Monday, August 28, 2006

This is Wonderful...

Oh, read this, please :-)

It's like this: there are many companies now that provide benefits to unmarried gay couples similar to those afforded married straight couples. So far so good, but this gets better. It seems that one sensible--and also unmarried (but cohabiting) straight--young woman realized that the law says you can't discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. So she wants her benefits, too.

I think this is covered under the Law of Unintended Consequences.

I wonder what'll happen when the asexual or onanist or transiently monogamist singles quite rightly mosey in for their benefits, or ,for that matter, the polyamorists or polygamists. I love where this is going.

I'm in favour of allowing (celebrating, in fact) same-sex marriages (I mean, why not, same thing goes for the polys) but I bet this makes folks write the laws real carefully. Chuckle.

13 comments:

Bill-Muskoka said...

Hi Ron,

Thought I would drop by your blog and say 'HI!' as well.

Funny, I come here and we are both talking baout the same issue!

Ron said...

Hi Bill and welcome.

Well, my thinking is that if you use not discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation as a line of demarcation when thinking about what folks have a right to, you might have problems because everyone has a sexual orientation, and it goes beyond gender to number of folks involved and any variation one can think of.

And I'm for not discriminating legally when it comes to anything that is non-coercive.

Bill-Muskoka said...

Ron,

I agree with you. I believe the sole functions of government are to protect people against true crime, i.e. fraud, violent crime, theft, oppresion, and property rights, to provide for the general welfare of the people, and to administer those aspects of our society beyond the capability of individuals.

There is no place in governmental functions for sexual morality based control, other than age restrictions of consent. Even there, we see law proposed that negates reality, yet is the product of over-reaction to other problems. Once the age of consent is reached it should be hands off for any consensual acts!

In many societies the age of consent is 12, which I believe is too young for most western societies. Why, because our youth are not brought up in an environment that promotes true maturity.

The Jewish law calls for accountability at age 12, and that says a lot about such matters.

Likewise, Piaget's studies of childhood development contraindicates such an age as beng cognitive regarding maturity.

I think that too often people want government to do their parenting job for them. Vevery parent has a duty to raise their child with a sense of community and socialisation.

Government can aide and assist in that with training programs. If the child becomes a sociopath then that is why we have the other laws and incarceration.

Scout said...

hey ron!
having been married for 29 years, i'm going to ask for government privilege for bucking the trends of seperation and divorce. this will include a round the world trip, 3 million buckaroos, and diplomatic immunity.

yup, there's always someone who will find loopholes, that's how laws get tested and tightened up.

the polys could have a hayday with this one, as well as the asexual amoebas :)

Ron said...

scout: If it leads to everyone having the same rights no matter what their orientation--and no matter what their chosen living situation--I'm for it.

But it gets interesting because I think companies should have the right to decide who they will provide benefits for and why or why not--but I absolutely don't think governments should have the same latitude.

Companies don't claim to speak for the interests of everyone; they speak for and represent only their owners and shareholders and (to a much lesser degree, if at all) their employees and customers. If I don't like their choice, I don't have to work there or buy their stuff.

Governments, on the other hand, claim to speak for and represent all of us. And they make me buy their stuff.

Bill-Muskoka said...

scout,

If I were to say 'Application DENIED!' What would be your responce? LOL

Bill-Muskoka said...

Ron,

But it gets interesting because I think companies should have the right to decide who they will provide benefits for and why or why not--but I absolutely don't think governments should have the same latitude.

There, I must disagree on what companies can be allowed to do. They function as part of society, and therefore, must conform to the rules society sets. History proves this out quite well!

This would be retrograde to the pre-labour law period of the Barons. Not a good concept!

The very problem we are dealing with today, the Global Multi-national who has exceeded their lawful mandate of existence.

Ron said...

Ron dances down to the Human Rights Commish' with scout and her beau to talk about Bill's attitude :-)

Ron said...

Hi Bill: I don't think companies have the right to coerce employees, but I do think they have the right to set employment terms, just like the employee can decide not to work for them (at all or anymore), maybe just because he or she thinks they're assholes, for example. No-one is forced to work for this or that company, and no-one is forced to buy their stuff.

In other words, I think companies have the right to make any non-coercive choice they want, no matter how stupid I think it is.

And I have the right to punish them by not buying their stuff. They hate that. :-)

Bill-Muskoka said...

Ron,

My point was singularly focused on the term 'benefits'!

Here, in Canada, everyone has health insurance. It is not a company given 'benefit'. In the U.S. it is a company given 'benefit'! We do, however, have supplementary insurance provided by some employers.

I have WalMart come to mind, along with the fast-food chains, who provide benefit's for their managers, but slide around the laws by reducing employee hours to below the minmum for 'benefits'!

So, when we talk about 'benefits' that is a single issue.

As to working hours, shifts, etc., yes, the company has the right to set those within reason and fairness. When they are unfair then the employees form unions. Then, again, the law comes into play!

We see it over and over. People are often trapped working for a company simply because there are no other to work for. They cannot move to another location because of various reasons.

The laws must accommodate such situations to empower the individual to fair treatment.

Workplace safety, at least, has been mandated by law! Even so, too many employers, and employees take it lightly...until someone is seriously injured or killed. Then they too often cover it up, or try to.

All the preceding could be eliminated by simple thoughtfulness. I do not use the term 'common sense' because I have found it is not that common! LOL

Scout said...

geeze it's hard responding to lots of comments!!!!

let's see....if my application were denied i'd pee on their desk.

as for companies, benefits etc......there's a canadian publication that rates corporations. they tell you if they are shareholder driven, employee and customer driven etc.....so that's one way to find out what's ethical out there or not. it also tells you which ethical corps. to invest in, depdning on your ethics (of course there's lots of stockbrokers who have lists of ethical companies too, and there's the ehtical mutual funds).

i don't have enough money to invest, but like you say ron, i can boycott.

however, as bill points out we have this thing going where we have universal medical but in B.C. we have a medieval law that says $6/hour training wage for the first three months. then they fire that trainee when the time is up and hire a new one. it's kinda hard to keep tabs on who's doing this, especially the smaller places who aresn't on the public stock exchange....the info isn't there.

while we may not be able to FORCE ethics, perhaps we could have ethics awards that shops and services could display and feel proud of and draw customers with.

i don't know whether it would be best to have this as a private industry criteria and handling thing or a government one. the less bureaucracy the better, but can private enterprise really make a sincere go of this???

Ron said...

scout:

One thing I can tell you is that there is a serious labour shortage coming up, throughout the economy. Check just the demographics. Among other things, that means that employers are going to be competing big time for staff and the businesses that will have to change their operating model most are the ones that depend on numbers of lower-paid employees.

We feel this kinda thing first up here in Northern Alberta because our economy is actively thriving, but the problem will be general in the not-too-distant future.

Right now an 18 year old with grade 11 can expect $10-12/hr to start minimum, and finding a job takes about an hour, unless you're picky--in which case, two will do. Just one clue: the hotels up here use their big promo signs to advertise for staff, not customers.

What can I say; I used to be heavily involved in labour market information :-)

Ron said...

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