chapter  4
22 Pages

Rational Discrimination

This chapter explores the kinds of choices that individuals and their agents routinely make that are informed by statistical techniques. These techniques facilitate the identification, classification and comparative assessment of analytically generated groups in terms of their expected value or risk. Despite the fact that some forms of rational discrimination are designed achieve admirable, the chapter reviews that the social consequences that usually flow from such choices are so socially destructive that we should act to limit their use in the future. It examines the reasons for being concerned about the use of discriminatory techniques, especially those that rely on the statistical analysis of data. The chapter recognizes the status of air, water, and other forms of environmental pollution as externalities associated with the use of internal combustion engines and fossil fuels. It also understands the logic behind public policies that seek to 'internalize' the social costs of this pollution by implementing taxes on both producers and consumers.