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Friday, June 25, 2010

Rand Paul and Civil Rights

Rand Paul was sharply criticized for a comment he made on the Federal Civil Rights law. He said that he would have voted against the 60's Federal civil rights law. That law made it illegal for a business owner to refuse to serve a customer. Rand Paul said that law usurped the property rights of the business owner. The free market should be able to take care of discrimination. Customers should boycott a business that mistreats people.

The reason "The free market can end discrimination!" didn't work in the USA, is because the USA does not have a free market. If a business has a State-backed monopoly, it's hard/impractical/illegal to boycott and start a competing business.

Before the Civil Rights Act, many states had laws requiring businesses to discriminate. For example, Plessy vs. Ferguson challenged a Louisiana law requiring railroad owners to segregate. The railroad also has an explicit State-backed monopoly.

The Civil Rights Act went to the other extreme, forcing a business to serve all customers. This law affected large corporations and small business owners.

The State police monopoly didn't enforce the laws protecting individuals and owners. Suppose someone entered a business and was assaulted; the police would not investigate. Suppose a white business owner decided to treat all his customers fairly but was the victim of violence; the police would not investigate. Suppose a black person tried to start a business and was the victim of violence; the police would not investigate.

Corruption by the State police monopoly encouraged abusive behavior. One "benefit" of the Civil Rights law was that it discouraged black people from forming their own police force that competed with the State police monopoly.

How would racial discrimination be handled in a really free market? If a business owner behaves abusively, then you should boycott their business. If group X is mistreated, then they'll start their own competing business. If a majority disapproves of discrimination, then business owners would rapidly find it unprofitable.

Someone else pointed out a silly contradiction. It's illegal for a member of group X to prevent a member of group Y from entering his business. It is legal for a member of group X to refuse to visit a business owned by a member of group Y.

The Civil Rights law is an example of "Problem! Reaction! Solution!" The State causes a problem. A new law is passed restricting freedom even more. The present situation leads to silly behavior. A business tries to have x% of its workers from each protected group, lest they be accused of discrimination. If a small business owner is accused of racism, then he can be sued; even if the court rules in your favor, you still lose the legal expenses. In NYC, it's illegal to discriminate racially when renting an aparment. That law encourages hard-to-prove accusations and frivolous lawsuits.

There are laws forbidding business owners from making whatever decisions they choose. These laws create more problems than they solve. Most mainstream media discussion of racism is actually an evil fnord promoting racist thinking. I didn't really notice that until after I had cracked my pro-State brainwashing. Rand Paul criticized the State propaganda that says "State thugs should prevent people from behaving rudely!"

The owner of a business should have the right to refuse to serve a customer for any reason. In a really free market, an owner would be throwing away profits by mistreating customers. Some State businesses have an explicit or implicit monopoly. Before the Civil Rights Act, many states had laws requiring business owners to discriminate.


gilliganscorner said...

You know how Brazil ended slavery?

The State stopped catching slaves.

The slave owners could no longer outsource the costs of finding, capturing, and returning slaves back to the plantation. Ever try and herd cats?

In addition, slaves have notoriously low productivity as they are not enthusiastic about production. Better to pay them.

FSK said...

Most countries other than the US ended slavery without a Civil War. The US Civil War was really about high taxes and tariffs, especially the Morrill Tariff. "The US Civil War was about slavery!" is a historic retcon.

Tax slavery leads to more looting opportunities than pure chattel slavery.

Someone pointed out that "illegal immigration" laws are modern "fugitive slave laws". Also, the law saying "It's illegal to help someone who's an escapee from State justice!" is also a type of fugitive slave law.

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