(This was today’s daily email. Click here to get daily awesomeness.)
I’ll bet you know what I’m talking about.
It’s antidiscrimination law, or “public accommodation.” Oh my goodness, do they not want to talk about that.
Legalizing pot is A-OK, but if they said business owners shouldn’t be forced to engage in transactions against their will, they’d be off the 3×5 card of allowable opinion — and they’re going to hold on to that thing if it’s the last thing they do.
Wouldn’t want the Fed chairman to stop accepting their speaking invitations, you understand.
Yes, this is an unpopular position. But once we abandon the idea that property owners decide what takes place in their establishments, we wind up with the perverse, litigation-crazy situation we have today.
Bakers forced to bake cakes against their will is the classic recent example. To be sure, you will find some fashionable libertarians who will concede that people ought not to be forced to bake cakes — how gracious that kind concession! — but, never missing an opportunity for virtue-signaling, they make sure everyone knows their views on how stupid and awful the bakers are.
Meanwhile, since the Christians involved have accepted the principle of public accommodation, they are reduced to making pathetic and unpersuasive arguments for “religious liberty” laws granting them specific exemptions from the general rule.
It’s more than baking cakes, of course. It’s transgender bathrooms. It’s having the state on your back if you throw disproportionate numbers of official victim groups out of your store for shoplifting. (You are assumed to be in the wrong, of course, because everyone knows shoplifting occurs in equal proportions across all groups.)
It’s being afraid to throw certain people out of your hotel when they’re disturbing other guests.
It’s being afraid to fire people who do a lousy job or bring down morale.
And of course, it’s the expectation that the state can make all manner of demands of you as a business owner, and you have to sit back and take it.
The trouble is, in the same way the neocons think it’s always Munich 1938, the left-progressives pretend to think it’s always Birmingham 1963.
If property owners are allowed once again to make decisions about whom they serve, it’ll be “WHITES ONLY” all over the place.
Really? In the age of social media? Go ahead and try.
Meanwhile, the Mises Institute’s Ryan McMaken just released an article on public accommodation and the real history of minority advancement that will knock your socks off. I’ll pass it along to you in the coming days when I have Ryan on the show.
What the issue boils down to is this: in our view, when only one party to an exchange wants that exchange to take place, it doesn’t take place. Only when both parties favor it does it happen.
That’s what voluntary interaction is all about.
The obsession with these laws poisons everything. It poisons public discourse, because what should be a debatable issue becomes a club with which to beat people the state considers moral reprobates, but who simply don’t believe in state-enforced interaction.
It poisons legal studies, because law professors make sure they teach the Constitution in such a way that it gets the result they want: public accommodation.
It poisons historical studies, too, because it leaves out how ethnically based capital accumulation and entrepreneurship historically led to the advancement of disfavored groups — a topic I’ll take up on the show in the coming days.
In other words, in school — no matter at what level — you will get a distorted view of this story, as indeed you will of so much else in American history.
This is another reason that my Liberty Classroom is so necessary. We don’t twist constitutional history to justify progressive outcomes. Our courses, which you can listen to on the go, are 100 octane liberty.
Here’s the history they kept from you. Not to mention: it’s a great gift for that student in your life.