Snowflakes: The Cure for Age Discrimination

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

As an advocate of laissez-faire capitalism, let me immediately be clear that my title is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. However we might evaluate them morally, employers should be free to employ (or not) anyone they please, and for whatever reason, sound or not. Unfortunately, our universities are giving employers some very solid reasons to look apprehensively at recent graduates, as you shall see.

That said, anyone who reads Suzanne Lucas's latest column, about snowflakes (aka, eggshell plaintiffs) landing in the workplace, will become quite concerned about the blizzard of frivolous lawsuits that will arrive when "the campus culture wars [come] to your office":

It's a huge mind shift -- where people are always taught to appeal to an authority and that authority is you, but you're expected to side with the complainant. That's not how ... business works, and you'll prevail (hopefully) in the courts, but do you want to go through that hassle over imagined racial or gender slights?

If you don't, you'll want to be actively aware and involved in what is happening in the universities. [link added]
Although the best solution to this problem is to separate state and academy, we are so far from that ideal that the best immediate course of action is the one suggested by Lucas. Read the whole thing.

-- CAV


Dinwar said...

I think the article you linked to downplays the seriousness of this sort of thing. "Innocent until proven guilty" is a foundational principle in the legal code of every civilized portion of the globe. It must be--to equate accusation with guilt, or even the presumption of guilt, means that every person in that society is constantly being blackmailed by anyone who would consider making a false accusation (and given the paranoia such a culture would create, that means: by everyone). Worse, in many cases it is the government who is the accuser (via the police and DAs). Equating accusation with the presumption of guilt means that we are handing the government the power to arbitrarily eliminate anyone they choose.

Even if this mentality magically stays limited to non-government entities such as the administrations of schools and private firms, you're still allowing the most easily-offended or those willing to lie to blackmail everyone they come in contact with. Care to imagine how productive such a workplace would be?

On a personal note, I cannot imagine the mentality of someone who's first instinct is to take problems to the authorities. Even as a kid my instinct was to try to resolve issues at the lowest possible level--most could be resolved by simply talking to the other person/people.

Gus Van Horn said...


I think she's treating it appropriately for her main area of concern, which is running a business.

Yes, this does further vitiate the principle of innocence until proven guilty, but our courts have been weak on that count for so long that many people assume (correctly, in terms of navigating things as they are) that the courts will make it easy for such people to cause problems. That's a fact. A call to action to correct it in the courts, although needed, is beyond the scope of her article as she wrote it.