Richard Epstein on Rand Paul’s Gaffe


Jason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is a research fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor of Cato Unbound. He's on twitter as JasonKuznicki. His interests include political theory and history.

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20 Responses

  1. I think in some ways this sounds like the way corporations have responded to the decline of organized labor. They’ve implemented more robust internal protections for employees and overall the market may even be better off than it was at the height of labor. With Title II there’s no financial incentive towards race-based discrimnation as opposed to having non-union labor, so I can see where companies would prefer the govt to police it.Report

  2. Avatar Jivatman says:

    Not necessarily

    Have “Equal Opportunity Employer” be a legal definition and certificaiton which binds any company that uses this phrase to the full jurisdiction of title II.

    This creates a standard and eliminates duplicated effort in the same way that the USDA organic certification does. Or you could make it opt-out, and require those in non-compliance to put warnings on their business, ads, etc.

    These maintain the standardization and eliminate duplicated effort, but do make it voluntary, and, you could say, letting the market decide whether private racism is acceptable or not.

    I have no clue how this would work out, and anyone who claims to know is a liar. In 1964 we went directly from segregation forced on all businesses by law to integration forced on all businesses by law, with nothing in between.Report

  3. Avatar Steven Donegal says:

    I suppose that for large corporations like WalMart and McDonalds, Prof Epstein is probably right. But my guess is that it is Muslims or illegal immigrants who would bear the brunt of the next round of discrimination, all done in the name of patriotism.Report

    • @Steven Donegal, Out of curiosity, are there any studies on how well integrated Arab-Americans are into the labor market and what sorts of professions they work in? I’m sort of assuming it’s a lot better in the states, but in France, there was almost no integration in any of the cities or towns that I lived in. There was always an Arab or Algerian quarter that was fairly isolated and they worked in local kebab restaurants and the like. However, it seems to me that the US has generally been exceptional at integrating immigrants into the mainstream.Report

      • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Rufus F. says:

        @Rufus F.,

        IIRC, most Arab Americans that have immigrated to the United States are Christian, not Muslim (something like 2/3). And while they are geographically concentrated like all immigrant groups have been since Plymouth Rock, (there is a large and politically significant Arab American community in Michigan, for instance), they (again IIRC) were as well intergrated as any other 1st or 2nd generation ‘white people’. (e.g. in comparision both New York and Chicago have enclaves of 1st generation immigrants from eastern europe; my mother grew up in one of these neighborhoods). And also, IIRC, Arab Americans voted primarily Republican prior to 2004.Report

      • Avatar Jivatman in reply to Rufus F. says:

        @Rufus F.,

        Arab Americans are actually one of the wealthiest and highly education group in America.

        The population of Muslim-Americans vs. Arabs and southeast Asians is confounded because about a 1/4 of them are African-Americans who are likely to have been converted in prison and are much more likely to feel dissatisfied with American society than other Muslims (may be contributing factors of why they convert). Around 30% of incarcerated African-Americans are Muslim.

        Still, Muslims are slightly more educated and wealthy than the average American.

        In Europe though, Muslim and Arab are more synonymous, as well as far poorer than the average population.Report

        • Avatar Simon K in reply to Jivatman says:

          @Jivatman, That’s not quite true. Most Muslims in the UK are from the Indian cub-continent. Most Muslims in Germany are from Turkey. Its France that has the large minority of poor Arab Muslims, and that may have more to do with their Algerian-ness than their Arab-ness or Muslim-ness. Not sure about Spain and Italy but given their proximity to North Africa they may have more Arab Muslims, but its France I think everyone thinks about in this context.Report

    • Avatar Bob in reply to Steven Donegal says:

      @Steven Donegal,

      Shouldn’t illegal immigrants be discriminated? I have never understood the extreme amnesty of some on the left. I would also add that businesses should be prosecuted and/or fined for hiring them.

      Now if you are just using left code for illegal=all Hispanics than we have a different problem. I would agree that legal Hispanics shouldn’t be discriminated against.Report

      • Avatar Simon K in reply to Bob says:

        @Bob, I guess the problem is that I don’t really understand why most illegal immigrants are illegal. I have a green card because I moved to the US to do an ill-defined software-related job. I don’t really understand why the guy who mows my neighbours lawn (I mow my own lawn, thanks) should have had a harder time.Report

        • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Simon K says:

          @Simon K,

          Do you have an H1B visa? Because those are only for technical fields or areas that require special training. You can’t get an H1B for construction work, landscaping, cleaning houses, or the like. Our laws are set up to protect U.S. citizens with few skills, most likely because they are also the ones who are most xenophobic.Report

          • @Jason Kuznicki, In Canada, there’s a point system to get in. Some people wait a long time, but if you’ve got technical skills or bilingualism or other advantages, it goes a lot quicker. I’m married to a Canadian and finishing a PhD in French-related history, so it took about two weeks to get approved for landed immigrant status. I often wondered if a point-system would help address people’s concerns in the US or make no real difference.Report

            • Avatar Jason Kuznicki in reply to Rufus F. says:

              A lot depends on what people think of as the heart of the matter. Is it the “illegal” part, or is it the “immigration”?

              I, too, see illegal immigration as a problem, but it’s a problem of the government’s own making. The solution is to make it much easier to live here legally. America is the home of the free, after all, not the home of those who hold certain bureaucratic permission slips.

              To me, amnesty would be a good start. But to those who oppose immigration, and who use illegality as a convenient cover, amnesty is off the table.

              Also, I’m cheered by the thought of how easy it would be for me to move to Canada.Report

          • Avatar Simon K in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

            @Jason Kuznicki, Sorry I think what I wrote wasn’t very clear. I understand the difference in legal standing between software engineers and gardeners. I just don’t understand why the law is as it is. The same goes for points systems like Canada’s. Seems like the government is saying to the labour market “you may think you need gardeners, but we think you need astrophysicists, so we’re looking for them”. Its like having a recruitment agent who sends you the wrong resume and then tells you the job spec is wrong. There’s a perception that somehow having people with lots of formal qualifications and/or business experience come to the country is somehow better for the country than having gardeners. I’m deeply skeptical of this idea – I know a few MBA+PhD types whose only contribution to the US economy is their “contacts”, having not done much except play golf for years. The truck loads of hispanic dudes who drive through my suburb on the way to various construction jobs every morning seem vastly more useful and desirable countrymen.Report

      • Avatar B-Rob in reply to Bob says:


        I am in no way on the “extreme left,” but I am convinced amnesty is the only rational way to handle this. To start with, one entity estimated that it costs about $30,000 to arrest, detain, house and forceably deport a person. The estimated number of illegals in the US is any where from 13 million to 20 million; roughly somewhere between the population of Illinois and Texas. So where would the money come from to deport these people? Raise taxes? Is there anything better we could be doing with that money?

        There is the question of exactly who it is we would be deporting. Disproportionately young, primarily Christian, obviously ambitious (otherwise they would not be here) and enough hustle to maintain employment to live on and send money home, while keeping noses clean enough to keep working. Are these REALLY the kind of people we want to rid ourselves of? I shudder to consider the number of soldiers with Latin and Asian surnames who are fighting in the wars right now, but whose parents were illegals. Do we really want to get rid of the very people who would father or birth a significant slice of our next generation of football players, nurses, soldiers, dental technicians and chemists? Can we, as a country, aford the demographic, population hit we would take if 13 to 20 million people up and quit this country?

        The only illegal person I know is a 13 year old Russian girl who has been here since she was about 4. Speaks no Russian, does well in school, and comes from a chaotic household, due in part to her family ducking and dodging ICE. Everyone at the school and my friend who is raising her with her own daughter . . . everyone turns their head at the girl’s status. Are we really better off if she is sent back to Russia?

        For demographic reasons, if nothing else, we need the immigration. In fact, I think we could use even more immigration of the gifted and talented; but our laws require people like Jeff, a Brit rugby player who roomed next to me in college, to get the hell out of Dodge as soon as he graduates. This makes not one lick of sense. So in honor of the World Cup, I think we should adopt something called a “yellow card.” For about $10,000 (enough to hurt but also low enough to undercut coyotes and “snakeheads”), anyone without a criminal record, without gang tattoes, and a sponsor (a company, an uncle, the US Army, etc.) gets to come to the US for five years on a “yellow card.” You get to work, pay taxes, etc. You also get to buy into Obamacare (because it is increadibly stupid to prohibit able bodied young people from buying health insurance). After 5 or 7 years of keeping your nose clean, you can pay another $5,000 to get a green card and stay indefinately, or go after citizenship, or leave. We solve a lot of problems. We undercut those profiting off the illegality, we get a flow of workers with all ranges of skills, we keep our country young and vibrant (unlike aging Europe and China) and we create a rational system of immigration.Report

  4. Avatar Ed Marshall says:

    I’m about to leave work in a few minutes but if anyone has JSTOR and would like to take a look at it, I suggest they take a look at the data in “Redling Redux” from 2003 by Small and McDermott. This is a more complicated and not-as-gone-away-quaint-problem as people imagine.

  5. Avatar greginak says:

    Well we can be sure that if we repealed this provision of the CRA, which would loudly signal that the government ( and the people who vote) are just fine with private discrimination, would certainly have no unintended consequences.Report

  6. The problem is, its not “private” it’s public. There’s a big difference in private property, such as your home, and a privately owned business that does a public business. Its not a good idea to allow private business owners to exclude an entire segment of a population from participating in economic activity. If they want to do that they should open private clubs and sell limited memberships, like the old Playboy Clubs, or Country Clubs.Report

  7. Avatar deb says:

    Speaking as one who grew up in the Jim Crow South and still lives in the South: If you repealed Title II of the CRA, within 10 years, maybe 5, discrimination in private businesses in the South would be back where it was in the 1950s. The revival of “official” racism would keep pace. Old habits die hard, and the habit of racial exclusion is nowhere near dead here. There are many who long for the old order; after all, who do you think keeps bringing this up? Let’s not try this little social experiment. Please.Report