Essay:Banning the box

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Libertarians should oppose the "Ban the Box" movement. There was another law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, that was intended to force a bunch of accommodations down employers' throats. What has that done for the employment rates of disabled people? See for yourself.[1]

In light of that experience, what should we expect that "Ban the Box" will do for people with criminal records? Virginia CURE says, "Businesses are missing out on qualified applicants because they are making assumptions about ex-offenders before interviewing them."[2] Very well then, let the market punish them, as it would have punished those who discriminated against disabled people without a good reason!

The whole point of giving people a publicly-available criminal record is so that employers can discriminate against him. If, say, cocaine possession should not be a reason to discriminate, then legalize cocaine and expunge the records of those convicted for it, and you won't have to worry about it. There's a libertarian way, and an anti-libertarian way, to deal with this problem.