James Leroy Wilson's blog

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Orwellian Equal Rights Division

A musician is denied gigs because he's just 8 years old and the State's "Equal Rights Division" enforces age discrimination laws.

Isn't this interesting:
When Tallan's father read him the state's letter saying he couldn't play clubs anymore (he can still play festivals), the boy's response — like his music — seemed beyond his years.

"He goes, 'It's not how many times you get knocked down but it's how many times you get back up and go forward,' Carl Latz said his son told him. "And I told him that's exactly what this is all about and if nothing else this letter just taught you a life lesson."

The lesson can be stiff: Each day he performs, the employer can be fined $25 to $1,000 and the parent from $10 to $250.

Jennifer Ortiz of the state Equal Rights Division said her agency has a responsibility to enforce the law once it becomes aware of a violation.

What "life lessons" can the boy learn from this episode?

That inferior musicians can always complain to the State if a more talented child is "stealing" gigs from them?

That in the land of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" the State can systematically deny someone liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

That in "the land of opportunity," the State has the power to deny opportunity?

That all humans are created equal, but some humans (adults) are more equal than others?

I suppose these are good lessons to learn at an early age.

I do not understand why children who want to work should be denied the opportunity, whether it's a child prodigy on the guitar, or an average kid who's willing to stuff envelopes and do other work "so easy a child can do it."

For if a child can do the simpler tasks, and wants to do them, isn't it a drag on productivity to prevent the child from doing the work and require an adult, who is capable of doing more advanced work, to do it instead?

Indeed, a child would get a better education if learning new skills and acquiring more knowledge was directly and immediately attached to being able to do more advanced work at higher pay. I know a man who exhibited no interest in the natural sciences when he was young, when the only "reward" for knowing anything was a silly letter grade. He's now a drug rep: he became interested in the science, and learned the science, because doing so would benefit him financially. This is why people, who fell asleep in math and statistics classes, do learn and apply math before entering the casino.

In any case, if the State really did exist to protect our natural rights, they would let the kid play. But it becomes increasingly clear that, in both the reality and the theory, the State never existed to protect anyone's rights, but to violate the rights of some to benefit others.


  1. It seems to me that this is a case of a well intentioned law misapplied. No one wants to go back to the exploitation of children in unsafe, coerced, 16 hour a day work environments. No one wants children forced to work dead end jobs for someone else's benefit. But that is obviously not what this situation is about.

  2. I wouldn't say noone.

    I might have had a kid or two if I could figure out a way to make it pay.

  3. This also is discrimination against the poor. Another life lesson: If his appearances take in significantly higher than $1250, he can perform every night and still cover the fines. Rich people have been known to gladly accept daily parking tickets because their gain by parking "illegally" far outweighs the fines. It's an economic advantage for them.