Job: Sr. Linux Engineer (

Sasha Pachev sasha at
Mon Dec 1 16:07:57 MST 2008

I fully agree with Andy on this. A business should be able to
discriminate however it wants.

Before anybody says anything, I do know something what it feels like
to be a second class citizen. There was a time in my life when I
wished I had the rights of a black man in the 50s. Let me explain.

In the early 90s the Soviet economy was in a terrible condition. At
the same time many American businesses came in to pursue an
opportunity. They hired locals and expats. Locals were getting paid
about one tenth to do the same job. I worked for one of those
businesses. Owning the passport of the wrong color I found myself on
the wrong side of the compensation fence. One time I overheard a
conversation that I could never forget.

An American business student was interviewing for a job in Moscow. The
interviewer was trying to talk him out of applying. He said he did not
care that the pay was too low. He said he would even work for free
just to get the experience. Finally the interviewer had to break it to
him: "This job is for a Russian".

At that point, as far as I was concerned, the American
anti-discrimination ideology had revealed to me its true colors. I
realized that the movement had some kind of an agenda behind it but it
was not justice as I knew it. Perhaps an appearance of justice for the
loudest complaining group of US voters, but definitely not "liberty
and justice for all".

In the absence of any form of government or ACLU help my answer to the
discrimination was to do what I could to make anybody who tried to
discriminate against me look like an idiot. I spent hours and hours
learning English. Passable and understood was not good enough - it had
to be flawless and eloquent. I read  American magazines  and listed to
American radio trying to understand what values the American culture
had that mine did not that created a 10-fold difference in the
compensation. I found a friend with a computer and used it to learn C
thinking every time that the more fluent I was with the semi-colon
separated statements  inside the curly braces the more fit I would be
for a high paying job.

And let me tell you, it worked. The artificially created injustice
eventually self-corrected in spite of the diligent efforts of the US
government to maintain it by consistently treating non-US citizens as
second class and being extremely reluctant to give "the tired and poor
huddled masses yearning to be free" a chance to contribute to the
welfare of our country. Personal prejudice and inept government
policies like a puny hand can try to stop the powerfully gushing
stream of a free market, but they can go only that far.

If we are concerned about discrimination, instead of trying to
legislatively shallow out the waters of the free market we should let
them flow freely and focus instead on teaching people how to swim.

Sasha Pachev
AskSasha Linux Consulting

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