March 13th, 2005 - Open Knowledge
Mar. 13th, 2005
05:55 pm - Buy White
On My Mind
Xenophobia and Politics
Steven E. Landsburg, 03.28.05
Why protectionism is a lot like racism.
Not long ago in American history accidents of birth were considered legitimate grounds for employment discrimination. Political platforms contained phrases like: "Federal contracts, whenever possible, should be performed by white workers." Politicians demanded tax incentives to reward firms for hiring whites instead of blacks or showing other kinds of favoritism. Those same politicians endorsed "Right to Know" legislation to alert consumers when products were produced by the "wrong" kind of workers. They embraced slogans like "Buy white!"
When I say this kind of thing was commonplace "not long ago," I really mean not long ago. Except for one minor and morally insignificant difference, I got all of the above from John Kerry's Web site. The only change I made is this: Where Kerry said "American," I substituted "white."
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