According to Friedman’s Capitalism and Freedom: Chapter VII – Capitalism and Discrimination what does he think of fair employment practice commissions (FEPC), procedures, and their results? answer in minimum of 400 words
In Chapter VII of his book “Capitalism and Freedom”, economist Milton Friedman discusses the issue of discrimination in the labor market and its implications for a free-market economy. He specifically addresses the role of Fair Employment Practice Commissions (FEPCs), which were established in some U.S. states during the 1940s and 1950s to prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion, or national origin.
Friedman argues that while the goals of the FEPCs are laudable, their methods are misguided and ultimately counterproductive. He contends that the best way to combat discrimination in the labor market is to let the free market work and remove government interference, including the FEPCs. He argues that when employers are free to hire the best person for the job, regardless of their race, religion, or national origin, everyone benefits. Discrimination is costly, as it leads to a less productive workforce and a lower standard of living for everyone.
Friedman criticizes the FEPCs for several reasons. First, he argues that they violate the principle of individual freedom by compelling employers to hire or promote certain individuals based on their race, religion, or national origin rather than their qualifications. He believes that the government should not have the power to dictate who a private employer hires or promotes. He also argues that the FEPCs are ineffective in achieving their stated goals. He cites evidence that FEPCs do not significantly reduce discrimination in the labor market and may even exacerbate it by creating a backlash among employers who resent being told who they must hire.
Moreover, Friedman suggests that the FEPCs have unintended negative consequences. He argues that they can create a bureaucracy that adds to the cost of doing business and can be corrupt. He suggests that FEPCs often create a disincentive for employers to comply with their procedures as they tend to be lengthy, costly, and time-consuming. This leads to a situation where employers avoid hiring minority groups altogether, leading to increased discrimination.
In contrast to the FEPCs, Friedman proposes a solution that he believes is more effective in reducing discrimination in the labor market. He argues that the free market itself can provide incentives for employers to hire the most qualified person, regardless of their race, religion, or national origin. When employers are free to hire anyone, they will do so based on the individual’s ability to perform the job, leading to a more productive workforce and increased economic growth.
In conclusion, Friedman argues that the FEPCs are ineffective in achieving their goals of reducing discrimination in the labor market. He believes that the free market can provide better solutions to this problem by removing government interference and allowing employers to hire the most qualified person for the job. By doing so, he believes that discrimination can be reduced, leading to a more productive workforce and higher standards of living for everyone.