Who owns your business? Who owns you?

The issue of property rights gets no respect these days in American jurisprudence. One recent case from New Mexico involved a lesbian couple that was refused service by a photography studio. The decision came down in favor of the couple and their demand that the studio take their pictures whether they wanted to or not. Another recent issue has come to the fore involving a Walgreens pharmacist and their refusal to fill a woman’s birth control prescription. Lastly, there is, of course, the big federal issue relating to ObamaCare and the freedom of religious institutions to not provide birth control at no charge.

These all sound like very difficult issues and to some extent they are. They pit the rights of an individual, business, or religious institution to control how their own resources are used. Do I own my time and money or do other people/the government have claims against me for those?

Unfortunately, our society and the courts take a dim view of property rights. Instead, the dominant political view is that government should be empowered to force you to do business in a manner of their preference. There are inevitably “rabbit holes” on both sides of the issue. Should businesses be able to discriminate against racial minorities? I would hope they wouldn’t, but I’d also expect that other businesses would set up shop to serve those groups in a free market.

Should a Hooters have to hire male waiters? It would seem to defeat their business model, but they are clearly discriminating on the basis of sex. Of course, in the case of Walgreens and the pharmacist not wanting to dispense birth control, Walgreens could (and probably should) consider firing the individual. Of course, in a world in which birth control was not controlled by the federal government’s prescription regime, a competitor could easily set up shop to serve this population and mail-order pharmacy would seem an ideal alternative.

In the case of the Catholic Church and birth control, why are employers in charge of providing health care for their employees in the first place?

Proponents of ending discrimination are well-intentioned, but too often underestimate the power and flexibility of the truly free market in righting past wrongs.

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4 Replies to “Who owns your business? Who owns you?”

  1. Under Obama, no-one will have any rights soon. He planned it that way. We will all be serfs on the government-run plantation.

    If a photo studio is forced to take pictures, well, they can be poor pictures, out of focus, incorrect color shading, etc.

    Discrimination against racial minorities? Everyone’s money is green. Smart businessmen won’t do that.

    Obamacare is not healthcare. It was called that, but it is merely another way for the corrupt government to control a major portion of the economy and to eliminate people it considers a threat.

    Will churches stop providing any healthcare? Perhaps, and that is exactly what Obama wants. The statement, “If you like your current plan, you can keep it” is just another Obama lie. He intends to run all competitors out of the healthcare insurance business. Then every one of us slavee will be forced to buy it from him and he will own us.

    RE: Hooters, who cares. Ask for a different server.

    Now, as to the original problem: Property rights. Property rights are basic human rights. If you don’t have any place where you can stand and speak up for yourself and your rights, because the corrupt government has legislated your private property away from you, you have no rights, period.

    All rights depend upon the ability to exercise them. If the government can legislate that you don’t own any property, they can take away your right to speak out and defend the rest of your rights on “their land” and you are propertyless and voiceless. That is why the Supreme Court’s ruling in Kelo was so disastrous. And that is why we must demand that the New Mexico state legislature pass a law completely doing away with emminent domain for private development and the governor must sign it. No excuses. If any politician speaks out against it, fund their opponents and run them out.

    1. Andrew: The USA wasn’t stolen from Native Americans anymore than Native Americans stole it from one another. It was purchased according to the customs of the era. Native American is a made up description. There were no Americans in those days. I am a native American, born in America, established and free, not in a feudal, tribal society. You never owned any land and now Obama is taking away your individual rights while you wallow in self pity.

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