Let People Discriminate – It's a Good Thing

Image courtesy of seattlepi.com

Image courtesy of seattlepi.com

I came across a ruling that a Colorado judge ruled that a cake-maker was required to serve gay couples. Strangely enough, I’m bothered by this ruling. I believe strongly in a company’s ability to refuse service to anyone they please. It doesn’t matter if it’s discrimination.

It’s Hobby Lobby all over again. What it boils down to is that those companies that discriminate against abortion, gay marriage, whatever, are going to lose business in some places, and gain business in others.

I don’t believe it is the state’s place to punish companies for making decisions that don’t have direct victims. I suppose you could argue that the gay couple in question were victimized by the cake-maker, or that women who aren’t provided birth control by Hobby Lobby are victims, but they aren’t. Any person has the choice of where to put their business or where to work.

If you don’t like the practices of a business, help them lose money by not giving them your money. I am appalled at the very thought that a person would buy a cake from someone who may do a poor job of it on purpose. I would never hire someone to do something for me if they have a problem with who I am. I wouldn’t want to take the risk of sabotage.

At the end of the day, the government shouldn’t be telling people how to run their businesses, nor should they help them do so. If a company makes poor decisions, they will die out. Don’t put your mouth where your heart is. Rather, put your money where your heart is. If you don’t like Hobby Lobby’s policy of refusing birth control to its employees, don’t shop there. If your cake decorator wants to refuse you service because of who you are, then don’t fucking force them to make a cake that tastes bad.

Remember: Invest locally, and you can choose which companies make it in your town. Use word of mouth to damage or boost the companies you have strong feelings about. End of rant.

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  1. Tina

    Any person has the choice of where to put their business or where to work.

    I completely agree with you on this. If a place refuses to serve someone because they are gay then there is another place that will step up and gladly take that persons business. There is no point in taking them to court over it.

  2. I see your point but also see where there is a place for the government to step in. If the government did not step you can bet there would be places that still refused to serve blacks. If the government does not step in the Walmart’s and McDonald’s of the country will continue to have their labor force subsidized by the government.

    An unfettered “free” market does not work. There are times you need to force companies to treat people equally and fairly.

    • I see your point, but have to clarify. The government shouldn’t be able to tell you who you can’t serve. I don’t care if a store won’t serve me because my hair is brown, I just wouldn’t give them my business, and then I’d make sure all my friends knew about it. Also, I believe that the government should leave minimum wage alone. Employees can find new jobs if their current job isn’t paying. It’s the same thing.

      • Tina

        The government can’t even run itself properly so I don’t think they should be telling anyone else how to run a business at this time.

      • On the first point: What about in communities where there is massive prejudice against blacks or Muslims or people of Middle East ethnicity? Should they be forced to move because people in the community refuse to serve them?

        On the second point: The working poor are going to be paid either by their employers or the government. I would prefer to have it be their employers. As it is now Walmart and McDonald’s do not have to pay for their own labor force and instead pay them the least they can (or close to it) and then instruct them how to get the rest of their pay from government sources. I find that to be grossly wrong. Why should the government be subsidizing these massively wealthy corporations to such an extent? I think they should have to pay their own labor force.

        Even worse than that, not only do these companies have the government subsidizing their “grunt” labor force, but they get to deduct the cost of performance-based executive pay from their tax bills, so they get just with that direct subsidies. In 2012 this meant more than 11 million in tax breaks to McDonald’s alone (and over 17 million to KFC/Pizza Hut/Taco Bell – all one company).

  3. Pati Cook

    I find one problem with the statement that “Any person has the choice of …… where to work.”
    There are often times and places where you take a job, regardless of where, or what, it is just to be able to work. There are not always enough jobs to be picky about it. I’ve been there.
    However, I agree that businesses should have the right to refuse to do business with individuals. But not that they should be able to discriminate against whole classes of people. There is a big difference there.
    IF a business wants to be exclusive in any way it should not be “open to the public”. If said business had just come up with a different reason to not do business with *this, one, specific* customer all would be good. But a business that says, in any way, that they will not do business with a particular group/class of people needs to be cautioned.

    • I agree that the business in question should be cautioned, but I believe strongly that individual communities should make their will known by placing their business appropriately. I do understand that it’s possible to be stuck with a job that may discriminate if there are no laws granting protection, but I know for a fact that I’ve not gotten jobs because I’m gay. I encourage my loved ones to not frequent those places.

      • The challenge comes from economics. I am grossly offended by Walmart’s policies and their refusal to pay their workers, their working to get their labor subsidized by the government, their efforts to prevent worker unionization, etc. But I cannot afford to not shop there – so I do. There are times when boycotts and other social pressure work and I am very much for that – but I do not believe that is enough. Look at the country at the start of the industrial revolution before laws prevented many of the abuses that happened then – things were much worse. We still have a long way to go. But people will continue to buy companies that treat people as poorly as Tyson and Monsanto and many more until or unless there are government regulations to end the actions practiced by these corporations.

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