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.