Friday, March 16, 2018

Collectivist Left on 'Pay Equity for Women'

The New Jersey Star-Ledger took the occasion of a failed gender pay “equity” bill to ridicule a man serving in the state senate.

In an editorial board post, N.J. senator gives rare insight into what a white man thinks about pay equity for women, the Star-Ledger wrote:
With all the attention focused on the massive protests by millions of women all over the world, let's not ignore the plight of a white man right here in New Jersey.

Just a few days after those marches for gender equality, a woman in our state Senate attempted to override Gov. Christie's veto of a bill to help bring women's pay into parity with that of men. It failed. Four Republicans who voted for it last year changed their minds, and three Democrats didn't show up. 
So Sen. Loretta Weinberg didn't have the votes to ban employers from paying women less "for substantially the same work." Her bill would have strengthened the penalties for wage discrimination and made it easier for women to recover the back pay that they are owed. Radical stuff.
Yes, it is radical—a radical departure from freedom of voluntary association, contract, and trade.

Weinberg was in the midst of comparing the pay of several demographics to that of white men when [NJ Republican State Senator Michael J.] Doherty, a white man employed as a patent attorney, felt the urge to speak. Stop picking on white men, he said. 
"It sort of hurts, it does, to be constantly told that you're the source of the problem," Doherty said. "Just because I'm a member of a certain group doesn't mean that I can be denigrated over and over again. It's got to stop at some point."

The Star-Ledger itself acknowledges that the demographic statistics are bogus. “Certainly,” the Star-Ledger writes, “there are issues worthy of debate here,” like the “exact size of the pay gap. An oft-cited 77-cent number is a bogus exaggeration.” Nonetheless, the Star-Ledger went on to ridicule Doherty about this statement:

"It sort of hurts, it does, to be constantly told that you're the source of the problem," Doherty said. "Just because I'm a member of a certain group doesn't mean that I can be denigrated over and over again. It's got to stop at some point."

I left these comments, slightly edited for clarity:

The Star-Ledger has picked the wrong villain here.

The collectivist Left forgets that human life is about actual individual human beings. It divides people by group identity, then villainizes some groups and victimizes others without any actual evidence of wrongdoing or harm related to actual individuals, other than meaningless statistics, which rank below damned lies for honesty.

And then the Star-Ledger has the gaul to ridicule a member of one of the villainized groups for reacting, based on the very standard established by the collectivist Left?

State Senator Loretta Weinberg’s so-called “pay equity for women” bill designed to impose “equal pay for equal work” not only violates the rights of employees and employers to set their own compensation agreements, it’s a ridiculous attempt to pretend that a simple law can somehow define what “substantially the same work” actually is for millions of people the legislators don’t even know anything about. As anyone who has ever done an honest days work in his life knows, there is no such thing as “equal work.” People technically doing substantially the same work can produce at vastly different rates for a variety of different reasons and thus be worth different pay scales. There can also be rational reasons for pay differences that have nothing to do with productiveness: People can have different employment goals based on life circumstances: One person may value higher pay, while another may value more work-time flexibility, for example. My daughter once negotiated more time working from home when her children were young rather than demand higher pay.

The government can’t possibly be fair in mandating one-size-fits-all pay policies. This is not to say women are always treated fairly. But you cannot morally generalize discrimination without unfairly demonizing innocent people. I think that’s what Doherty was trying to say. Statistics say nothing about specific individuals or specific individual relationships and are thus useless in correcting wrongdoing.

The only proper standard for dealing with unfair workplace treatment is individual rights, which involves specific actions of specific individuals based on actual objective facts of the case. There is nothing wrong with private citizens publicizing statistics as a tool to draw attention to specific instances of unfair discrimination. Demographic statistics on pay undoubtedly harbor some instances of irrational and wrongful discrimination. But they also cover completely innocent individuals and rationally defensible pay practices. The two should never be wrapped in the same generality, which so-called pay-equity-for-women bills invariably do. In instances of fraud or breach of contract, such as if a company fails to deliver promised compensation, the government should properly step in. Otherwise, the government has no proper business interfering in private employer-employee contracts. But Weinberg’s bill actually sanctions breach of contract by empowering women to sue for back wages for a job she voluntarily agreed to perform based on mutually agreed-upon terms, simply because she discovers that someone else is making more. Demonstrably provable pay inequities in the private sector should be dealt with through social activism and persuasion or by allowing economic competition to equitize compensation, as it invariably will.

Laws that treat human beings as robotic drones, such as Weinberg’s wildly vague bill based on statistical demographics, is what should be ridiculed. This is the same lawmaker who once proposed a bill to monitor all homeschooling parents like paroled criminals because of an isolated incident of child abuse. Doherty’s pushback is a direct reaction to the collectivist Left. I think he should be applauded but also sympathized with for being put in a position of having to say what he said. People shouldn’t have to defend themselves because of some characteristic they share with some group. Hopefully we’ll see more of this kind of pushback against the Left’s demonization/victimization tribalism. It is contrary to the principles of America, a nation based on individualism and individual rights.

Related Reading:

A “Regulation-Free Zone for Home-Schooling Families” Comes Under Attack in NJ

This ‘Women’s History Month,’ Distinguish Between Just and Unjust Equality

Economic Equality vs. Political Equality: Which is Your America?

Freedom vs. Equality: It's Either/Or

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

QUORA: 'What is the main purpose of the electoral college?'

QUORA: What is the main purpose of the electoral college?

The main purpose of the Electoral College is as part of the checks and balances put into place by the Founders to prevent the rise of tyranny by preventing the concentration of political power—that is, the power of physical coercion—in any one branch or segment of government. The Electoral College serves both as a check on the power of the federal government over the states and on the dominance of large states over the entire nation. The Founders not only feared Kings but also majoritarian tyranny. The Founders studied history. One of the things they found was that democracies historically have given rise to factionalism, which inevitably leads to dominance by the most powerful electoral factions over weaker factions, manifested through elected legislatures or demagogic leaders.

Consequently, the Founders did not create an absolute, or what I call a fundamentalist, democracy. They created a free republic in which democracy is a constitutionally limited part. This is consistent with the fundamental principle of America. Contrary to the distortions of the so-called Progressives, the fundamental principle of America is the primacy of liberty based on individual rights, not the primacy of majoritarian democracy. (The term “democracy,” in fact, appears nowhere in the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution. That’s no accident.)

For more, see my comments here, here, here, and here.

Related Reading:

Voting Rights are Not the ‘Most Fundamental Right’—or Even a Fundamental Right

Monday, March 12, 2018

Still Peddling the “97%” Myth

Shortly after Trump took office, an op-ed appeared in the NJ Star-Ledger offering Advice for Trump from N.J.'s former EPA chief: Phone a scientist. The op-ed equated Trump’s intention to roll back Obama’s so-called “Clean Power Plan”—which is really a war on reliable energy more drastic than Germany's failed energy poverty scheme—with the rollback of “environmental policies that keep our air and water safe.”

Obamacare isn't the only major health reform on the chopping block under President Donald Trump. So are the environmental policies that keep our air and water safe.

The Clean Power Plan to limit the smog and soot flowing into New Jersey from other states, the Paris climate pact to help contain global warming, the hard-fought settlement with polluting companies to clean up the Passaic River -- all could become casualties of Trump.

The equation of policies to reduce harmless greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide in order to “contain global warming” with actual pollution that is harmful to human life is a common trick of environmentalists.

But the goal of Obama’s Clean Power Plan is to drastically roll back co2 emissions by restricting and ultimately outlawing fossil fuels, not contain pollution. The purpose of embedding global warming into a paragraph about pollution is to sneak in the real motive of the anti-reliable energy crowd by equating them. They do not equate.

Environmentalists claim to have science on their side. But if so, why the deceitfulness? Perhaps because the science doesn’t support them. So, they deceitfully distort the science, as well. In a section asking former Obama Northeast EPA administrator Judith Enck if she has “Any advice for the Trump administration?,” she answered

I think the best thing is for them to get briefed by scientists. If they objectively listen to the science, they will understand how serious a threat climate change is.

I often cite a peer-reviewed scientific paper in which the author surveyed about 13,000 scientists, and asked them, “Do you believe that climate change is real and is primarily caused by human activities, such as burning fossil fuels and burning forests?”

Ninety-seven percent of the scientists said yes. What we need the Trump administration to do is listen to the science. The leadership, including the president himself, should randomly call up any credible scientist and have a conversation about climate change.

My emphasis. I left these comments:

Notice the bait and switch under the question “Any advice for the Trump administration?” [Former EPA Regional Administrator Judith] Enck first asserts that “science” will tell you “how serious a threat climate change is” if we will only “listen” to them.

But the actual question that 97% of scientists supposedly agree on says nothing about any threat, serious or not, posed by climate change. The question she cites asks, ““Do you believe that climate change is real and is primarily caused by human activities, such as burning fossil fuels and burning forests?” The “97%” merely agrees that climate change is real and that human activity is a factor.

Climate change is real and humans are partly responsible? Even if "primarily" responsible—i.e., more than 50% responsible—so what? It doesn't say they agree there is a threat of catastrophe. It doesn’t say they agree that fossil fuels and other life-giving activities should be curtailed or eliminated. The question implies no moral evaluation at all. So why do environmentalists and their political allies keep regurgitating the 97% statistic? Because they want to establish the "big lie" that climate change in and of itself is bad if caused by human activity. They are anti-human race.

Environmentalists believe that human-caused environmental change—not negative change, but change as such—is bad and thus human impact must be curtailed at all costs. But non-impact is an anti-human flourishing standard, and we should reject it. Humans survive and thrive by changing the Earth from a danger-filled environment to a place hospitable to human life and flourishing. Life is better with climate change and fossil fuels than without either. Humans don’t need a stable climate. We need plentiful reliable energy and the freedom to produce it, in order to drive all of the industries that improve our lives. Climate change is not the threat. The Environmentalists’ war on energy and industrial development is the real threat.

I’m surprised that anyone still peddles the “97% of scientists agree” myth. That statistic has been debunked as meaningless ad nauseam. The truth is that, on proper analysis, only about 2-4% actually agree that catastrophic climate change is imminent and humans are the primary cause. Catastrophic climate change is pure speculation. What is scientifically demonstrated is that climate change is mild and is partly natural and partly human-caused, and has not led to more dangerous weather extremes despite decades of increasingly hysterical and failed predictions of disaster.

But even if global warming causes weather extremes to become a little more extreme, so what? The fundamental issue is not whether or not we should clean up actual pollution whose harm to humans is greater than the benefits. The fundamental issue is human non-impact on nature versus human well-being. The truth is life keeps getting better and safer for more and more people as fossil fuel energy usage increases. Someday, viable replacements for fossil fuels will become technologically and economically feasible, provided the energy free market that enables energy entrepreneurs to flourish is not totally crushed. That would not make environmentalists happy, but it would be great for humanity. In any event, rolling back reliable, industrial-scale energy production would cause a real catastrophe—for human life.

Trump should pay attention to the big picture, rather than be swayed by scientists who simply claim that “climate change is real and is primarily caused by human activities” and blindly accept that that is a bad thing.

Related Reading:

Unreliable Energy, Not ‘Dirty’ Energy, Threatens New Jersey

World’s CEOs are Right to Demote Climate Concerns, Worry About “Over-Regulation”

Obama's War on Energy Producers and Consumers by Ari Armstrong

King Obama's Carbon Emission Mandate

Saturday, March 10, 2018

“Not-so-Sane” Environmentalists are Perfectly Sane--and Anti-Humanist

A bill just proposed in New Jersey would mandate that the entire state be 100% “renewable” energy for electricity generation by 2035, less than 17 years from now. NJ Star-Ledger columnist Paul Mulshine shreds the idea in his column New Jersey fossil-fuel free by 2035? Climate-change alarmists are environmentally ill.

Mulshine’s practical argument is irrefutable. But I think his reading of the two sides is off base.

“There are sane environmentalists,” he writes. “And then there are environmentalists who have lost all touch with reality,” which describes as “the not-so-sane crowd.” “Senate President Steve Sweeney [D] is among the sane ones,” Mulshine observes, because he favors nuclear power and natural gas (which is replacing coal for electricity generation) and opposes the bill.

As for the crazy ones, the Statehouse was packed with them last week.

At a rally on the Statehouse steps the sponsors of a bill to end all fossil-fuel use by 2035 stood behind a banner that read: "New Jersey - 100 percent renewables now."

Now? That's impossible. At the moment the state gets a mere 3 percent of its electricity from renewables. The banner was an overstatement.

The actual bill isn't much more realistic, however. It calls for the state to get all its electricity from renewables by a mere 17 years from now.

That's a fantasy for a few reasons. One is that 39 percent of our electricity comes from nuclear power. Even though nukes are carbon-free, they're not considered "renewable" under the bill's definition.

Another reason is that New Jersey is part of the PJM grid, a transmission network that began with Pennsylvania, Jersey and Maryland - hence the initials - but now links 13 states and the District of Columbia. We can't stop electrons at the state line and ask them how they were generated.

Mulshine also observes that the cost of electricity would skyrocket under this initiative.

I left these comments:

I agree wholeheartedly but I view the divide differently.
I would divide the two environmental camps not as “sane” vs. “not-so-sane,” but between environmentalism (lower case “e”) vs. Environmentalism (upper case “E”). The “environmentalists” value prosperity and human flourishing with cleaner industrialization, with the emphasis on the human over the natural environment. The “Environmentalists”--that is, professional ideological Environmentalism--value nature with minimal (ideally no) human impact and thus no industrialization (or as close to no industrialization as possible), caring little for human well-being.
Since human beings survive and thrive through technology and industrial development specifically designed to transform the natural environment for human benefit, the Environmentalists are, on principle, anti-human. They’d be just fine reducing human life to the level of wild animals living “in harmony” with nature.
Sweeney is correct about the intermittency (read unreliable) problem. Barring unforeseen, major technological breakthroughs which can make solar and wind cheaper and as reliable as fossil and nuclear (in which case you wouldn’t need a law because people would voluntarily switch), “renewables” make no sense--unless viewed from the Environmentalist standard. Why else would the Environmentalists favor only the fantasy of “100% renewable energy?” Why else would they oppose fracked natural gas, which releases less greenhouse gases; or nuclear, which produces no greenhouse gases? Why support only unreliables? Can they be that stupid? Can they be that lacking in common sense? No. It’s because they know “renewables” as they define it can’t possibly support an industrially flourishing economy, no matter how many subsidies they throw at it.

Ideological Environmentalists won’t fully get their way. But they can make life a lot harder in NJ through vastly higher electricity bills, regularly imposed life-disrupting blackouts and brownouts, and economic decline. Judged from the standard of human flourishing as a value, the “not-so-sane” environmentalists do look crazy. But viewed from the Environmentalists’ naturalist standard, they are perfectly sane-- and the “renewable now” law makes perfect sense. Environmentalists love it because it would slow down and/or block life-serving industrial progress and economic growth--and thus human impact on the environment. And of course statists love it because it will give the state, and thus politicians, more power over our lives. The big losers of the “renewables now” fantasy will be individual liberty and prosperity.


Related Reading:

New Jersey Conservation Foundation vs. Our Life-Enhancing Energy Needs

NJ Climate Witch Doctors Prepare to Assault NJ Residents’ Energy

The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-first Century—Ronald Bailey

The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels Hardcover—Alex Epstein

Related Viewing:

(Mulshine concluded his column with this short clip.)

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The NJCF’s Rant Against Human Energy Needs

In an editorial that served as the negative side of a New Jersey Star-Ledger “pro-con” debate on the proposed PennEast natural gas pipeline that will cut across Western areas of the state, the New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s Tom Gilbert presented the argument against allowing the pipeline to be built.

But the editorial is more a rant than an argument. Gilbert issues the usual warning of environmental catastrophe, despite the fact that millions of miles of existing pipelines already deliver life-enhancing energy to Americans, including in New Jersey. This includes the Transco/Williams Pipeline that crosses the same Delaware River as the PennEast will, and that passes through my township of Readington, and which I cross right over on my daily walks. Transco includes a brand new pipeline recently constructed. No catastrophe.

Facts don’t stop Gilbert from offering vague warnings. “PennEast proposes a serious risk to drinking water supplies from heightened arsenic levels, and threatens critical wildlife habitats and thousands of acres of preserved open space and farmland,” he writes—ignoring the fact that plentiful reliable energy from the likes of fossil fuel pipelines are required to deliver the drinking water; ignoring the fact that wildlife thrives around existing pipelines; ignoring the fact that pipelines are underground, leaving the land just as preservable and that without fossil fuels to power modern farm equipment, there would be no farms to preserve.

Gilbert's sloppy rationalization comes to a head with the favorite environmentalists’ claim that the pipeline “isn’t needed”, which contradicts Gilbert’s later claims that the motive behind the proposed pipeline “is driven by utility company profits.” Gilbert doesn't explain how companies are to earn profits by not selling natural gas to consumers who don’t need it. By its own rhetoric, the argument from need makes no sense whatsoever.

Gilbert does have one valid argument: The pipeline builders’ approval of the pipeline is accompanied by the power of eminent domain, which can be used against landowners should voluntary agreements not be possible.* But where is the Conservation Foundation when it comes to seizing taxpayers’ monetary property to buy the development rights for the purpose of creating the preserved open space and farmland? Defending taxpayers? No, defending open space. Where was the NJCF when Solberg Airport in Readington was spending $millions fighting the township’s years-long attempt to seize it through eminent domain? The Conservation Foundation’s new-found concern for private property rights rings hollow, indeed. **

Gilbert’s arguments fall flat. But the main thrust of the article revolves around pushing the state government bureaucrats to stop the project.

It would be a big mistake for PennEast to think the conditional approval it received from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) means their pipeline will be built, said New Jersey Conservation Foundation (NJ Conservation) and other opponents of the dangerous and costly project today.

"It's just the beginning. New Jersey doesn't need or want this damaging pipeline, and has the power to stop it when it faces a more stringent state review," said Tom Gilbert, campaign director, New Jersey Conservation Foundation (NJ Conservation).

The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a decision by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) to deny a key water permit for the proposed Constitution gas pipeline that had been approved by FERC, effectively halting its construction. Very recently, FERC itself confirmed the State's right to make such a determination by refusing to allow Constitution pipeline to proceed given the state's denial.

Those are the first three paragraphs. It’s all about “the power to stop it”. And that really gets to the heart of the motive of people lake Gilbert and organizations like the New Jersey Conservation Foundation. “Conservation”—of what? Of nature. From what? Of man’s building of industrial projects. Don’t be fooled by quack statements like “commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and move New Jersey to 100 percent clean energy,” which appears near the end of Gilbert’s Star-Ledger print version of the article. As it stands now, so-called “clean energy”, usually solar and wind, provides only a tiny fraction of our energy, and for good reason: It is unreliable and cannot satisfy the massive energy needs of our industrial progress.

And that’s the point. Environmentalists’ like the NJCF seek to conserve nature from human industrial development—meaning, they don’t care about human well-being. Reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) reduces greenhouse gas emissions because it is replacing coal through price competition. Nuclear and hydroelectric release no greenhouse gases. Yet, environmentalists oppose them all. If they were primarily concerned about the climate from a human life perspective, they would embrace all three. But of course, Environmentalists don’t oppose climate change. They oppose only human activity that contributes to, or may contribute to, climate change.

Thank God for profit-seeking energy companies like the PennEast company. Environmentalists love to oppose new pipelines on the ground that they are “not needed?” But if not for the existing network of pipelines, our lives would be miserable, or non-existent. And if not for the farsighted willingness of today’s energy builders to invest in new infrastructure to meet future energy needs, we won’t have the plentiful, affordable, reliable energy that we so much take for granted today. There are “serious risks” and “threats” in every human life-advancing project. But those can be ameliorated. The benefits far outweigh the risks—that is, if human well-being is the standard. The anti-pipeline activists who use so much energy (both literally and figuratively) trying to stop this pipeline, and their passive supporters, should keep that in mind.


* That governmental pipeline approvals are accompanied by grants of eminent domain power to the builders complicates matters for those of us who defend fossil fuel pipelines against the anti-pipeline jihadists. But this is not an argument against pipelines. It is an argument against eminent domain. See my link below.

** Having gotten approval from FERC, PennEast has begun filing eminent domain notices, according to Jon Hurdle for NJ Spotlight. NJCF purports to defend the property rights of people like Jacqueline Evans, whose 6.5 acre Organic-certified farm is threatened. But would the Environmentalist organization be defending her if an “endangered species” was discovered on her property?

Related Reading:

PennEast Pipeline Objections Don’t Add Up

Eminent Domain: The Dark Side of Pipelines

The ‘Jihad on Pipelines,’ New Jersey Front

PennEast Pipeline Objections Don’t Add Up

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Gorsuch, Legal Abortion, and ‘Access’

The Left’s great fear is that if conservatives get their way in the courts, women will lose their right to reproductive freedom.

But, as usual, the Left has no clue what rights are. Here is an excerpt from a U.S. News article titled Gorsuch Is Not an Abortion Crusader, AP Review Finds:

The review of Gorsuch's record reveals he has taken positions against assisted suicide and in favor of "religious exemption" laws that allow employers who object to escape paying for contraception — issues that both sides of the abortion debate have seized on to parse his judicial history. 
Abortion rights groups immediately criticized the nomination, saying Gorsuch represents a threat to women's reproductive rights and to the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion nationwide in 1973. 
"With a clear track record of supporting an agenda that undermines abortion access and endangers women, there is no doubt that Gorsuch is a direct threat to Roe v. Wade and the promise it holds for women's equality," NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said in a statement.
There is a huge difference between a right to have an abortion or buy birth control, and a “right” to access those services by forcing others to unwillingly pay for the services. Reproductive freedom advocates would have a much stronger argument if they recognized the right of employers not to provide abortion or contraceptive coverage as part of their health insurance plan because of moral objections. Refusing to pay for a woman’s abortion does not violate the woman’s right to an abortion. The same goes for contraception. In both cases, the woman employee is still free to access the services at her own expense.

You can’t guarantee an individual right by violating other rights. ObamaCare’s contraception mandate (along with all other health insurance mandates) attempt to do just that. That is why the issue is so politically contentious. We must learn that a right guarantees the freedom to pursue, not a guarantee of access at others’ expense.

Related Reading:

On ‘Access’ to Pre-K Education

Rights vs. Privileges

Constitutional Distortions: Free Speech vs. Freedom of Speech

Defending Reproductive Rights Depends Upon Upholding All Rights

Right to Abortion vs. the "Right" to Abortion Service

Sunday, March 4, 2018

QUORA: Why is it so hard to understand the concept of the electoral college?

Quora: Why is it so hard to understand the concept of the electoral college, yet can understand the rules of winning the world series?

I think the questioner is referring to the fact that the winner of the World Series is determined by how many individual games are won, not on how many total runs are scored—which, translated to the winner of the presidential election, means how many states are won, not how many total popular votes the candidates received.

Here is my answer:

I don’t think it’s a matter of understanding. I think it’s a matter of political philosophy.

America was Founded as a constitutional republic based on the primacy of liberty. The Founders worked on [from] the principle that individual rights are derived from man’s nature and precede government. They believed democracy has a role as a tool by which free people manage the government they create, but that the government itself is limited to protecting individual rights, which they considered inalienable. They considered the right to vote as subordinate to our inalienable rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. Hence, the Electoral College was instituted as part of the checks and balances needed to prevent the concentration of political power, including the influence of powerful electoral factions.

By and large, the opponents of the Electoral College consider America to be a democracy based on the primacy of majoritarian rule. The democracy fundamentalists believe rights are essentially privileges bestowed by government, to be granted or withdrawn by officials beholden to electoral majorities or factions. They see the right to vote as the one primary right, to which we are all subordinated according to the will of the most powerful electoral factions. Consequently, they see simple majority rule as absolute regardless of whether it disenfranchises smaller states or thinner population centers in favor of electorally powerful regions.

These two concepts are antithetical. But I believe that this philosophical divide—liberty vs. statism—lies as the heart of the debate over the Electoral College.

Related Reading:

The Electoral College System Required Trump to Win the Popular Vote—30 Times

Wouldn't going by Popular Vote be an even worse system than the Electoral College?

Voting Rights are Not the ‘Most Fundamental Right’—or Even a Fundamental Right

Is the Electoral College Un-Democratic? You Bet. Unfair? Nope.