Sunday, March 4, 2018

Privatizing Government Policy

3/4/2018--What is wrong with liberals? We criticize efforts to privatize jails and other public services, we criticize florists who won't service same-sex weddings, but then we cheer when corporations impose policies we like on governments and people.

In 2015, the NFL suggested that Atlanta might be skipped if a transgender bill was adopted by the Georgia legislature. The Governor vetoed the bill. Liberals thought that was wonderful.

In 2018, when gun control legislation is stymied, liberals applaud Dick's Sporting Goods and Walmart for imposing limits on gun sales.

This is a mistake. Business is not your friend. The same corporate interests will next pressure New York State to lower its income tax rate. Businesses will next refuse to sell goods to gay people. Or sell alcohol.

There is a good reason to sometimes allow small businesses or even closely held corporations like Hobby Lobby a certain latitude in matters of religious conscience. Religious liberty is an important constitutional value.

But in general, business should make money and government should make policy through democratic processes. Gun control and transgender policies don't belong in corporate hands.

Democracy is messy and for now is broken. But privatizing policy is not the way to fix politics. This support for business is another example of bad, short term thinking.

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