Free Markets, Free People

Stray Voltage

The boys at This Ain’t Hell ask:

Here’s my conundrum: if it is immoral, even criminal or civilly liable for these mom-and-pop Christian businesses to deny services based on their fundamental beliefs, why is it not also immoral or legally actionable for large corporations to refuse their services to the citizens of those states where those who govern choose to pass legislation to protect the religious freedoms of their citizenry?

If I’m a huge professional football fan living in Atlanta and the NFL people remove my city from contention for a near-future Super Bowl because they feel my state is discriminating against the transgendered, am I not the victim of discriminatory business practices on the part of the NFL? What about those organizations and corporations that cancel annual conferences and business meetings because of the actions of my state legislature? Aren’t these big corporations refusing to do business with my state simply because they consider our practices immoral, just as those bakeries, florists, and photographers see gays as immoral? Other than scale, I see little difference.

Okay all you smart readers: Tell me where I’m wrong.

I fall on the “scale” side of things.  If Bruce Springsteen is open for business in all 50 states and had a contract in NC, why isn’t he considered to be as liable for damages as the cake bakers who refused to cater a gay wedding?  That is if we’re talking “truly held and deep moral beliefs” and all.

The same sort of questions are asked here.

NoKo’s missile firing failure prompts a Chinese barb and a little “truth to power”, not that NoKo is likely to listen:

“The firing of a mid-range ballistic missile on Friday by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), though failed, marks the latest in a string of saber-rattling that, if unchecked, will lead the country to nowhere,” China’s official Xinhua news agency said in an English language commentary.

“…Nuclear weapons will not make Pyongyang safer. On the contrary, its costly military endeavors will keep on suffocating its economy.”

However, as long as the Chinese continue to subsidize the foolishness, it’ll continue.  That said, there are more and more indications that China is becoming fed up with the North Korean regime.

You had to know this would happen in California, which just raised the minimum wage to $15.  Unions who helped push for passage?  Uh, they want an exemption.  But for an explicit reason from their crony, state government:

As it turns out, this practice is not uncommon. The WSJ reported last year that at least six municipalities have created special minimum wage carveouts for unions. The logic is straightforward: Kill non-unionized jobs, add more workers to the union rolls, and extract higher fees for union bosses. It’s not a minimum wage hike the labor movement is after, exactly: It’s a penalty on non-union employers, and a payout for modern-day Jimmy Hoffas. Expect unions in California and New York, which recently enacted statewide $15 minimums, to start lobbying legislators for their own sweetheart deals in the near future.

Of course, one can be charitable and note that these measures are backed, in many cases, by well-meaning people trying desperately to keep private sector unions viable in an age of globalization and rapid technological change. But that is no excuse for the kind of craven crony capitalism that’s now underway. If union leaders are going to ask for exemptions to their own laws, the least they can do is drop the pretense that a $15 minimum is a human right, and instead admit that they are in it—at least in part—to increase their own wealth and political power. But then, that would pour cold water on what they have managed to pitch to voters as a righteous moral crusade.

It’s business.  And in California, as it pertains to unions, protecting them is business as usual for government.

I am and always have been a huge opponent of civil forfeiture.  It should be unconstitutional as it certainly abridges the right to due process.  Except, now, in Florida it seems:

Some great news in asset forfeiture reform is coming out of Florida. S.B. 1044, approved by the legislature earlier in the month, was signed into law today by Gov. Rick Scott.

The big deal with this particular reform is that, in most cases, Florida police will actually have to arrest and charge a person with a crime before attempting to seize and keep their money and property under the state’s asset forfeiture laws. One of the major ways asset forfeiture gets abused is that it is frequently a “civil”, not criminal, process where police and prosecutors are able to take property without even charging somebody with a crime, let alone convicting them. This is how police are, for example, able to snatch cash from cars they’ve pulled over and claim they suspect the money was going to be used for drug trafficking without actually finding any drugs.

That’s a great first step.  Now we need the same sort of laws in the rest of the US.  Civil forfeiture is an abuse of power and, frankly, illegal and immoral (but the drug warriors will tell you it is essential to stopping drugs … something they’ve been so successful in accomplishing).  It needs to stop.  Kudos to Florida for doing something about it.

Have a great weekend!

~McQ

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3 Responses to Stray Voltage

  • Why is it different? Because celebrities are special! Still hilarious to see all the moral preening by artists and CEO who happily do business with (or work for companies that do business with) some of the anti-gay regimes in the Middle East.

    As for Fat Fuk…..I mean Kim, a prediction: he’s gonna have an unfortunate accident soon. For China to say those things in public….he should be scared. I’d lay odds they sabotaged his rocket too. China has always tried to ride the NoKo tiger- use it as a stalking horse against the US/West but the price is having a nuke state on your border run by an unstable madman, liable to flood you with millions of refugees in his regime falls. I wonder if they’re starting to decide it’s not worth it. That’s when fatso gets his and joins his daddy and grandpa in a well deserved hell

    • People will always says that if Kim’s regime were to fail that half of NoKo would stream into the South.
      What they don’t tell you is that the other half would go into China. The per cap income of Chinese may be low, but to those in NoKo … it is paradise.
      The Chinese don’t want any of the 25 million in NoKo, even half of them.

  • If Bruce Springsteen is open for business in all 50 states and had a contract in NC, why isn’t he considered to be as liable for damages as the cake bakers who refused to cater a gay wedding?

    … and the bakers didn’t even sign a contract .. they got hit on “public accommodation” requirements.