Discrimination IS Discrimination IS Discrimination…

No matter how you dress it up; no matter what you call it; no matter the justification for it (my friend says that if you start by justifying something you already know its wrong); discrimination is just plain wrong.

The logic behind the latest trend is that since the group being discriminated against isn’t part of a named protected group under anti-discrimination laws, that it is perfectly alright to discriminate against them. The other argument is that employers are allowed to hire and fire anyone they choose using their own criteria (as long as the person doesn’t belong to one of the “protected” named groups).

OK, I can buy that….or at least I used to. But hiring or firing anyone for what they do OFF the clock, on their own time, away from the job, is no one else’s business as long as it’s legal.

What is making this truly disgusting for me is that the people making the demand are two State Senators. These are elected officials….who are supposed to be upholding the Constitution. I don’t recall anything in the Constitution that says discrimination is acceptable.

Michigan State Senators are “asking” Michigan Research Universities to refuse to hire smokers. The reason for this is that they want to cut down on health care costs.

Universities asked not to hire smokers
In budget talks, senators say move could save state cash

Robin Erb
Special to the State Journal

EAST LANSING – Leaders of Michigan’s three largest research universities appeared before the state Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday hoping to hold onto a proposed budget increase by Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

But at least two senators had a favor of their own to ask: Help us get the state’s health care costs under control.

Sen. Thomas George, R-Kalamazoo, challenged the presidents of the University of Michigan, Wayne State University and Michigan State University to find ways to make Michigan’s population healthier, going so far as to ask the presidents to refuse to hire smokers.

“Where can universities help us make the population healthier? I’m not talking building new buildings. I’m talking about changing the behavior of the state’s population,” George said.

(click the story title to read the full story).

Well, IF you do this, are they then going to not hire obese people, for the same reason? Then you’ll also have to not hire diabetics, those with existing heart disease, COPD, Asthma. While we’re at it, better not hire anyone of childbearing/fathering age either, because nothing will run up your health care costs like pregnancy, delivery, and then the child. And the lost productivity…………well just ask any parent.

Then you also have to look at other lifestyle choices people make. What about sports injuries? What about rock climbers, bikers, boaters. Anyone doing anything that has the possibility of risk, injuring themselves where they’ll need doctor’s care for more than a visit will need to be looked at.

Unfortunately this is not something new. The World Health Organization refuses to hire smokers, Weyco won’t hire smokers, Scotts won’t hire smokers, and many others (see here).

There was a police department in Florida that did this also, and a year later rescinded the rule because they found their health care costs were NOT any lower AND they had a shortage of GOOD candidates for the job (see here).

A new study was done in Europe recently that found in the long run, it’s the healthy, fit, thin person who ends up costing more because they live longer and then get age-related diseases (most of which are also called “smoking related”) requiring a great deal of care for a longer period of time, not to mention the pensions they’ll collect for longer periods also.

No matter your stand on the smoking issue, this is not about smoking, this IS about the outright, deliberate, promotion and act of discrimination against a quarter of the population. Who also need to work to put a roof over their head, clothes on their back, food in their stomach, utility bills to pay, children to clothe and feed. In other words, we have SENATORS advocating the discrimination of other human beings, just because they perceive them to cost more because they indulge in a legal product that others don’t like.

OH, one more thing to consider…..this “request” is being made during talks where the schools are asking for money. Therefore, we also have SENATORS technically blackmailing the schools and technically using their budgets as hostages.

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~ by swfreedomlover on February 26, 2008.

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