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Fired for Free Speech in the Workplace?

TryingToBeOpenMinded
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12/18/2014 10:09:02 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
In the news, I constantly read about people making the most racist or homophobic comments in public. They are defiant and then they get fired from their government of private job. I wonder if this is the right thing.

First, let me say that I understand that the Constitution only protects the free speech in public places. So, if you say something racist, a private company is legally allowed to fire you. As long as your firing isn't based upon a protected class like race, sex, family status, etc., it's ok.

But, forget the legal aspect. I am wondering what's the best thing for society? Should we amend the constitution? I'm tending to believe that free speech should even be protected in the private workplace. The more history that I read, the more I realize how censorship was such a bad thing throughout our history. Totalitarian governments and dictatorships have been able to abuse their power because they have been able to censor free thought and free speech. And, only 50 years ago, the American public lashed out at anyone who even talked negatively about the US going to war. It wasn't even the government (although the government put people in prison for this). Public sentiment was at a level in which you were fired for speaking out against the war.

Free speech protects against tyranny of one or the masses. And, free speech includes the good things as well as the bad things. So, if you're a CEO who loves Obama and your employee calls Obama a racist name, should it be protected?

I guess it gets a little dicey in certain situations. For example, if you're selling a drug and your employee says it's the worst drug out there, would you be allowed to fire him? Obviously, if it's secret company info, that's a no no. But, honest opinions? Not so sure...
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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12/18/2014 10:33:27 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
A company perceived as tolerating bigotry of any group of individuals will lose the business of that group of individuals. Furthermore, other groups will wonder who/which group is next, and so IMHO what occurs is an unwritten and unspoken solidarity where all of these groups band together to become intolerant of bigotry in general. Corporations are cognizant of this effect, and so for the sake of profit maximization will fire individuals who are perceived to portray the corporation as bigoted.

It's free speech in practice...the government doesn't do anything about it (no arrests, etc), but private actors do as they please to maximize their interests, whatever those interests may be.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Greyparrot
Posts: 14,240
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12/18/2014 11:33:52 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
"Free" speech can be very costly for businesses.

You have a right to free speech, but not a right to "free venues" for your free speech.

This is a very very old old stance on free speech.
Otokage
Posts: 2,347
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12/19/2014 1:22:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/18/2014 10:09:02 AM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
In the news, I constantly read about people making the most racist or homophobic comments in public. They are defiant and then they get fired from their government of private job. I wonder if this is the right thing.

First, let me say that I understand that the Constitution only protects the free speech in public places. So, if you say something racist, a private company is legally allowed to fire you. As long as your firing isn't based upon a protected class like race, sex, family status, etc., it's ok.

But, forget the legal aspect. I am wondering what's the best thing for society? Should we amend the constitution? I'm tending to believe that free speech should even be protected in the private workplace. The more history that I read, the more I realize how censorship was such a bad thing throughout our history. Totalitarian governments and dictatorships have been able to abuse their power because they have been able to censor free thought and free speech. And, only 50 years ago, the American public lashed out at anyone who even talked negatively about the US going to war. It wasn't even the government (although the government put people in prison for this). Public sentiment was at a level in which you were fired for speaking out against the war.

Free speech protects against tyranny of one or the masses. And, free speech includes the good things as well as the bad things. So, if you're a CEO who loves Obama and your employee calls Obama a racist name, should it be protected?

I guess it gets a little dicey in certain situations. For example, if you're selling a drug and your employee says it's the worst drug out there, would you be allowed to fire him? Obviously, if it's secret company info, that's a no no. But, honest opinions? Not so sure...

If you are using "free speech" as a pretext to attack people, especially minorities that are already under attack, then I believe a judge should stop you, and I believe businessmen wouldn't want a worker that has problems with justice and problems with particular groups of people.
TryingToBeOpenMinded
Posts: 201
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12/19/2014 1:56:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/18/2014 10:33:27 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
A company perceived as tolerating bigotry of any group of individuals will lose the business of that group of individuals. Furthermore, other groups will wonder who/which group is next, and so IMHO what occurs is an unwritten and unspoken solidarity where all of these groups band together to become intolerant of bigotry in general. Corporations are cognizant of this effect, and so for the sake of profit maximization will fire individuals who are perceived to portray the corporation as bigoted.

It's free speech in practice...the government doesn't do anything about it (no arrests, etc), but private actors do as they please to maximize their interests, whatever those interests may be.

The business will lose business if they tolerate it now because they are allowed to fire the employee. But, if the business by law is not permitted to fire the employee for making statements in areas like politics, there won't be any public backlash. The public will know that it was outside the business's control.

I'm proposing that a law be made to protect free speech in private settings as well as public settings.
TryingToBeOpenMinded
Posts: 201
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12/19/2014 2:00:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/19/2014 1:22:27 PM, Otokage wrote:
At 12/18/2014 10:09:02 AM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
In the news, I constantly read about people making the most racist or homophobic comments in public. They are defiant and then they get fired from their government of private job. I wonder if this is the right thing.

First, let me say that I understand that the Constitution only protects the free speech in public places. So, if you say something racist, a private company is legally allowed to fire you. As long as your firing isn't based upon a protected class like race, sex, family status, etc., it's ok.

But, forget the legal aspect. I am wondering what's the best thing for society? Should we amend the constitution? I'm tending to believe that free speech should even be protected in the private workplace. The more history that I read, the more I realize how censorship was such a bad thing throughout our history. Totalitarian governments and dictatorships have been able to abuse their power because they have been able to censor free thought and free speech. And, only 50 years ago, the American public lashed out at anyone who even talked negatively about the US going to war. It wasn't even the government (although the government put people in prison for this). Public sentiment was at a level in which you were fired for speaking out against the war.

Free speech protects against tyranny of one or the masses. And, free speech includes the good things as well as the bad things. So, if you're a CEO who loves Obama and your employee calls Obama a racist name, should it be protected?

I guess it gets a little dicey in certain situations. For example, if you're selling a drug and your employee says it's the worst drug out there, would you be allowed to fire him? Obviously, if it's secret company info, that's a no no. But, honest opinions? Not so sure...

If you are using "free speech" as a pretext to attack people, especially minorities that are already under attack, then I believe a judge should stop you, and I believe businessmen wouldn't want a worker that has problems with justice and problems with particular groups of people.

Actually, I wanted to protect all types of free speech. In particular, I wanted to protect opinions like speaking against the war or government policies. But, if a modern Nazi said that Hitler was an honorable leader, sadly, that employee should be protected from firing as well.

It's not really free speech when you're afraid to lose your job.
Otokage
Posts: 2,347
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12/19/2014 2:04:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/19/2014 2:00:14 PM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
At 12/19/2014 1:22:27 PM, Otokage wrote:
At 12/18/2014 10:09:02 AM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
In the news, I constantly read about people making the most racist or homophobic comments in public. They are defiant and then they get fired from their government of private job. I wonder if this is the right thing.

First, let me say that I understand that the Constitution only protects the free speech in public places. So, if you say something racist, a private company is legally allowed to fire you. As long as your firing isn't based upon a protected class like race, sex, family status, etc., it's ok.

But, forget the legal aspect. I am wondering what's the best thing for society? Should we amend the constitution? I'm tending to believe that free speech should even be protected in the private workplace. The more history that I read, the more I realize how censorship was such a bad thing throughout our history. Totalitarian governments and dictatorships have been able to abuse their power because they have been able to censor free thought and free speech. And, only 50 years ago, the American public lashed out at anyone who even talked negatively about the US going to war. It wasn't even the government (although the government put people in prison for this). Public sentiment was at a level in which you were fired for speaking out against the war.

Free speech protects against tyranny of one or the masses. And, free speech includes the good things as well as the bad things. So, if you're a CEO who loves Obama and your employee calls Obama a racist name, should it be protected?

I guess it gets a little dicey in certain situations. For example, if you're selling a drug and your employee says it's the worst drug out there, would you be allowed to fire him? Obviously, if it's secret company info, that's a no no. But, honest opinions? Not so sure...

If you are using "free speech" as a pretext to attack people, especially minorities that are already under attack, then I believe a judge should stop you, and I believe businessmen wouldn't want a worker that has problems with justice and problems with particular groups of people.

Actually, I wanted to protect all types of free speech. In particular, I wanted to protect opinions like speaking against the war or government policies. But, if a modern Nazi said that Hitler was an honorable leader, sadly, that employee should be protected from firing as well.

It's not really free speech when you're afraid to lose your job.

Free speech does not include being disrespectful to jews. So I don't believe saying Hitler was an honorable leader can be considered free speech, rather a blatant offense.
TryingToBeOpenMinded
Posts: 201
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12/19/2014 2:07:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/19/2014 2:04:02 PM, Otokage wrote:

Free speech does not include being disrespectful to jews. So I don't believe saying Hitler was an honorable leader can be considered free speech, rather a blatant offense.

It's free speech. It's not the good kind. But, you have to take the bad and the good.

Right now, you can be disrespectful to Jews or other minorities in public venues. It's still free speech. Are you implying that this should be banned in public venues as well?
Otokage
Posts: 2,347
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12/19/2014 3:10:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/19/2014 2:07:43 PM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
At 12/19/2014 2:04:02 PM, Otokage wrote:

Free speech does not include being disrespectful to jews. So I don't believe saying Hitler was an honorable leader can be considered free speech, rather a blatant offense.

It's free speech. It's not the good kind. But, you have to take the bad and the good.

Right now, you can be disrespectful to Jews or other minorities in public venues. It's still free speech. Are you implying that this should be banned in public venues as well?

I do. Being disrespectful to anyone should be a cause for taking you to court, especially while saying something that is not true. If I were the judge, I wouldn't put you in jail of course, but I would make you pay a fee for the possible damages your words can cause.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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12/19/2014 3:35:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
This can't be considered free speech because it violates someone's freedom of association. Other laws which prohibit firings in public businesses based on race, sexual orientation, or religion exist under the justification that those people pay for the infrastructure which supports the business, and to prohibit them based upon their nature or beliefs would be unfair from that standpoint. But to claim that actions should be protected is another step forward. I'm gay, should another employee be free to call me a faggot and tell me to kill myself and be immune from being fired because of some creative new interpretation of free speech? In normal situations I appeal to the leadership of the company to deal with this harassment, and if they do not I seek employment with someone who will deal with such abuses. Under the situation which you propose the business would be powerless to fire this person, or anyone who harassed other employees. Imagine a clerk being able to call a black customer a 'filthy n*gger', and then be unable to be fired. I don't think that a shrug of the shoulders and a 'sorry, we can't do anything' will stop that store from loosing all of its black customer base.

Freedom of association is a freedom for a reason: there are practical applications of it which are vital to society. Freedom of speech is as well, but there's a reason why it only applies to government action. John Milton's Areopagitica is one of the classical defenses of free speech, and this sums up his stance: "And though all the windes of doctrin were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously, by licencing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falshood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the wors, in a free and open encounter. Her confuting is the best and surest suppressing."

Notice that the argument is against the forceful restraint of any doctrine which may well be the truth. There is still a struggle between them, and the defense of free speech does not imply the elimination of that struggle, only of the lack of restraint on which doctrines may enter the melee to begin with.

In order to justify the abrogation of our freedom of association, some pretty hefty arguments need to be made in support of your extending free speech beyond its classical defined and well defended current boundaries. Saying 'more free speech is good!' is a mere semantic substitution, because at this point you aren't really talking about free speech anymore.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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12/19/2014 3:42:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/19/2014 3:10:23 PM, Otokage wrote:
At 12/19/2014 2:07:43 PM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
At 12/19/2014 2:04:02 PM, Otokage wrote:

Free speech does not include being disrespectful to jews. So I don't believe saying Hitler was an honorable leader can be considered free speech, rather a blatant offense.

It's free speech. It's not the good kind. But, you have to take the bad and the good.

Right now, you can be disrespectful to Jews or other minorities in public venues. It's still free speech. Are you implying that this should be banned in public venues as well?

I do. Being disrespectful to anyone should be a cause for taking you to court, especially while saying something that is not true. If I were the judge, I wouldn't put you in jail of course, but I would make you pay a fee for the possible damages your words can cause.

This is isn't free speech at all. You can certainly argue for it being good, but calling it free speech is completely and utterly dishonest, as it is the absolute negation of everything which free speech implies. In short, the doctrine holds that not only does every speaker have the right to make his view known, but that every listener has the right to listen, and to judge for himself the veracity of the arguments presented. Claiming that censorial action should be taken against speech on such a tenuous basis as its being 'disrespectful' destroys the entire system by setting certain arguments aside and saying 'these may not be spoken or heard, lest they offend,' based on a purely subjective standard.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Bennett91
Posts: 4,205
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12/19/2014 3:54:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/18/2014 10:09:02 AM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
In the news, I constantly read about people making the most racist or homophobic comments in public. They are defiant and then they get fired from their government of private job. I wonder if this is the right thing.

First, let me say that I understand that the Constitution only protects the free speech in public places. So, if you say something racist, a private company is legally allowed to fire you. As long as your firing isn't based upon a protected class like race, sex, family status, etc., it's ok.

But, forget the legal aspect. I am wondering what's the best thing for society? Should we amend the constitution? I'm tending to believe that free speech should even be protected in the private workplace. The more history that I read, the more I realize how censorship was such a bad thing throughout our history. Totalitarian governments and dictatorships have been able to abuse their power because they have been able to censor free thought and free speech. And, only 50 years ago, the American public lashed out at anyone who even talked negatively about the US going to war. It wasn't even the government (although the government put people in prison for this). Public sentiment was at a level in which you were fired for speaking out against the war.

Free speech protects against tyranny of one or the masses. And, free speech includes the good things as well as the bad things. So, if you're a CEO who loves Obama and your employee calls Obama a racist name, should it be protected?

I guess it gets a little dicey in certain situations. For example, if you're selling a drug and your employee says it's the worst drug out there, would you be allowed to fire him? Obviously, if it's secret company info, that's a no no. But, honest opinions? Not so sure...

Before we start asking if we should get an amendment we should first find out if speech is something that should be universally upheld under US law. The answer obviously is no. As you hinted upon the constitution only protects speech from the government. When you sign up for a job you sign a contract to uphold their values. By being racist on company time you are breaking that contract. Private business does not have to respect your right to free speech if it hinders business or creates a hostile work environment.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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12/19/2014 4:22:26 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/19/2014 1:56:18 PM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
At 12/18/2014 10:33:27 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
A company perceived as tolerating bigotry of any group of individuals will lose the business of that group of individuals. Furthermore, other groups will wonder who/which group is next, and so IMHO what occurs is an unwritten and unspoken solidarity where all of these groups band together to become intolerant of bigotry in general. Corporations are cognizant of this effect, and so for the sake of profit maximization will fire individuals who are perceived to portray the corporation as bigoted.

It's free speech in practice...the government doesn't do anything about it (no arrests, etc), but private actors do as they please to maximize their interests, whatever those interests may be.

The business will lose business if they tolerate it now because they are allowed to fire the employee. But, if the business by law is not permitted to fire the employee for making statements in areas like politics, there won't be any public backlash. The public will know that it was outside the business's control.

I'm proposing that a law be made to protect free speech in private settings as well as public settings.

Your proposal is a contradiction. The moment you make that law, then the jurisdiction that falls under that law will definitionally become public. You're essentially taking the initial steps towards fascism and state control of private enterprise.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Otokage
Posts: 2,347
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12/19/2014 7:42:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/19/2014 3:42:37 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 12/19/2014 3:10:23 PM, Otokage wrote:
At 12/19/2014 2:07:43 PM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
At 12/19/2014 2:04:02 PM, Otokage wrote:

Free speech does not include being disrespectful to jews. So I don't believe saying Hitler was an honorable leader can be considered free speech, rather a blatant offense.

It's free speech. It's not the good kind. But, you have to take the bad and the good.

Right now, you can be disrespectful to Jews or other minorities in public venues. It's still free speech. Are you implying that this should be banned in public venues as well?

I do. Being disrespectful to anyone should be a cause for taking you to court, especially while saying something that is not true. If I were the judge, I wouldn't put you in jail of course, but I would make you pay a fee for the possible damages your words can cause.

This is isn't free speech at all. You can certainly argue for it being good, but calling it free speech is completely and utterly dishonest, as it is the absolute negation of everything which free speech implies. In short, the doctrine holds that not only does every speaker have the right to make his view known, but that every listener has the right to listen, and to judge for himself the veracity of the arguments presented. Claiming that censorial action should be taken against speech on such a tenuous basis as its being 'disrespectful' destroys the entire system by setting certain arguments aside and saying 'these may not be spoken or heard, lest they offend,' based on a purely subjective standard.

It is certainly your opinion about how "free" free speech should be. I don't think you need to take the freedom to an extent in which you can freely ofend others and get away with it. People's integrity should be protected by the law, and that includes punishing all actions aimed to damage honour.

You can not accusing me of commiting a crime if you have no proof that I am a criminal, and I want a legislation that allows me to take actions against you if you do, even if you hide behind the "free speech" right.
Skepsikyma
Posts: 8,280
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12/19/2014 10:03:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/19/2014 7:42:24 PM, Otokage wrote:
At 12/19/2014 3:42:37 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 12/19/2014 3:10:23 PM, Otokage wrote:
At 12/19/2014 2:07:43 PM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
At 12/19/2014 2:04:02 PM, Otokage wrote:

Free speech does not include being disrespectful to jews. So I don't believe saying Hitler was an honorable leader can be considered free speech, rather a blatant offense.

It's free speech. It's not the good kind. But, you have to take the bad and the good.

Right now, you can be disrespectful to Jews or other minorities in public venues. It's still free speech. Are you implying that this should be banned in public venues as well?

I do. Being disrespectful to anyone should be a cause for taking you to court, especially while saying something that is not true. If I were the judge, I wouldn't put you in jail of course, but I would make you pay a fee for the possible damages your words can cause.

This is isn't free speech at all. You can certainly argue for it being good, but calling it free speech is completely and utterly dishonest, as it is the absolute negation of everything which free speech implies. In short, the doctrine holds that not only does every speaker have the right to make his view known, but that every listener has the right to listen, and to judge for himself the veracity of the arguments presented. Claiming that censorial action should be taken against speech on such a tenuous basis as its being 'disrespectful' destroys the entire system by setting certain arguments aside and saying 'these may not be spoken or heard, lest they offend,' based on a purely subjective standard.

It is certainly your opinion about how "free" free speech should be. I don't think you need to take the freedom to an extent in which you can freely ofend others and get away with it. People's integrity should be protected by the law, and that includes punishing all actions aimed to damage honour.

You can not accusing me of commiting a crime if you have no proof that I am a criminal, and I want a legislation that allows me to take actions against you if you do, even if you hide behind the "free speech" right.

It is not my opinion. Free speech is a specific idea, defended using certain famous arguments and adopted by various governments because of the potency of said arguments. This is why the word elicits such respect. You can think that your system is the way that the government should regulate speech all that you want, but the objective fact is that your opinion on the regulation of speech deviates drastically from the idea defended by the originators and proponents of free speech. You cannot in effect steal the prestige of the system by appropriating the word used to describe it else regardless of its objective meaning.

Your very opening sentence is downright Orwellian. "How 'free' should free speech be?". Free. Otherwise, it isn't 'free' speech. Dancing around the idea that you propose to curtail free speech doesn't change the fact that you are.

And your last point has no real bearing on free speech; fraudulent accusations of crime are handled within the judicial system, and are punished as a matter of procedure. But someone shouldn't be sued for just airing the theory that person X may have killed person Y, because we will never know for certain who actually did kill person Y. Our justice system isn't by any means perfect, and outlawing speculation when it comes to verdicts is a very good way to pave the way to a police state.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
Otokage
Posts: 2,347
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12/20/2014 5:04:44 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/19/2014 10:03:37 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 12/19/2014 7:42:24 PM, Otokage wrote:
At 12/19/2014 3:42:37 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
At 12/19/2014 3:10:23 PM, Otokage wrote:
At 12/19/2014 2:07:43 PM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
At 12/19/2014 2:04:02 PM, Otokage wrote:

Free speech does not include being disrespectful to jews. So I don't believe saying Hitler was an honorable leader can be considered free speech, rather a blatant offense.

It's free speech. It's not the good kind. But, you have to take the bad and the good.

Right now, you can be disrespectful to Jews or other minorities in public venues. It's still free speech. Are you implying that this should be banned in public venues as well?

I do. Being disrespectful to anyone should be a cause for taking you to court, especially while saying something that is not true. If I were the judge, I wouldn't put you in jail of course, but I would make you pay a fee for the possible damages your words can cause.

This is isn't free speech at all. You can certainly argue for it being good, but calling it free speech is completely and utterly dishonest, as it is the absolute negation of everything which free speech implies. In short, the doctrine holds that not only does every speaker have the right to make his view known, but that every listener has the right to listen, and to judge for himself the veracity of the arguments presented. Claiming that censorial action should be taken against speech on such a tenuous basis as its being 'disrespectful' destroys the entire system by setting certain arguments aside and saying 'these may not be spoken or heard, lest they offend,' based on a purely subjective standard.

It is certainly your opinion about how "free" free speech should be. I don't think you need to take the freedom to an extent in which you can freely ofend others and get away with it. People's integrity should be protected by the law, and that includes punishing all actions aimed to damage honour.

You can not accusing me of commiting a crime if you have no proof that I am a criminal, and I want a legislation that allows me to take actions against you if you do, even if you hide behind the "free speech" right.

It is not my opinion. Free speech is a specific idea, defended using certain famous arguments and adopted by various governments because of the potency of said arguments. This is why the word elicits such respect. You can think that your system is the way that the government should regulate speech all that you want, but the objective fact is that your opinion on the regulation of speech deviates drastically from the idea defended by the originators and proponents of free speech. You cannot in effect steal the prestige of the system by appropriating the word used to describe it else regardless of its objective meaning.

Your very opening sentence is downright Orwellian. "How 'free' should free speech be?". Free. Otherwise, it isn't 'free' speech. Dancing around the idea that you propose to curtail free speech doesn't change the fact that you are.

I think that is not correct. And you probably put limits to free speech as well. Or do you allow people to call you assh*le in the face? If you do anything about it, I suppose you are not entirely in favour of free speech. Your actions against the perpetrator effectively reflect you want free speech to be, well, less free.

And your last point has no real bearing on free speech; fraudulent accusations of crime are handled within the judicial system, and are punished as a matter of procedure.

And there we have another limitation of free speech. You are simply not allowed to say whatever you want, for obvious reasons. You live in society, not alone, and therefore you must follow certain rules of connivance.

But someone shouldn't be sued for just airing the theory that person X may have killed person Y, because we will never know for certain who actually did kill person Y.

In fact, when you "air" that theory, you must be extremely careful on how you do it, and thus this is yet another limitation of free speech.

Our justice system isn't by any means perfect, and outlawing speculation when it comes to verdicts is a very good way to pave the way to a police state.

One thing is speculate, or better said, hypothesize about what happened on a crime or a conflict. Another thing is to calumniate someone and hide behind the free speech right. The same way you can provoke damage by punching a person, you can also do it by destroying their public image with falsehoods. None should be allowed.
TryingToBeOpenMinded
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12/20/2014 9:39:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/19/2014 4:22:26 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 12/19/2014 1:56:18 PM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
At 12/18/2014 10:33:27 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
A company perceived as tolerating bigotry of any group of individuals will lose the business of that group of individuals. Furthermore, other groups will wonder who/which group is next, and so IMHO what occurs is an unwritten and unspoken solidarity where all of these groups band together to become intolerant of bigotry in general. Corporations are cognizant of this effect, and so for the sake of profit maximization will fire individuals who are perceived to portray the corporation as bigoted.

It's free speech in practice...the government doesn't do anything about it (no arrests, etc), but private actors do as they please to maximize their interests, whatever those interests may be.

The business will lose business if they tolerate it now because they are allowed to fire the employee. But, if the business by law is not permitted to fire the employee for making statements in areas like politics, there won't be any public backlash. The public will know that it was outside the business's control.

I'm proposing that a law be made to protect free speech in private settings as well as public settings.

Your proposal is a contradiction. The moment you make that law, then the jurisdiction that falls under that law will definitionally become public. You're essentially taking the initial steps towards fascism and state control of private enterprise.

I disagree. It actually leads to less fascism and state control since people can speak out. Majority or the state have less power now.

Remember that African Americans were systematically segregated. It was actually built into the system. Businesses were allowed to not serve them because it was their business, they could do whatever they want. By forcing them to serve them, minorities were protected.

This takes it one step further. Now, not only can you not be discriminated for what you are but what you stand for as well. I think this is a good thing.
TryingToBeOpenMinded
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12/20/2014 9:44:17 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/19/2014 7:42:24 PM, Otokage wrote:

It is certainly your opinion about how "free" free speech should be. I don't think you need to take the freedom to an extent in which you can freely ofend others and get away with it. People's integrity should be protected by the law, and that includes punishing all actions aimed to damage honour.

You can not accusing me of commiting a crime if you have no proof that I am a criminal, and I want a legislation that allows me to take actions against you if you do, even if you hide behind the "free speech" right.

I think you're misunderstanding. I'm not advocating slander. Slander has always been prohibited. Free speech doesn't ever protect that. Neither is yelling fire in a crowded theater.

That is not the issue here. It's whether the areas of free speech like political views should be extended to the private workplace as well as the public. Whether I can say that I hate Obama's policies or I am against the war. Right now, if I say that and my employer doesn't like that, I can get fired.
wrichcirw
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12/20/2014 10:25:50 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/20/2014 9:39:19 AM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
At 12/19/2014 4:22:26 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 12/19/2014 1:56:18 PM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
At 12/18/2014 10:33:27 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
A company perceived as tolerating bigotry of any group of individuals will lose the business of that group of individuals. Furthermore, other groups will wonder who/which group is next, and so IMHO what occurs is an unwritten and unspoken solidarity where all of these groups band together to become intolerant of bigotry in general. Corporations are cognizant of this effect, and so for the sake of profit maximization will fire individuals who are perceived to portray the corporation as bigoted.

It's free speech in practice...the government doesn't do anything about it (no arrests, etc), but private actors do as they please to maximize their interests, whatever those interests may be.

The business will lose business if they tolerate it now because they are allowed to fire the employee. But, if the business by law is not permitted to fire the employee for making statements in areas like politics, there won't be any public backlash. The public will know that it was outside the business's control.

I'm proposing that a law be made to protect free speech in private settings as well as public settings.

Your proposal is a contradiction. The moment you make that law, then the jurisdiction that falls under that law will definitionally become public. You're essentially taking the initial steps towards fascism and state control of private enterprise.

I disagree. It actually leads to less fascism and state control since people can speak out. Majority or the state have less power now.

Remember that African Americans were systematically segregated. It was actually built into the system. Businesses were allowed to not serve them because it was their business, they could do whatever they want. By forcing them to serve them, minorities were protected.

This takes it one step further. Now, not only can you not be discriminated for what you are but what you stand for as well. I think this is a good thing.

You make a good point, that desegregation is already an instance of government intrusion into private business.

However, if my original statement holds, that consumers from discriminated groups will boycott businesses that are perceived to be bigoted due to statements made by employees, then these businesses won't be able to control what these employees say would lead to businesses being unable to control which customers they target.

Imagine if the CEO of Coca Cola started using racial epithets repeatedly...Coke's sales would most certainly decline and Coke would be powerless to do anything about it. Would you then enact another law that forces consumers to buy products from companies perceived as bigoted to protect companies from employees that do not represent how a company would like to project its image? Where does the regulation stop?
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Skepsikyma
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12/20/2014 10:32:52 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/20/2014 5:04:44 AM, Otokage wrote:
At 12/19/2014 10:03:37 PM, Skepsikyma wrote:
It is not my opinion. Free speech is a specific idea, defended using certain famous arguments and adopted by various governments because of the potency of said arguments. This is why the word elicits such respect. You can think that your system is the way that the government should regulate speech all that you want, but the objective fact is that your opinion on the regulation of speech deviates drastically from the idea defended by the originators and proponents of free speech. You cannot in effect steal the prestige of the system by appropriating the word used to describe it else regardless of its objective meaning.

Your very opening sentence is downright Orwellian. "How 'free' should free speech be?". Free. Otherwise, it isn't 'free' speech. Dancing around the idea that you propose to curtail free speech doesn't change the fact that you are.

I think that is not correct. And you probably put limits to free speech as well. Or do you allow people to call you assh*le in the face?

...What? What am I supposed to do? Roar and hit them like an enraged barbarian? Threaten to go to the police whining that someone called me an assh*le? I laugh, and if the person was being serious I cut them with a more witty criticism than 'durr, you're an assh*le'.

If you do anything about it, I suppose you are not entirely in favour of free speech. Your actions against the perpetrator effectively reflect you want free speech to be, well, less free.

This makes no sense whatsoever, seeing as no emotionally stable person that I know would assault or seek legal action against someone for calling them an assh*le.

And your last point has no real bearing on free speech; fraudulent accusations of crime are handled within the judicial system, and are punished as a matter of procedure.

And there we have another limitation of free speech. You are simply not allowed to say whatever you want, for obvious reasons. You live in society, not alone, and therefore you must follow certain rules of connivance.

... No, we do not. The limitation is on filing a charge in court, not on airing the suspicion. Filing a charge in court is by no means speech, it's a judicial process,

But someone shouldn't be sued for just airing the theory that person X may have killed person Y, because we will never know for certain who actually did kill person Y.

In fact, when you "air" that theory, you must be extremely careful on how you do it, and thus this is yet another limitation of free speech.

If you're talking about false light cases, those are legally on very shaky ground, and must be filed as defamation cases in many states. And criminal defamation cases are very rare in the US, what are common are civil wrong cases which seek tort damages. This isn't really an abrogation of free speech, just as having someone paying for shooting out his neighbour's window is not an abrogation of his right to keep and bear arms. When speech is demonstrably false, is spoken with malice, and causes real financial harm to one party, the offending part is liable to claims. That's very different from 'speech which is disrespectful shouldn't be allowed'.

Our justice system isn't by any means perfect, and outlawing speculation when it comes to verdicts is a very good way to pave the way to a police state.

One thing is speculate, or better said, hypothesize about what happened on a crime or a conflict. Another thing is to calumniate someone and hide behind the free speech right.

Many times they are one and the same thing. Defamation laws require that the offending statement be demonstrably false. In many cases this is not true at all, and even if a reputation is destroyed the speculation is well within law.

The same way you can provoke damage by punching a person, you can also do it by destroying their public image with falsehoods. None should be allowed.

The issue is where the line is drawn. Awarding damages in proportion to inflicted financial hardships caused by the knowing repetition of unquestionable falsehoods with demonstrable malice is one thing. There is a very high standard of proof there which requires the defendant to prove that there is no legitimate purpose whatsoever to the speech. Your proposal is to allow the possible disrespectful nature of speech to override any potential truth value which the speech possesses. This is a radical reversal of the status quo and can no longer rightly be called free speech.
"The Collectivist experiment is thoroughly suited (in appearance at least) to the Capitalist society which it proposes to replace. It works with the existing machinery of Capitalism, talks and thinks in the existing terms of Capitalism, appeals to just those appetites which Capitalism has aroused, and ridicules as fantastic and unheard-of just those things in society the memory of which Capitalism has killed among men wherever the blight of it has spread."
- Hilaire Belloc -
TryingToBeOpenMinded
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12/20/2014 10:49:33 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/20/2014 10:25:50 AM, wrichcirw wrote:


You make a good point, that desegregation is already an instance of government intrusion into private business.

However, if my original statement holds, that consumers from discriminated groups will boycott businesses that are perceived to be bigoted due to statements made by employees, then these businesses won't be able to control what these employees say would lead to businesses being unable to control which customers they target.

Imagine if the CEO of Coca Cola started using racial epithets repeatedly...Coke's sales would most certainly decline and Coke would be powerless to do anything about it. Would you then enact another law that forces consumers to buy products from companies perceived as bigoted to protect companies from employees that do not represent how a company would like to project its image? Where does the regulation stop?

I respectfully disagree. If the CEO made racial comments, then Coke sales should rightfully plummet because he's the CEO. And, what CEO would ever make such comments because he knew it would impact his business and his pocketbook.

But, if a low-level employee made the same racial comments, I predict the public would not take it out on Coca Cola. With the law in place, the public knows that the company had no choice but to keep the employee. That's exactly what happened when businesses started to serve minorities decades ago. Previously, businesses were afraid to serve minorities because they were afraid of the backlash but after the law was implemented, the public knew the business had no control and did not punish the business.
wrichcirw
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12/20/2014 2:24:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/20/2014 10:49:33 AM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
At 12/20/2014 10:25:50 AM, wrichcirw wrote:


You make a good point, that desegregation is already an instance of government intrusion into private business.

However, if my original statement holds, that consumers from discriminated groups will boycott businesses that are perceived to be bigoted due to statements made by employees, then these businesses won't be able to control what these employees say would lead to businesses being unable to control which customers they target.

Imagine if the CEO of Coca Cola started using racial epithets repeatedly...Coke's sales would most certainly decline and Coke would be powerless to do anything about it. Would you then enact another law that forces consumers to buy products from companies perceived as bigoted to protect companies from employees that do not represent how a company would like to project its image? Where does the regulation stop?

I respectfully disagree. If the CEO made racial comments, then Coke sales should rightfully plummet because he's the CEO. And, what CEO would ever make such comments because he knew it would impact his business and his pocketbook.

I fully agree, but you're saying that Coke should not be allowed to fire this CEO upon making such comments.

That's insult added to injury. That has a huge chance of running Coke to the ground, if not a total certainty. At least with a prompt firing, the corporation has a chance of distancing itself from such incidents and recovering in due time.

As far as what CEO would ever make such comments, sh!t happens. Remember Paula Deen? Imagine if she wasn't just running her own cooking show, but her own network of cooking shows...she would have taken down a lot of other programs that had no idea their CEO was a racist if she was in such a position and the board of directors on the network was not able to fire her.

But, if a low-level employee made the same racial comments, I predict the public would not take it out on Coca Cola. With the law in place, the public knows that the company had no choice but to keep the employee. That's exactly what happened when businesses started to serve minorities decades ago. Previously, businesses were afraid to serve minorities because they were afraid of the backlash but after the law was implemented, the public knew the business had no control and did not punish the business.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
TryingToBeOpenMinded
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12/20/2014 3:03:09 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/20/2014 2:24:40 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 12/20/2014 10:49:33 AM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
At 12/20/2014 10:25:50 AM, wrichcirw wrote:


You make a good point, that desegregation is already an instance of government intrusion into private business.

However, if my original statement holds, that consumers from discriminated groups will boycott businesses that are perceived to be bigoted due to statements made by employees, then these businesses won't be able to control what these employees say would lead to businesses being unable to control which customers they target.

Imagine if the CEO of Coca Cola started using racial epithets repeatedly...Coke's sales would most certainly decline and Coke would be powerless to do anything about it. Would you then enact another law that forces consumers to buy products from companies perceived as bigoted to protect companies from employees that do not represent how a company would like to project its image? Where does the regulation stop?

I respectfully disagree. If the CEO made racial comments, then Coke sales should rightfully plummet because he's the CEO. And, what CEO would ever make such comments because he knew it would impact his business and his pocketbook.

I fully agree, but you're saying that Coke should not be allowed to fire this CEO upon making such comments.

That's insult added to injury. That has a huge chance of running Coke to the ground, if not a total certainty. At least with a prompt firing, the corporation has a chance of distancing itself from such incidents and recovering in due time.

As far as what CEO would ever make such comments, sh!t happens. Remember Paula Deen? Imagine if she wasn't just running her own cooking show, but her own network of cooking shows...she would have taken down a lot of other programs that had no idea their CEO was a racist if she was in such a position and the board of directors on the network was not able to fire her.

But, if a low-level employee made the same racial comments, I predict the public would not take it out on Coca Cola. With the law in place, the public knows that the company had no choice but to keep the employee. That's exactly what happened when businesses started to serve minorities decades ago. Previously, businesses were afraid to serve minorities because they were afraid of the backlash but after the law was implemented, the public knew the business had no control and did not punish the business.

If Paula Deen is a different case because you are positing she owns the network. But for coca cola executive who says racial things, the public will know that coca cola had no control. It won't retaliate because the company by law can't fire the executive. It seems we disagree on this point. For example, some professors say some evil things sometimes and they are protected by tenure and stronger free speech beliefs. But you do not see people boycott the university because they know the university is powerless to stop it. They will issue a statement that they don't believe in the professors words but will staunchly defend the right to say it.
YYW
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12/20/2014 4:39:56 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/18/2014 10:09:02 AM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
In the news, I constantly read about people making the most racist or homophobic comments in public. They are defiant and then they get fired from their government of private job. I wonder if this is the right thing.

Of course it is. You have the right to think, say and believe anything you like. You do not have the right to do any of those things with impunity.

First, let me say that I understand that the Constitution only protects the free speech in public places. So, if you say something racist, a private company is legally allowed to fire you. As long as your firing isn't based upon a protected class like race, sex, family status, etc., it's ok.

The constitution protects "the marketplace of ideas," which is a fancy way Milton described freedom of thought. The implication there is that the government may not legally prosecute you for having controversial views.

Freedom of thought is sacred, but it's not so expansive that it entitles anyone to freedom from all repercussions of their speech/expression.

But, forget the legal aspect. I am wondering what's the best thing for society? Should we amend the constitution? I'm tending to believe that free speech should even be protected in the private workplace.

Absolutely not. The world you're describing empowers people to extend their rights to free speech/expression in such a way that it infringes on the rights of others.

The reason we have the balance is because we believe that all are created equally, and all have the maximum liberty available as can be consistently extended among all people. So, no one may have any more rights than any other person. The world you're describing tramples that.
Tsar of DDO
TryingToBeOpenMinded
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12/22/2014 9:48:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/20/2014 4:39:56 PM, YYW wrote:
At 12/18/2014 10:09:02 AM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
In the news, I constantly read about people making the most racist or homophobic comments in public. They are defiant and then they get fired from their government of private job. I wonder if this is the right thing.

Of course it is. You have the right to think, say and believe anything you like. You do not have the right to do any of those things with impunity.


And, this is where I disagree with you with respect to political views. I think you should be able to say what you believe in with impunity. You shouldn't be afraid to lose your job because you think Bush stinks.

First, let me say that I understand that the Constitution only protects the free speech in public places. So, if you say something racist, a private company is legally allowed to fire you. As long as your firing isn't based upon a protected class like race, sex, family status, etc., it's ok.

The constitution protects "the marketplace of ideas," which is a fancy way Milton described freedom of thought. The implication there is that the government may not legally prosecute you for having controversial views.

Freedom of thought is sacred, but it's not so expansive that it entitles anyone to freedom from all repercussions of their speech/expression.


This is obvious. Almost every right that we think we have is actually pretty limited. For example, with property rights, what we can do with the property is actually very limited. We can only build certain types of buildings (zoning laws) and only in a certain way (building codes). Most people don't know this but we aren't even allowed to bequeath a land to our successors for eternity. Similarly, with free speech, there are restrictions like we aren't allowed to shout fire in a crowded theater. Or, we aren't allowed to spread lies.

There is always a repositioning of a line to figure out what's the best for our society. In this case, I think if we reposition this line so that free speech extends to the workplace, it'll be better.

But, forget the legal aspect. I am wondering what's the best thing for society? Should we amend the constitution? I'm tending to believe that free speech should even be protected in the private workplace.

Absolutely not. The world you're describing empowers people to extend their rights to free speech/expression in such a way that it infringes on the rights of others.

The reason we have the balance is because we believe that all are created equally, and all have the maximum liberty available as can be consistently extended among all people. So, no one may have any more rights than any other person. The world you're describing tramples that.

To say it infringes on the rights of others is one way to think about it. And, that's exactly how most people thought when the Supreme Court ruled that businesses MUST serve African Americans. The court correctly realized that that mass opinion would curtail the rights of the minority. It might be your right to serve whoever you want but when everyone stops serving you, then it becomes unfair.

I'm proposing to extend this protection of the minority to free speech. It's not trampling on rights but actually protecting it.

Look at this example to illustrate how businesses are flexing their powers. The owner of a large business hated Obama and actually had his employees send out thousands and thousands of phone calls to try to sway voters. It didn't matter if the employee didn't believe it. If you spoke against it, you were fired. Now, does this sounds fair?

I think how the law is currently is, it's completely unfair. Gives businesses way too much power and influence. I'm surprised that you and others can't see that.
wrichcirw
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12/22/2014 11:27:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/22/2014 9:48:58 AM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:

Look at this example to illustrate how businesses are flexing their powers. The owner of a large business hated Obama and actually had his employees send out thousands and thousands of phone calls to try to sway voters. It didn't matter if the employee didn't believe it. If you spoke against it, you were fired. Now, does this sounds fair?

I think how the law is currently is, it's completely unfair. Gives businesses way too much power and influence. I'm surprised that you and others can't see that.

The thing is, wouldn't you want that same power if you ran your own business? You may say the unequal level of influence is unfair, but did those other businesses earn it?

You're essentially saying that a business should not be allowed to use the assets at their disposal to further its own interests, after all political interests may very easily be legitimate business interests. You may attempt to argue that an employee is a person and not an asset, in which case an employee is free to resign and find work elsewhere.

You may say that's unfair, but that's how it works in capitalism. We do not cater to the proletariat.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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12/22/2014 11:48:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/20/2014 3:03:09 PM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
At 12/20/2014 2:24:40 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

If Paula Deen is a different case because you are positing she owns the network.

No, I was making it a different case by making her CEO of a network, not owning her own network.

But for coca cola executive who says racial things, the public will know that coca cola had no control. It won't retaliate because the company by law can't fire the executive. It seems we disagree on this point. For example, some professors say some evil things sometimes and they are protected by tenure and stronger free speech beliefs. But you do not see people boycott the university because they know the university is powerless to stop it. They will issue a statement that they don't believe in the professors words but will staunchly defend the right to say it.

You're going to have to give some examples of these professors. I went to Berkeley and am accustomed to professors saying things that if they said those same things in the deep South would probably get them fired, tenured or not. But, they say those things in the bay area, and people could care less here if more conservative parts of America are deeply offended by what they have to say. It's free speech at work. Hell, Berkeley has banned the marine corps from recruiting in the city...that may offend a good number of people but not the residents of Berkeley. I'm sure Berkeley is boycotted by a lot of people all over the country.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
TryingToBeOpenMinded
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12/23/2014 7:50:44 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/22/2014 11:27:57 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

The thing is, wouldn't you want that same power if you ran your own business? You may say the unequal level of influence is unfair, but did those other businesses earn it?

You're essentially saying that a business should not be allowed to use the assets at their disposal to further its own interests, after all political interests may very easily be legitimate business interests. You may attempt to argue that an employee is a person and not an asset, in which case an employee is free to resign and find work elsewhere.

You may say that's unfair, but that's how it works in capitalism. We do not cater to the proletariat.

We agree on a lot of subjects but it seems surprising that we think so differently on this. But, that's what's great about this country, right?

You have an opinion and I have a different opinion and we can discuss it intelligently here. We have equal opportunity to express it. Free speech is great, no? Well, how is it fair if i own a business and can shout it out to everyone but i can mute your opinion merely by the virtue that you work for me? I think that goes against what makes this country so great. Power is diffused. No one person accumulates power and it's a government of the people. I think that everyone's opinion should have equal merit just like everyone has a single vote.

But, by prohibiting free speech in the work place, it goes against this idea. Historically, businesses have had such a strong sway on politics with it's strong lobbying power on Congress, power of political contributions, and the allure of high paying jobs for politicians once they leave office. It's way too strong. Why should a business have a stronger say just because it's a bigger business? How is this different that an aggregation of power by one person? Just because it's earned, it doesn't make it right. You can make the argument that kings earned the right to control everyone and pass their powers down to their heirs. But, it doesn't make it right.

I run my own small business so I know the power of employment. More so than ever in history, the labor market heavily favors the employer. There simply isn't enough jobs for labor so the employer has incredible leverage. We can dictate what the employee does and say. And, we can almost dictate how they think because free speech isn't protected in the work place. It's fascist.
wrichcirw
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12/23/2014 8:26:53 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 12/23/2014 7:50:44 AM, TryingToBeOpenMinded wrote:
At 12/22/2014 11:27:57 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

The thing is, wouldn't you want that same power if you ran your own business? You may say the unequal level of influence is unfair, but did those other businesses earn it?

You're essentially saying that a business should not be allowed to use the assets at their disposal to further its own interests, after all political interests may very easily be legitimate business interests. You may attempt to argue that an employee is a person and not an asset, in which case an employee is free to resign and find work elsewhere.

You may say that's unfair, but that's how it works in capitalism. We do not cater to the proletariat.

We agree on a lot of subjects but it seems surprising that we think so differently on this. But, that's what's great about this country, right?

You have an opinion and I have a different opinion and we can discuss it intelligently here. We have equal opportunity to express it. Free speech is great, no? Well, how is it fair if i own a business and can shout it out to everyone but i can mute your opinion merely by the virtue that you work for me?

I understand the point you're making and I don't necessarily have a differing opinion than you. You're pointing out an obvious negative, that regardless of the fact that we're a capitalist society, the vast majority of America needs to work for a living, and does not have a choice in the matter. When faced with losing a job, the longer one finds oneself in a job, the more likely that most people would pretty much do close to anything to keep it. That job tends to define you after a while. Again, I agree this is a negative...the question is whether or not it's a net negative, and I contend it is not.

After all, anyone working at a private sector job still has free speech. They can always say whatever they want to say (legal forms of speech at any rate) no matter what the employer will do in response. If the employer fires them, that's the employer's prerogative...the employer has an image to maintain. If the employee wants to continue to exercise their right to free speech, that's the employee's perogative too...they can still say whatever they were saying that got them fired. They just won't be associated with the business while doing so. There is no "muting" process involved.

Free speech simply does not equate to job entitlement, which IMHO is what your proposal boils down to.

I think that goes against what makes this country so great. Power is diffused. No one person accumulates power and it's a government of the people. I think that everyone's opinion should have equal merit just like everyone has a single vote.

IMHO what makes this country great is that you get what you put in. If you work hard, have a killer idea, put assets to use, etc, you will get a good return on your investment of time, capital, etc...it (largely) doesn't matter who you are, just do it. Of course this is not exactly true, African American slaves, women, and most minority immigrants for that matter didn't have this chance at some point or another, but overall, it was more true in America than just about anywhere in the world.

I just described a meritocracy. Any meritocratic system will see power amalgamated towards the high earners. Meritocratic systems are an anathema to power diffusal. IMHO this is also an obvious negative, but like your other point about free speech, it's not a net negative and I think it's more obvious here that the alternative (socialism => egalitarian society) would be worse.

But, by prohibiting free speech in the work place, it goes against this idea. Historically, businesses have had such a strong sway on politics with it's strong lobbying power on Congress, power of political contributions, and the allure of high paying jobs for politicians once they leave office. It's way too strong. Why should a business have a stronger say just because it's a bigger business? How is this different that an aggregation of power by one person? Just because it's earned, it doesn't make it right. You can make the argument that kings earned the right to control everyone and pass their powers down to their heirs. But, it doesn't make it right.

Well, myself I don't believe in inheritance. If there was a feasible way to do it, I would advocate for a very, very high estate tax.

I run my own small business so I know the power of employment. More so than ever in history, the labor market heavily favors the employer. There simply isn't enough jobs for labor so the employer has incredible leverage. We can dictate what the employee does and say. And, we can almost dictate how they think because free speech isn't protected in the work place. It's fascist.

Yeah I know what you're saying. I think the problem is with the social safety net (or lack thereof) rather than a problem with the employer. My experiences with most people who work for a living is that they're not savers and in that sense don't know how to plan for higher aspirations. With some minimal floor in place, these people won't be scrambling come winter.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?