Sunday, August 13

Lessons from Google firing the guy who expressed an opinion they didn't like

Recently Google fired a young man for writing an email they didn't like.

Specifically, the guy's thoughtful, reasoned ten-page piece theorized that at least some of the difference in the sex-composition of tech businesses could be explained by intrinsic biological differences.

If you're not in the tech field you don't see this as significant, so let me explain:

If you own a small business, and decline to hire a member of a class that's protected by either the federal or state government, that government will sue you into bankruptcy.  Similarly, if you decline to offer your services to a member of a government-protected class, that government will sue you into bankruptcy.  And note many of these lawsuits are state, not federal.

Now: Google just made it legal to fire people for simply expressing an opinion an employer doesn't like.  According to the precedents established at both federal and state levels, that should result in their prosecution by government.

But of course, no government will prosecute Google, because that company is too useful to both state and federal governments.  So, politically powerful.  

So we've just crossed a line:  From now on employers will be able to fire employees for holding politically-incorrect views.  They'll also be able to refuse to hire, for the same reason.  But the only views subject to these new powers will be those held by conservatives.  If you're a conservative owner who tries to fire an employee for, say, advocating the overthrow of the federal government by force, you'll quickly find that this new legal principle only works in one direction.

So again...two sets of laws.

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