How to kill off a recovery


One of the things which can be very difficult to get over to a certain type is this idea that fiscal or monetary stimulus are not the only things which can aid a recovery in a battered economy.It really isn't that the State must do more: there is also the argument that in other areas the State must do less. For example, those streamers of red tape with which we festoon industry. Talking about the Equalities Act which has just come in, The Telegraph tells us:

The British Chambers of Commerce estimates it will cost £189million for business to implement the Equality Act. David Frost, its director-general, said: "At a time when the Government is trying to create as many jobs as possible in the private sector this legislation will put people off for fear of getting it wrong. The Equality Act is a very complex bit of employment legislation. If small businesses get this wrong they end up in an employment tribunal."

A spokesman for the Institute of Directors said: "The health provision is undoubtedly an extra burden on businesses. All business will need to be very clued up on the ramifications of what the new regulations are - if you have a whole HR team that's fine, but a lot of our members are small businesses and they don't have that.”

Yes, the Act will weigh most heavily on hte main engine of job and economic growth, small businesses. Gosh, that was well done of Ms. Harman, wasn't it?

To give you an idea of what is now verboeten:

It is expected to lead to discrimination claims from dyslexic workers who have been barred from carrying out certain tasks because of their tendency to make spelling mistakes.

As I've already mentioned elsewhere we really would rather like to be able to discriminate against those who cannot spell in certain jobs: data entry into official databases comes to mind. That Mr. Llareggub gets fingered for the crimes of an alias of a Mr. Dylan Thomas isn't what we want at all.

However, yes, people really do make laws as stupid as this. Try here for an example from the US. If you do discriminate against an epileptic by denying him a job as a driver you get sued for discrimination: if you don't discriminate against an epileptic then you get sued for not discriminating.

We really do have to get back to the idea that there is such a thing as rational discrimination, even rational discrimination purely on a statistical basis, and that such discrimination is often not just rational but extremely sensible.