Small Business Losing Liberty
Recently I was asked by someone why I felt Americans are losing their individual liberty. It’s hard to believe that there are so many out there who fail to see the frequency with which our individual liberties are being taken from us. Most often it is the federal government that steps out of bounds. Obamacare is a prime example of the impact government has had on businesses and individuals alike. But we even see such overreach at the local level of government as well. Today’s example involves the impact local government has on businesses, particularly small and privately owned businesses.
Before I get into it, I wouldn’t be surprised if some small minded individuals are going to try and quickly jump into their bag of tricks and cry “homophobia” and “bigotry”. But if you’re not a bigot, and have an open mind, you’ll see my opinions are not based on anything but my disdain for government intervention. So here we go…
Just this week, the New York City Commission on Human Rights updated their discrimination laws based on gender identity or expression. Below is an excerpt from within these laws:
Most individuals and many transgender people use female or male pronouns and titles. Some transgender and gender non-conforming people prefer to use pronouns other than he/him/his or she/her/hers, such as they/them/theirs or ze/hir.10
Many transgender and gender non-conforming people choose to use a different name than the one they were given at birth. All people, including employees, tenants, customers, and participants in programs, have the right to use their preferred name regardless of whether they have identification in that name or have obtained a court-ordered name change, except in very limited circumstances where certain federal, state, or local laws require otherwise (e.g., for purposes of employment eligibility verification with the federal government). Asking someone their preferred gender pronoun and preferred name is not a violation of the NYCHRL.
Apparently, what is good for the goose is not good for the gander in this situation. Like other laws we are familiar with, the government can apparently exempt themselves. A business, particularly a small business could be significantly impacted by this law above. It’s been reported by Breitbart that a violation of this law could result in a fine of up to $250,000.
Imagine being the owner of a small pizza shop in NYC. A customer calls to place an order under the name Caitlyn (why not?). The employee who handles the order recognizes the customer’s voice as a male voice and ends the call with a sincere, “Thank you for your order sir”. Under these laws, the owner could be subject to such an exorbitant fine that it results in the owner needing to shut down their business.
To avoid such a fine, NYC suggests the employer develop a policy in which their employees ask customers to identify their preferred gender identification. Can you imagine the impact this would have on business? I don’t know about you, but if I were the customer and had to be asked about my gender, I’d immediately infer an existence of gender discrimination! Absolutely absurd!
Written into these laws is also a section on grooming standards and uniforms based on gender:
Under the NYCHRL, employers and covered entities may not require dress codes or uniforms, or apply grooming or appearance standards, that impose different requirements for individuals based on sex or gender….
…Employers and covered entities are entitled to enforce a dress code, or require specific grooming or appearance standards; however it must be done without imposing restrictions or requirements specific to gender or sex. It will not be a defense that an employer or covered entity is catering to the preferences of their customers or clients.
The potential therefore exists for an employer to be guilty of violating this law in any number of ways. If an employer allows a female sales agent to wear lipstick and nail polish, but refuses to allow a male sales agent the same, then the employer may be in violation. And based on the law, the employer cannot justify their decision based on what their customers like or dislike.
This is not free-market enterprise. What NYC has done is just another example of government intervention and loss of liberty. In this case, as is the case with regulations created by the federal government, businesses lose. As I’ve pointed out, the businesses most at risk are small and privately owned businesses. These laws and regulations play right into the hands of crony capitalism.
Interestingly, those who create these types of laws and call for increased regulations, are the same people who are first to call out corporations for being greedy.
“Let us wage a moral and political war against the billionaires and corporate leaders, on Wall Street and elsewhere, whose policies and greed are destroying the middle class of America.” – Bernie Sanders
I wonder if Bernie ever considered that more regulation only compounds the problems facing middle class Americans? Middle class Americans are greatly impacted by the success or failure of small businesses. Small businesses who ultimately pay the greatest price for such laws and regulations. http://www.inc.com/jared-hecht/are-small-businesses-really-the-backbone-of-the-economy.html
And what would a blog on losing liberty be without a quote from Hillary:
“No. We just can’t trust the American people to make those types of choices … Government has to make those choices for people.” – Hillary Clinton
I’ve seen what government does and so have you. If it’s not broke, don’t let the government touch it!