Earlier today Capitalist Pig portfolio manager and media personality Jonathan Hoenig took to twitter with the following:
While I’m no fan of discrimination or the false claims thereof (more on this in a moment) I cannot agree more with Hoenig. Though I cannot speak for Mr Hoenig this makes neither he or myself racist. In fact I’m pretty sure Mr Hoenig services customers of all colors and creeds as do I. What it does make us is two of the few who recognize that to protect liberty of all, we must protect liberty of those who will sometimes act on those views in ways we might personally disagree with. It’s not that discrimination is necessarily right or justifiable. It’s that the empowerment of government to prevent marketplace discrimination (not connected to direct survival) inevitably results in stripping someone of their personal liberties, and we are all “someone.” This empowerment of the agents of force to prevent actual (and now perceived) discrimination sounds good to the weak minded, but in reality it empowers those who feign lamentations of “discrimination” in order to enact control over the free will of those whose views they find offensive, thus turning government into a tool of discrimination against the free exercise of liberty itself.
Now let me clarify, there are in my opinion a few critical limitations, or better said “clarifications,” to this view. Our right to personal liberty ends when the act of engaging in our personal liberty brings actual harm to others. While I do not agree with how our federal government addressed the civil rights movement, there is no doubt in my mind that certain protections had to be provided to America’s blacks, at least in certain areas, so as to allow the simple right to life itself and liberty. In other words, the personal liberty of racists (whites in our example) to be racist is sacrosanct under our Constitution so long as the practice of their racism does not extend to the safety or basic survival of others (blacks in this case), through denying or impeding access to public safety services, hospitals, food, public schools, and other govt subsidized services (a discussion for another day). Beyond that the best solution should have been to allow market forces to eventually bring repercussion on racists who used their businesses to generally inconvenience blacks.
The consequence of empowering government to use strong arm tactics to “right a wrong” is now being seen in the metastasized cancer of “gay rights” intimidation tactics by what has been dubbed “Gaystapo” activists and their mindless lackies in the media, and elsewhere. The refusal to provide a non critical service for religious reasons has now conveniently been painted as racist by the Gaystapo because of the observations of “successful” past misuse of government force during the civil rights era. But where has freedom gone? Have we so devolved intellectually that the refusal to bake a sugar laden coma inducing confection is automatically assumed to be “hate?” And even if it could be proven as “hate” how is the person refused service actually harmed and worthy of government intervention on their behalf? Are there really anorexic homosexuals so in need of calories that they must use government force to assure their survival because only Christian operated bakeries, and now pizza restaurants, can provide the critical sustenance they need? Of course not. In our materialistic consumer driven society where the dollar is virtually worshiped there is simply no limits on where any of us can get a cake made, a hot pizza served, pictures taken, food catered, a dress made, or facilities rented, etc ad nauseam.
We’re not talking about denying emergency room services here. We’re not talking about denying fire department services, police services, publicly traded (more in a moment) businesses operated residential rentals, public utilities, and banking services, education, or food. I’ll grant there are gray areas consisting of clothing and transportation fuel, perhaps a few others, but even in these cases we are at a place in our society where the market will likely provide to anyone with the money to pay everything they want, let alone need, even in a small market. There is also the issue of business activities of publicly traded companies. These companies are arguably required to serve anyone regardless of the views of their controlling entities due to legal fiduciary responsibilities. Aside from this we all are better off protecting the rights of privately held businesses to make the likely poor business decision of “discrimination,” especially as they seek to compete with much larger publicly traded businesses who will be tapping the market of blacks, or in this case homosexuals. If these privately owned businesses make decisions the public at large deems unjustifiably prejudicial, the public will punish them by taking their dollars elsewhere and the business will either adjust, or accept it’s diminished market share, reserved only to those who agree with their publicized views.
So let them eat cake whomever they are. But let the market decide who puts the dough in their oven, including those who decide they don’t want the job.
Follow up: Mark my words supporters of ISIS and other Islamist terrorists living in the U.S. (they exist by the thousands) are watching how this plays out and soon will publicly force patriotic Americans to provide materials expressing this support.