intend your comment to
> be taken at face value. (Actually it really made me smile...<G>)

> But just on the off-chance that you're serious (or even for the benefit of
> people who may think you are) I have to respond...

> So what about tattoos? And {*filter*} rings? And people called "Mervyn"? ... As
> soon as you start to exclude on the basis of prejudice, there is no stopping
> it.

> It is good for the both the Hirer and the Employee to focus on what is
> important and set aside what is not. Having to ignore the nose ring can be a
> "growth" process for all concerned...<G>

> Pete.

IMO much discrimination is an issue of control. This applies to more than
hiring. My wife watched a TV show recently which had a woman who was fired for
refusing to extend her job to 'cover' her co-worker's absence. The issue was
that the company let the co-worker take time off because she had children but
refused to let the other worker take similar time off because she wanted to take
it off for things like working out, etc.

IMO the only thing that should affect the decision whether or not to let an
employee take time off is whether or not the employee is needed at work during
that time. Note that I said 'should'. Practical issues like illness sometimes
affect this, but if you watch for employees taking advantage then I think other
employees are willing to work around this. Personally I don't even think the
employer should ask why the employee wants to take time off, it's enough that
they do. (And even worse is the employer who is concerned whether or not the
employee can afford to take the time off. I had one of those-denied leave solely
because 'the employee didn't have enough accrued leave to cover the time
requested.' The employee was aware of this lack and was willing to take the pay
loss, but the leave was still denied. IMO the denial was simply to exercise the
employer's power. IOW granting leave in excess of that accrued was totally
discretionary & could be denied for no other reason than because the employer
wanted to deny it. That's almost as bad as the supervisor, since fired, who
called his employee's doctor to try & reschedule their medical appointments for
times outside the employee's work hours.)

Abuses are endemic.



Sun, 31 Aug 2003 01:34:48 GMT  
 Age Discrimination

Quote:

> Some age discrimination is really price discrimination.  The companies don't
> want to pay for veteran free agents.

> Some of it is the result of socialistic practices such as company run retirement
> plans which they haven't funded correctly so that they aren't paying for young
> employees.  Or union seniority pay.

> Sometimes a worker has proven his worth in one company, and doesn't want to
> start at the bottom with another company.  So his starting price is higher.

> Sometimes a company wants young bodies who are willing to work 80 hour work
> weeks.  This is the reputation Microsoft has.

> Some managers don't believe older workers are willing/able to change to new
> technologies.  After all, if they wanted to be successful, they would be
> managers themselves, right?

> Of course, age discrimination may be overstated.  Because it is against the law
> in most countries, nobody will state that they discriminate because of age.  So
> an older worker makes assumptions about why he isn't hired.   Is it age
> discrimination if a company doesn't want to pay what 50 year old workers are
> used to getting, but is willing to pay what 20 year old workers are used to
> getting?

> The older I got, the more I did contracting.  My current job started off as a
> contracting one.  A company is willing to pay more for expertise in a
> contracting position - where there are no dangers of having to pay retirement
> and no morale problems with some employees getting significantly more pay than
> their younger peers.

Actually I've seen just the opposite-managers have hired younger people who are no
better qualified, and they've paid them the same as I was asking. As far as I can
see the only difference is age.


Sun, 31 Aug 2003 03:37:47 GMT  
 Age Discrimination

Quote:

> So what about tattoos? And {*filter*} rings? And people called "Mervyn"? ... As
> soon as you start to exclude on the basis of prejudice, there is no stopping it.

No doubt I will need my asbestos pants for saying what I am about to
say, but I believe it strongly. :-)  Mind you, I am not a bigot, and have
many friends who will attest to that fact.  But I believe the view that
Peter expresses above, though held by many people, is completely
wrong, and looks at the issue backwards. :-)  Let me explain.

Where did we get the idea in the first place that 'discrimination' is an
issue that should be addressed by law?  True, I do not agree with those
who discriminate against other people because of their race, etc.  But
I believe it is a basic *right* that people be able to discriminate, if they
are so inclined.  A person should be able to associate with whomever
they want, and not to associate with whomever they want.  There is an
*extreme* difference between realizing that a particular behavior is 'bad'
in a m{*filter*}sense, and saying that such behavior should be punished by
law!  As Peter points out above from the opposite side, where is the
stopping place?  Are we going to start prosecuting people for being in a
bad mood, for Heaven's sake?  The basic principle that should apply in
a free society is that a person should be able to do as they please, so
long as they do not *actively harm* others.  It does not, for example,
'harm' others who happen to read my SIG, and neither does it 'harm'
me to read someone else's SIG that expresses opposite beliefs.  Just
because they or I disagree, or are even offended, does not constitute
a 'harm'.  It should *not* be against the law to be a jerk!  Government
and publicly held companies are different.  I agree that they should be
legally required to treat everyone without bias.  But is it not obvious that,
if government right now forces a privately held company (e.g. mom &
pop business) to hire people 'without bias', even those they may find
disgusting (for whatever reason), that only a further application of that
same principle will force you to allow anyone into your home anyone
who wants to come there, no matter how you feel about them?  You
think that is a stretch?  I can tell you that right now there are Churches
that are being forced by the government to hire people such as atheists.
Can you imagine an organization of atheists being forced to hire Jews
or Christians?  Or a gun control organization being forced to hire rabid
NRA members (or vice-versa)?  This kind of thinking is so wrong, it
makes my head spin.  We are destroying the very foundations of real
freedom, in the name of 'pseudo freedoms', which are not 'freedoms' at
all, but merely desires.  No one has a 'right' to buy my house.  My house
is mine, and I should be able to sell it or refuse to sell it, to whomever I
choose, for whatever reason.  If ownership isn't that, then what is it?
The very basis and essence of ownership is control and access.  Who
ever came up with the idea that a person's merely *wanting* to buy my
house overrides my right as owner to sell it to whomever I want, as long
as we both agree on the details?  The very idea is preposterous, yet it
is the law here in the U.S.  Yes, I know, there would be many 'white'
communities where blacks, Hispanics, etc. might not be able to buy a
house without such laws.  But who said anyone has a 'right' to buy a
house, just because someone else can?  Typical liberal tunnel-vision.
See wrong.  Must fix.  Must fix by new law and/or spending money,
preferably both.  Must not consider ramifications.  Has nobody noticed
that the world isn't fair, and will not become fair because of any laws we
pass?  Boneheaded laws such as this cause far more harm in the long
run than they help, because they always damage or destroy fundamental
rights or freedoms that are more important than the problems they are
trying to correct.  Can we spell 'S-o-c-i-a-l W-e-l-f-a-r-e' and 'P-u-b-l-i-c
E-d-u-c-a-t-i-o-n', for example?  Public education in the United States is
turning what was one of the best educated countries in the world into a
country of ignoramuses, and social welfare has virtually destroyed the
family among the very poor, especially blacks, here in the U.S.

I am offended by bigotry as much as most people.  I am also offended
by pride and arrogance, greed, insensitivity, etc.  We *all* discriminate.
Not one person can say they don't have preferences for certain kinds
of food, certain kinds of personalities, some people look better than
others (most look better than me :), and not the same people look good
or bad to different others.  Everybody has favorite flavors of ice-cream,
places to live, TV and movie shows, actors, athletes, etc., etc.  The idea
that a society should actually *regulate by law* what and how people
discriminate is unbelievably muddleheaded!  What is the difference
between discriminating against someone because they are black, for
example, and because they're ugly, or fat, or short, or because they're
a brunette and we like blondes, or because they have small {*filter*}s and
we like large ones, or because their voice is unpleasant, or because
their daddy did my daddy wrong 50 years ago, etc., etc., etc?  You can
never, ever, ever, pin down and regulate all discrimination; you can't
even *define* all forms of discrimination, let alone abolish them!  Who
on earth decided to pick out a short (but rapidly growing) arbitrary list of
discriminations and decide to eliminate them by law?  It's just as logical
as being against building power plants, but using electricity, or being
against killing 'innocent' animals, but eating meat.  It doesn't make any
sense, it cannot be defended logically, there is no stopping point,  and it
is entirely impossible to eliminate all discrimination and bias, even if we
bankrupted every government trying to do so.  What we can do, and are
rapidly doing, is destroying our real freedoms.  Our freedom to use and
dispose of our own property the way we want, the freedom to work with
who we want to work with in the business we privately own, etc.

While I'm on the soapbox, I want to blast another, equally muddleheaded
idea; that we should have special laws against harming {*filter*}s, or
any other identifiable group.  Look, the people who drug that poor black
man to death behind a truck should be executed.  I'll be happy to pull the
switch and pay for the electricity!  Those people who tied that young man
to a fence, tortured and starved him because he was a {*filter*}, I'll
make the same offer.  But what difference does it make that they drug
the man to death because he was black, of if they got into an argument?
And what difference does it make that the man on the fence was killed
because he was a {*filter*}?  Duh!  Would either event have been
okay if done for other reasons?  Sheesh!  People who do such things
should be executed, regardless of why they did it!  There is no justification
for doing such things.  We have laws that prosecute those who do such
things already.  Reason is irrelevant.  All this does is open the door to
eventually prosecute people *for what they think*!  Believe it!

Okay, I've got my asbestos pants on. :-)
--

Sun Valley Systems     http://www.*-*-*.com/
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."



Sun, 31 Aug 2003 06:12:55 GMT  
 Age Discrimination



Quote:


> >EXCELLENT post. Exactly the right attitude. I concur
wholeheartedly.
> >(Except for the part about hiring people with nose-rings.)

> Jerry, I suspect you are using irony here and don't intend your
comment to
> be taken at face value. (Actually it really made me smile...<G>)

> But just on the off-chance that you're serious (or even for the
benefit of
> people who may think you are) I have to respond...

> So what about tattoos? And {*filter*} rings? And people called "Mervyn"?
... As
> soon as you start to exclude on the basis of prejudice, there is no
stopping
> it.

Since you ask:
Tattoos - OK if I can't see it; as soon as it's visible, hoista ya
lega.
{*filter*} Rings - Males: gone. Females - especially if I can see it -
bonus.
"Mervyn" - no problem. Name of my ex-wife (about which I sworn a
solemn oath to never let the name pass my lips): impossible.

Other people against whom I would exercise my privilege to not hire:

People who smell funny.
Convicted arsonists, embezzlers, draft-dodgers, etc.
Communists.
Most Democrats (articulate Liberals OK - I love a good argument).
Anyone who thinks it was good that the North prevailed in the recent
unpleasantness.
Anti-meat people (vegetarians are OK if they do so by choice rather
than default).
Anyone who kicks cats.
People who desecrate venerated objects (burn flags, kick over
tombstones, paint swastikas on synagogues).
Anyone who would cause my business or reputation to be held up to
contempt, ridicule, shame, or diminish its standing in the community
(e.g., Bill Clinton, Jeffrey Dahmer).
People who believe in junk science (danger of {*filter*} implants,
second-hand smoke, global warming, etc.). In other words, fools.
Anyone who joins a mass movement.
Those who think 'Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman' was TV at its best.

And, most of all, those who don't understand that discriminating
against those who discriminate  is the ultimate form of silliness.



Sun, 31 Aug 2003 12:22:57 GMT  
 Age Discrimination

[snippage]

Quote:
>Other people against whom I would exercise my privilege to not hire:

[snip]

Quote:
>Anti-meat people (vegetarians are OK if they do so by choice rather
>than default).

[snippette]

Quote:
>People who desecrate venerated objects (burn flags, kick over
>tombstones, paint swastikas on synagogues).

Ummmmm... for a billion-or-so Hindus the cow is a 'venerated object'...
but a little something like 'rationality' has no place in *this*
particular world, does it?

DD



Sun, 31 Aug 2003 19:21:36 GMT  
 Age Discrimination


Quote:
> In article


Quote:

> [snippage]

> >Other people against whom I would exercise my privilege to not
hire:

> [snip]

> >Anti-meat people (vegetarians are OK if they do so by choice rather
> >than default).

> [snippette]

> >People who desecrate venerated objects (burn flags, kick over
> >tombstones, paint swastikas on synagogues).

> Ummmmm... for a billion-or-so Hindus the cow is a 'venerated
object'...
> but a little something like 'rationality' has no place in *this*
> particular world, does it?

> DD

The list was not meant to be exhaustive.


Sun, 31 Aug 2003 22:13:35 GMT  
 Age Discrimination

Quote:

> Ummmmm... for a billion-or-so Hindus the cow is a 'venerated object'...

Not to mention rats, snakes, worms, ticks and all other 'animals'.
I wonder if Orkin does much business in Hindu countries? ;-)

Quote:
> but a little something like 'rationality' has no place in *this*
> particular world, does it?

Not a chance. :-)
--

Sun Valley Systems    http://www.sunvaley.com
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that
whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."


Sun, 31 Aug 2003 22:16:14 GMT  
 Age Discrimination
Wow! This has obviously stimulated some deep feelings...Good!

Judson, you won't need asbestos pants for this reply, though I would suggest
you don't wear them any longer than you have to (that stuff is dangerous!)
and try not to wet yourself....<G>

Comments below...

Quote:


>> So what about tattoos? And {*filter*} rings? And people called "Mervyn"? ...
As
>> soon as you start to exclude on the basis of prejudice, there is no
stopping it.

>No doubt I will need my asbestos pants for saying what I am about to
>say, but I believe it strongly. :-)  Mind you, I am not a bigot, and have
>many friends who will attest to that fact.  But I believe the view that
>Peter expresses above, though held by many people, is completely
>wrong, and looks at the issue backwards. :-)  Let me explain.

>Where did we get the idea in the first place that 'discrimination' is an
>issue that should be addressed by law?

I dunno. Certainly not from my post. I don't believe the word "law" occurs
in it. I would agree with you 100% that prejudice should NOT be legislated
against. It just doesn't work. Seen it in the U.K. Insane laws designed to
"protect" minorities and all they do is{*filter*}the majority off at the
"special treatment" the minority is receiving. The ONLY effective way to
stamp out bigotry and prejudice is by changing the minds of people, NOT by
legislation. It's like putting out a fire by pouring gasoline on it.

Quote:

>True, I do not agree with those
>who discriminate against other people because of their race, etc.  But
>I believe it is a basic *right* that people be able to discriminate, if
they
>are so inclined.

<<<
Again, I agree with you and that is NOT the argument I was proposing. My
post was not about Human Rights or Freedom. (I could've, and would've,
presented a much more impassioned piece if it was...<G>)

My post was about what is PERTINENT when someone applies for a JOB.

Quote:

>A person should be able to associate with whomever
>they want, and not to associate with whomever they want.  There is an
>*extreme* difference between realizing that a particular behavior is 'bad'
>in a m{*filter*}sense, and saying that such behavior should be punished by
>law!  As Peter points out above from the opposite side, where is the
>stopping place?  Are we going to start prosecuting people for being in a
>bad mood, for Heaven's sake?  The basic principle that should apply in
>a free society is that a person should be able to do as they please, so
>long as they do not *actively harm* others.  It does not, for example,
>'harm' others who happen to read my SIG, and neither does it 'harm'
>me to read someone else's SIG that expresses opposite beliefs.  Just
>because they or I disagree, or are even offended, does not constitute
>a 'harm'.  It should *not* be against the law to be a jerk!

Well, in New Zealand it isn't... (I'd be locked up if it was...<G>) We have
the most wonderful society of jerks, weirdos, eccentrics, arseholes,
bastards, cults ranging from Scientology to Satanism (no Shriners, though
<G>), Greenies, Hippies, Bogans, Vegans (from the planet Vega, not extreme
vegetarians <G>), deviants, horseriders, yachties, Rugby players, Athletes,
Chartered Accountants, lawyers, and Ethnic groups of multifarious assorted
shades and religious persuasions, but we all "get along" most of the time.
Personally, I'd hate to see it any other way. The  varying opinions,
lifestyles,  and beliefs (as long as they are expressed within the rules you
outlined above ("do no harm to others") are precisely what lends colour to a
society. Without it we would have the greyness of the Totalitarian regimes
which the 20th Century gave rise to.

And all of the above sometimes apply for jobs, and sometimes get employed.
My point was that the ONLY criterion when considering someone for Employment
should be their suitability for the job...this thread is about "Age
Discrimination"...coming back to you now...<G>?

Quote:

>and publicly held companies are different.  I agree that they should be
>legally required to treat everyone without bias.

<<<
Nope. At this point we disagree. I don't want it to be a Legal requirement;
I want it to be sound common sense because the alternative is stupid. I want
it done freely and with good will because it makes sense to do so, not
because someone will sue my arse if they don't get a job...

 >But is it not obvious that,

Quote:
>if government right now forces a privately held company (e.g. mom &
>pop business) to hire people 'without bias', even those they may find
>disgusting (for whatever reason), that only a further application of that
>same principle will force you to allow anyone into your home anyone
>who wants to come there, no matter how you feel about them?  You
>think that is a stretch?  I can tell you that right now there are Churches
>that are being forced by the government to hire people such as atheists.

I know there are a lot of Atheists in high Church positions, but that's a
problem with the Churches, not the Government. When Religion becomes a
business, you get businessmen wanting a slice of the action. Some of them
are not actually Religious....(well, they're Religious about making
money...)

Quote:

>Can you imagine an organization of atheists being forced to hire Jews
>or Christians?  Or a gun control organization being forced to hire rabid
>NRA members (or vice-versa)?  This kind of thinking is so wrong, it
>makes my head spin.

<<<
Judson this is such blatant nonsense, that I really can''t believe in a
Society like the USA, this is true. Are you serious or this this just
rhetorical?

I have heard of "positive discrimination", and despise it for creating the
very social injustice it is supposed to inhibit, but you surely are not
suggesting that organisations and churches are being FORCED BY LAW to hire
people totally unsuited for that particular job?! That would be insane...

Please tell me this is rhetoric, not fact....

- Show quoted text -

Quote:

> We are destroying the very foundations of real
>freedom, in the name of 'pseudo freedoms', which are not 'freedoms' at
>all, but merely desires.  No one has a 'right' to buy my house.  My house
>is mine, and I should be able to sell it or refuse to sell it, to whomever
I
>choose, for whatever reason.  If ownership isn't that, then what is it?
>The very basis and essence of ownership is control and access.  Who
>ever came up with the idea that a person's merely *wanting* to buy my
>house overrides my right as owner to sell it to whomever I want, as long
>as we both agree on the details?  The very idea is preposterous, yet it
>is the law here in the U.S.  Yes, I know, there would be many 'white'
>communities where blacks, Hispanics, etc. might not be able to buy a
>house without such laws.  But who said anyone has a 'right' to buy a
>house, just because someone else can?  Typical liberal tunnel-vision.
>See wrong.  Must fix.  Must fix by new law and/or spending money,
>preferably both.  Must not consider ramifications.  Has nobody noticed
>that the world isn't fair, and will not become fair because of any laws we
>pass?  Boneheaded laws such as this cause far more harm in the long
>run than they help, because they always damage or destroy fundamental
>rights or freedoms that are more important than the problems they are
>trying to correct.  Can we spell 'S-o-c-i-a-l W-e-l-f-a-r-e' and
'P-u-b-l-i-c
>E-d-u-c-a-t-i-o-n', for example?  Public education in the United States is
>turning what was one of the best educated countries in the world into a
>country of ignoramuses, and social welfare has virtually destroyed the
>family among the very poor, especially blacks, here in the U.S.

>I am offended by bigotry as much as most people.  I am also offended
>by pride and arrogance, greed, insensitivity, etc.  We *all* discriminate.
>Not one person can say they don't have preferences for certain kinds
>of food, certain kinds of personalities, some people look better than
>others (most look better than me :), and not the same people look good
>or bad to different others.  Everybody has favorite flavors of ice-cream,
>places to live, TV and movie shows, actors, athletes, etc., etc.  The idea
>that a society should actually *regulate by law* what and how people
>discriminate is unbelievably muddleheaded!  What is the difference
>between discriminating against someone because they are black, for
>example, and because they're ugly, or fat, or short, or because they're
>a brunette and we like blondes, or because they have small {*filter*}s and
>we like large ones, or because their voice is unpleasant, or because
>their daddy did my daddy wrong 50 years ago, etc., etc., etc?  You can
>never, ever, ever, pin down and regulate all discrimination; you can't
>even *define* all forms of discrimination, let alone abolish them!  Who
>on earth decided to pick out a short (but rapidly growing) arbitrary list
of
>discriminations and decide to eliminate them by law?  It's just as logical
>as being against building power plants, but using electricity, or being
>against killing 'innocent' animals, but eating meat.  It doesn't make any
>sense, it cannot be defended logically, there is no stopping point,  and it
>is entirely impossible to eliminate all discrimination and bias, even if we
>bankrupted every government trying to do so.  What we can do, and are
>rapidly doing, is destroying our real freedoms.  Our freedom to use and
>dispose of our own property the way we want, the freedom to work with
>who we want to work with in the business we privately own, etc.

No argument from me. Passionately written and, hopefully, overstated, but
fundamentally a position most  of us would support.

- Show quoted text -

Quote:
>While I'm on the soapbox, I want to blast another, equally muddleheaded
>idea; that we should have special laws against harming {*filter*}s, or
>any other identifiable group.  Look, the people who drug that poor black
>man to death behind a truck should be

...

read more »



Sun, 31 Aug 2003 22:34:32 GMT  
 Age Discrimination
Hmmmmm....

comments below...

Quote:

>Other people against whom I would exercise my privilege to not hire:

>People who smell funny.

Worked with a guy in Germany who had such a problem. We just moved his desk
further  away. Turned out he wore an undershirt which had bars of gold sown
into it and he NEVER removed it. I liked him. He was a character and he was
a VERY good programmer.

Quote:
>Convicted arsonists, embezzlers, draft-dodgers, etc.
>Communists.

Well, I've worked alongside a draft-dodger and several Communists. Agree
that embezzlers may be a bad risk from the Company point of view. It really
depends on whether they're reformed or not...<G> (The draft dodger was
Australian - a lot of them came to NZ during the Viet Nam unpleasantness. He
was one of the nicest, most decent blokes I have ever met. We are friends to
this day.)

Quote:
>Most Democrats (articulate Liberals OK - I love a good argument).

No comment. (Ha!)

Quote:

>Anyone who thinks it was good that the North prevailed in the recent
>unpleasantness.
>Anti-meat people (vegetarians are OK if they do so by choice rather
>than default).
>Anyone who kicks cats.
>People who desecrate venerated objects (burn flags, kick over
>tombstones, paint swastikas on synagogues).
>Anyone who would cause my business or reputation to be held up to
>contempt, ridicule, shame, or diminish its standing in the community
>(e.g., Bill Clinton, Jeffrey Dahmer).
>People who believe in junk science (danger of {*filter*} implants,
>second-hand smoke, global warming, etc.). In other words, fools.
>Anyone who joins a mass movement.
>Those who think 'Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman' was TV at its best.

>And, most of all, those who don't understand that discriminating
>against those who discriminate  is the ultimate form of silliness.

Tell you what, it's a VERY good list Jerry.

But I'm left wondering how many EXCELLENT COBOL programmers may be discarded
with it...

Pete.

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Sun, 31 Aug 2003 22:48:44 GMT  
 Age Discrimination

Quote:



>[snippage]

>Ummmmm... for a billion-or-so Hindus the cow is a 'venerated object'...
>but a little something like 'rationality' has no place in *this*
>particular world, does it?

And some of them are {*filter*}y good COBOL Programmers, cows or no cows...<G>

Pete.

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Sun, 31 Aug 2003 22:52:36 GMT  
 
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