By Indri Schaelicke | United States
If you turn on the news today, you will likely see stories of the most recent case of racism, sexism, or another form of terrible discrimination. Just over 3 weeks ago, national news blew up when the story of 2 black men being arrested at Starbucks Coffee was widely reported. Or take the infamous story of a Christian baker who refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding.
Should the government make laws that force people to go against their beliefs? There is a simpler solution that does not require legislation, enforcement and protects everyone’s rights: Let the forces of the market interact to boycott what the public views to be bigoted behavior by companies.
If a business it engaging in bigoted practices that the public does not agree with, they can boycott the business to deprive them of income. If the owner is smart, they will realize their profits have decreased and cease their discriminatory practices. If not, they will be driven out of business and discrimination will no longer exist in the community.
We now live at a time when many people have access to the internet and social media, which makes it especially easy to organize boycott efforts and raise awareness of bigoted behavior by companies. The online outrage can be manifested by mass boycotts that will send a clear message to the organization affected.
The Civil Rights Act of 1968 mandated equal housing opportunities regardless of race, religion, or national origin and made it a federal crime to “by force or by threat of force, injure, intimidate, or interfere with anyone … by reason of their race, color, religion, or national origin.” This act is a clear violation of private property rights because it prohibits people from doing certain things with their own property. The government should never be able to dictate what people can and cannot do with their own legally purchased and owned property. This can easily lead to conscription or forced labor as the government is forcing people to do things.
A concern of solving issues of discrimination through legislation is that it expands the size and scope of government. Whenever a piece of legislation is enacted, a government agency is usually responsible for overseeing the enforcement of the regulations and mandates. Issues of discrimination often do not have an agency to enforce them (otherwise there would be no need for the bill), meaning yet another agency must be created.
Issues of discrimination can be solved by manipulating market forces to send a clear message to the business or entity engaging in the bigotry. This avoids issues of the encroachment of rights and expansion of the government.