A better plan would be to create an equal playing field, regardless of race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, and age. Isn’t that what Martin Luther King advocated?
In a difficult economy, generations often find themselves pitted against each other for scarce resources, including jobs. But there is a new twist to this theme today. In recent years, the U.S.government has justified age discrimination as a way of increasing “diversity” in federal hiring.
Obama said he wanted to remove “barriers” in hiring younger workers caused by civil service regulations and “to achieve a workforce that represents all segments of society.” Obama wants to “infuse” the federal government with the “enthusiasm, talents and unique perspective” of young people.
More recently, Obama’s Labor Secretary, Thomas E. Perez, publicly endorsed a private initiative by some of America’s leading corporations to blatantly violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act by hiring 100,000 disadvantaged inner city residents between the ages of 16 and 24 for full-time and part-time jobs.
There are so many reasons why Obama’s “winners and losers” plan to boost diversity is just plain wrong.
Illegal age discrimination in hiring is rampant and is particularly bad for older women.
These conclusions were reached in a study released Monday by three economists – David Neumark and Ian Burn of the University of California at Irvine and Patrick Button of Tulane University.
The researchers sent out fictional resumes in response to 40,000 job ads and found that callbacks were much higher for younger groups no matter what kind of job was being advertised. But older women had the fewest call backs. The study looked at a dozen cities, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Boston. Here are some of the study findings:
“First, for the one occupation where we study both men and women – sales – we find considerably stronger evidence of discrimination against older women than older men; indeed if one emphasizes the evidence from the unobservables correction, there is evidence of age discrimination only for women. “
“ … more generally across the many analyses we present, the evidence of age discrimination against older women is strong and robust, while the evidence for older men is less clear.”
“We only consistently find evidence of age discrimination for one of three occupations in which we study men (security), and in this case the evidence is not statistically strong.”
The higher rate of age discrimination for women may be the combination of age and sex discrimination, plus the impact of physical appearance.