Irony of “The Age Discrimination in Employment Act”

I noticed there was an “Age Discrimination in Employment Act“. I was impressed.

I then read through the document and noticed this only covers age 40 or older (and other exceptions). I was no longer impressed.

Is there something special about this number 40? What if I am 39, or younger?

Please look at what I am capable of, separate from my age. I could be 2 years older or 20 years older than my current age. Would that age difference affect my ability to do this task? Some tasks may be affected by other things which correlate to age; but is this task one of them? What new information are you taking/giving when you say “well that’s how you young people do it” and clamor against technology and change? Is what I am doing good or bad? Is it better or worse than what we have done? Would I get bonus points if I did what I am doing now, but were twice my age? Or are you discounting points from me because I happen to be in a certain age group?

When you mention age, you are just categorizing / profiling / stereotyping / discriminating. I resent that.

You might not bring up my gender or my race, since these are more discouraged in our current professed culture of non-discrimination (speaking as a citizen of the United States, 2015). But the same consideration should apply to judgments based on age, if we were actually expressing a culture of non-discrimination.

Not every change is an improvement. but every improvement is necessarily a change.

My goal is to improve things. Do not assume that I am just trying to change things for the sake of change, because of a sentiment of “that’s what kids do these days”. Let’s talk and discuss about whether what I am doing is actually improving things or not.

If I were to give the benefit of the doubt, I could say that the crafters of this Act were just trying to be funny and ironic by protecting against age-discrimination only for those of a certain age group. But this is probably not the case.

In defense of what this document is trying to accomplish, I have to mention this paragraph:

SEC. 621 [Section 2], (a), item (3):  The incidence of unemployment, especially long-term unemployment with resultant deterioration of skill, morale, and employer acceptability is, relative to the younger ages, high among older workers; their numbers are great and growing; and their employment problems grave;

This seems like a fair observation. The longer someone is out of practice of a skill, the less capable they might be at that skill. And since this is a time-based measure, people who have had more time pass since they were birthed (i.e. older) will probably have more occurrences of this than those who had less time pass since they were birthed (i.e. younger).

But why do we need to write this Act specifically for people who are 40 years old or older? It would be fine to just say “no” to age-discrimination as a whole, whether people are relatively older or younger. But then I must remember to look at the purpose of this legislative Act. Its purpose is probably not to discourage against age-discrimination as a whole, but trying to help older people obtain and retain employment. This is still a noteworthy cause, but I would characterize this more as teaching how to not lose, rather than teaching how to win, and just losing in a different way. This is an example of a document trying to change the professed culture, not trying to condition an expressed culture.

I have a dream, that one day all people will be judged not based on how many years that have passed since they were birthed, but based on their ability and desire to Win. Winning should favor no age group, skin color, gender, or other similar stereotype. Winning is the final judgement; it is the only judgment that should take place. We should let Winning be more attainable for those that practice winning ways, so that they can be better equipped to win more for those that did not win, those that cannot win, and those that will not win.

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