Walter E. Williams
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Job-destroying machines haven't spared women. Yesteryear, thousands of women had good-paying jobs as telephone switchboard operators. Switching machines and later computers destroyed those jobs. Five and dime stores had one or two ladies behind every counter to help customers. Checkout stands and packaging have destroyed all of those jobs. The Level Playing Field Act would have saved those jobs.

Then there's the consumer side of things. Years ago, there were loads of corner grocery and hardware stores. Because of selfish consumers, motivated only by getting something cheap and not caring about what happens to small businessmen and their employees, these stores are mostly gone. They've been replaced by huge, impersonal supermarket chains and super hardware stores like Home Depot and Lowes. Had my proposed law been on the books, small grocery and hardware stores would not have gone the way of the dinosaur.

Some people might argue that what I'm proposing is too extreme. They might say, "We're just talking about saving all of our high-tech and manufacturing jobs going overseas." Such a position seems selfish and self-serving in the least. After all, one of the overriding values of a free society is equality before the law. That means if Congress takes a measure to save the job of one American, it's obliged to save the jobs of all Americans. No worker is more deserving than another. That means there can't be job-saving discrimination.

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Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
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