The puzzle of official discrimination

Pierre Lemieux in the Western Standard

“What is striking is that in probably every Western country the favoured minorities are more or less the same, and so are the ones suffering from official discrimination. There is a puzzle here. Why is it that some minorities — religious extremists, Aboriginals, established companies, homosexuals, old or sick people, environmentalists — are consistently favoured by the state, while others — redneck types, gun owners, smokers, drug users, unconventional entrepreneurs — are constantly discriminated against by laws, regulations, and subsidies?

To solve this puzzle, we have to understand the logic of the state as an institution. The state, like other social institutions, is not a random roulette that can produce any outcome, nor the blind servant of some majority defined in some way. The state does what it does because its component actors — politicians, bureaucrats, and the others who profit most from it and exert the most influence on it — find it in their own interest.”

A good read.