The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

What the #EllenPao Verdict Actually Means About the ‘Rights’ You Don’t Have

Posted on | March 28, 2015 | 135 Comments

A California jury on Friday rejected the claim by Silicon Valley executive Ellen Pao that her rights had been violated by her former employer, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer. And this verdict is a teachable moment.

The modern concept of employee “rights” is antithetical to economic liberty. Employment in a free-market system is always a matter of voluntary cooperation for mutual benefit. You need a job. You apply to an employer. Among many applicants for the job, the employer chooses you. This is the basis of a contractual agreement: You do the work, the company pays you. It’s simple.

If you subsequently become dissatisfied with your job, you can quit and go work someplace else. If the company becomes dissatisfied with your work, they can fire you. This is also simple.

Oh, but you’ve got “rights,” you say. So if you don’t get a promotion you want, or you don’t think you’re treated fairly otherwise, you’re going to file a discrimination lawsuit.

Might as well get the word LOSER tattooed on your forehead.

Winners don’t file lawsuits. Winners don’t whine about “discrimination.” You know why? Because winners win. Even if, in the course of a lifelong career of winning, the winner suffers an occasional defeat, the winner just grins and moves on with his life. Company X doesn’t treat him right? They don’t appreciate his valuable skills? Fuck Company X.

The winner will find a job at Company Y or, perhaps, he’ll walk out and start his own company. Life’s too short to waste time working for a bunch of losers who don’t appreciate quality work.

If Ellen Pao was such a hotshot in the venture capital field, don’t you think there would have been other companies eager to hire her away from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer? It’s a very lucrative field, and if Ellen Pao was such a goddamned rising star, it stands to reason that some other firm would have jumped at the chance to hire her. So if she felt she was a victim of discrimination, all Ellen Pao would have had to do is to talk to somebody at a rival VC company, “Hey, Kleiner passed me over for promotion. You guys hiring?” Boom — they’d leap at the opportunity to have this young genius Ellen Pao on their payroll.

That’s didn’t happen, did it?

Hell, no, it didn’t happen, because Ellen Pao is a loser.

The world doesn’t owe you a living. No employer is obligated to hire you or give you a promotion. Ellen Pao’s claim that she was a victim of “gender discrimination” was just a typical loser’s way of rationalizing her own failure. And the lawyers who thought they could get rich off her case are nothing but greedy parasites exploiting “equal opportunity” nonsense. Pao and her lawyers sued for $16 million and they’re walking away without a nickel, and if they’d gotten a nickel that would have been five cents more than what they deserved. Fuck you, losers.

UPDATE: David Graham at the Atlantic:

The verdict is the culmination of a three-year case in which Pao said she’d been denied a promotion and then fired, and that she’d been retaliated against after complaining about discrimination. Her suit opened up a range of questions about the culture of tech investing and Silicon Valley more broadly. . . .
She says she was pressured into an affair with a colleague, and when she broke off the affair, was punished. She was denied a promotion and then fired.
The case she later brought was seen as an important moment for tech, long a place where men got ahead by default and women were outnumbered and often felt marginalized. . . .
Pao couldn’t convince a jury to side with her, but the case forced Silicon Valley’s widespread gender inequality out into the open, and put specific instances of harassment into the court record. As my colleague Olga Khazan wrote, the system as it stands is stacked against women.

How many ways can I say “bullshit”? Any high-stakes, highly competitive business environment is likely to be male-dominated and if women feel “marginalized” in such an environment, whose fault is that? There are nevertheless females who flourish in such environments, however much they may be disadvantaged and outnumbered. To talk about “gender inequality,” to claim that men get ahead “by default” in such environments, is a misleading waste of words. The company is competing in a market; if the company is successful — and Kleiner has been vastly successful — that success justifies its policies, and the wise employee is the one who adapts best to the company’s policies.

If you don’t like the policies at Kleiner, don’t work for Kleiner.

Also, don’t tell me you were “pressured into an affair.” That’s another typical loser rationalization. Ellen Pao rolled the dice — gambling that she could fuck her way to a promotion — and she lost that bet. Period. End of sentence.

UPDATE II: Phil McG in the comments links to a Vanity Fair profile of Pao and her husband and comments:

Meet the new Affirmative Action elite. They go to Princeton and Harvard, then earn millions of dollars. But as soon as some minor setback happens to them, it turns out that they were poor wretched victims of racist or sexist discrimination all along!

The Ivy League elite of Special Snowflakes.

UPDATE III: Here is a Business Insider profile of the major personalities involved in the Pao lawsuit. The man with whom Pao had an affair in 2006, Ajit Nazre, also allegedly hit on another woman at the firm. All in all, this story is worthy of a Tom Wolfe novel.



135 Responses to “What the #EllenPao Verdict Actually Means About the ‘Rights’ You Don’t Have”

  1. Charles Martel
    March 28th, 2015 @ 3:36 pm

    That’s women that Queen Bee & Crab Basket. Having high performing minions shows good management skills.

  2. Charles Martel
    March 28th, 2015 @ 3:38 pm

    They would prefer meritocracy but the EEOC enforces affirmative action hiring of tokens.

  3. Charles Martel
    March 28th, 2015 @ 3:39 pm

    There is not a hospital in the world where the person caught responsible for dozens of patients deaths would get a bonus like the V.A.

  4. Charles Martel
    March 28th, 2015 @ 3:41 pm

    “hire qualified women and minorities at a discount”
    I keep hearing about these but never see in real life.

  5. Charles Martel
    March 28th, 2015 @ 3:44 pm

    A more apt comparison would be the significant number of female 1st responders in the NYC area with the fact that not a single one was killed or injured on 9-11. While NYC is too PC to admit why we can see New Orleans Katrina had over 1/3 of cops abandon their posts, only to have womens organizations fighting to not have it count against them later.

  6. Charles Martel
    March 28th, 2015 @ 3:47 pm

    The only business that can work for is one that gets minority set aside contracts from the govt

  7. Charles Martel
    March 28th, 2015 @ 3:49 pm

    Perhaps he means there was actual lip-buttocks contact.

  8. Charles Martel
    March 28th, 2015 @ 3:50 pm

    Some of us have had jobs since before Clinton.

  9. useless eater
    March 28th, 2015 @ 3:55 pm

    You’re a special crowd.

  10. useless eater
    March 28th, 2015 @ 3:57 pm

    There’s no hospital i can think of either. OTOH, what you’re describing isn’t all that much different than “golden parachutes” which reward failure.

  11. useless eater
    March 28th, 2015 @ 4:00 pm

    They prefer conformity and unquestioning support for whatever are the current status quo policies of management.

  12. useless eater
    March 28th, 2015 @ 4:02 pm

    i have no idea what you’re talking about.

  13. Quartermaster
    March 28th, 2015 @ 4:33 pm

    Who knows. He’s living in some sort of fantasy world anyway.

  14. Squid Hunt
    March 28th, 2015 @ 9:16 pm

    I know. Everyone told you what a special little jewel you were. They lied.

  15. useless eater
    March 28th, 2015 @ 10:42 pm

    From looking at the comments here, it’s pretty obvious to me, who are those unaccustomed to dealing with dissent – who are those who expect to be coddled, and who are those who expect to be shown deference.

  16. theoldsargesays
    March 28th, 2015 @ 11:47 pm

    No. What we should do is get rid of trolls.

  17. useless eater
    March 29th, 2015 @ 12:22 am

    We should get rid of challenges to the popular and self serving self righteous narrative which supports the status quo. We have no counter arguments and it makes us uncomfortable.

  18. Squid Hunt
    March 29th, 2015 @ 6:16 am

    I couldn’t agree more, snowflake.

  19. robertstacymccain
    March 29th, 2015 @ 8:08 am

    Some work environments are dysfunctional. In a competitive market, there are limits to how any dysfunctional any private-sector workplace can be before the problems result in lost efficiency or qualified people leaving to work for competitors. However, there’s always the government sector and the non-profit sector. Many people spend their whole careers inside a bureaucratic “bubble” of government work or similar situations where there’s no bottom line and no competitive pressure on the organization. This is one reason Washington, D.C., is so full of foul, selfish, backstabbing scum.

    Without knowing anything about you or your work history, I can’t judge of your experience.

  20. Daniel Freeman
    March 29th, 2015 @ 9:32 am

    i have no idea what you’re talking about.

    The “queen bee” effect is the tendency to orbit a powerful individual and agree without question. The “crab basket” effect is the tendency to drag down anyone that seems to be climbing up.

    Both men and women can exhibit those effects, but anecdotal observation over time indicates that they are not equally likely.

  21. Lulu
    March 29th, 2015 @ 9:46 am

    ok I’m confused in the vanity fair article it says her husband is involved in a lawsuit with a co-op board from when he lived with his long-term boyfriend in NY

  22. Rick Caird
    March 29th, 2015 @ 10:27 am

    Could it be she had already reached her level of incompetence and that was easily recognized when she applied for similar jobs elsewhere?.

  23. Rick Caird
    March 29th, 2015 @ 10:30 am

    You must work in strange places. I have never seen competence not rewarded in favor of mediocrity. At least in engineering and technical jobs, meritocracy reigns.

  24. Daniel Freeman
    March 29th, 2015 @ 11:07 am

    The more realistic a movie is, the harder it is for me to handle scenes where the protagonist endures torment. For example, The Princess Bride is one of my favorites, but I will pass on Unbroken.

    Now that I think about it, that may be why I like the sci-fi, fantasy and superhero genres so much. The unrealism lets me disengage my empathy enough to enjoy the story.

  25. Daniel Freeman
    March 29th, 2015 @ 11:29 am

    Yes, that is what it says. Even the writer sounds confused.

    Their marriage, barely four months after they met, had surprised some friends, in large part because, for several years, Fletcher had been living with his longtime boyfriend, Hobart “Bo” Fowlkes Jr. But whatever had brought them together, they resonated as a couple.

  26. Charles Martel
    March 29th, 2015 @ 12:44 pm

    You have no idea what queen bee and crab basketing is and you claim to understand corporate life. The queen bee is the woman who breaks the “glass ceiling” and replaces it with concrete for other women so she can be special. Crab basket is a little more complicated but you should look it up if you are going to pretend to know stuff.

  27. Charles Martel
    March 29th, 2015 @ 12:45 pm

    Golden parachutes are packed the day people are hired.

  28. theoldsargesays
    March 29th, 2015 @ 1:31 pm

    “We should…”
    “Status Quo.”
    “Makes us uncomfortable.”
    What does all that jibber jabber even mean?
    It sounds like you want something or things that others have but want “us” to give to you rather than you earning it.
    It also sounds like you’ve been brainwashed by Progressive Social Science text books.

    Are you looking to have student loans forgiven and be handed a nice paying job that you’re actually unqualified for?

    Are you hoping for the government to give you a new iPhone6 with unlimited data?

    Do you just want what “you have coming to you because the world is unfair?

    Just exactly what is it that you and your comrades want?

    F@ck all man, you sound like you’re toeing the line at an Occupy protest…spit it out. Do you really even know?

    Have any thoughts or opinion of your own or are you just one of those people who only stands up when the rest of the crowd stands up?

  29. useless eater
    March 29th, 2015 @ 4:50 pm

    Somehow i missed out.

  30. useless eater
    March 29th, 2015 @ 4:51 pm

    I know what i know and what i’ve experienced. The things i don’t know i acknowledge that i don’t. That’s the reason i said so.

  31. useless eater
    March 29th, 2015 @ 4:58 pm

    I don’t know what to tell you. I have seen it.

    In one case, the guy i worked with (Frank) was an electronics whiz. But he was Mexican, and thus, the wrong color. Our boss did everything in his power to vilify Frank and make him appear incompetent. The reason? Our boss had already chosen his right-hand-man, and go-to person. — A guy who was somewhat competent, but not so competent that he would threaten our boss.

  32. useless eater
    March 29th, 2015 @ 5:04 pm

    I think qualified people leaving to work for competitors would depend on the overall job market. No? The other thing i think is — There must be a lot of noncompetitive markets.

  33. useless eater
    March 29th, 2015 @ 5:08 pm

    And some of us entered the full time job market in Nixon’s era.

  34. Daniel Freeman
    March 30th, 2015 @ 7:51 am

    Wow. Milo Yiannopoulos at Breitbart London slams the gavel on Pao. I’m impressed.

  35. Study: Lesbians in U.S. Earn 20% More Than Heterosexual Women : The Other McCain
    March 31st, 2015 @ 7:39 am

    […] forbid discrimination are either necessary or efficacious. As we have seen most recently in the Ellen Pao case, “equal opportunity” law has the effect of inciting lawsuits by disgruntled employees who cannot prove they are victims of prejudice. If we are willing to […]