Bigotry is a lousy money-maker

I have written before how coexisting and capitalism are not at odds with each other, in spite of the attempts of some through bumper stickers to show you should pick one or the other. History has shown, it is far more economical to coexist. Why? More customers. And, more customers means more jobs.

In my home state of North Carolina, we have forgotten this equation. In early 2016, our General Assembly rammed through a discriminatory law called HB2 in a special session taking just ten hours. I recognize fully the transgender bathroom portion of the law gets most of the press, but the piece which has caused the most consternation in the eyes of businesses looking at our state and ruling bodies of the NBA, NCAA and ACC, is the elimination of LGBTQ people as a protected class who should not be discriminated against.

The transgender portion was sold on fear without much data to support its issues. So, it is hard to back away from something its supporters made people scared of. But, let’s set that part aside and focus on the LGBTQ part. While there are proponents of HB2 who will argue the bathroom law should remain, the denial of protection to LGBTQ folks is flat out unconstitutional.

The proponents of the law said it is only the cities that are impacted by this law due to larger populations of LGBTQ people. Legislators in rural NC say what does it matter if Charlotte, Raleigh and Greensboro don’t get sporting events or new businesses? The economic dilemma for the rural parts of the state is this concept of revenue sharing. A portion of sales taxes from larger cities are distributed throughout the state to help finance smaller investments and pay for services.

The less money in the big cities means less money for the state. And, our entire state has damaged its reputation not just around the country, but around the world. I have read that some members of the General Assembly say they had no idea there would be such a backlash. The answer to these legislators is you did not take the time to know passing the law in ten hours.

I firmly believe HB2 should be fully repealed. Its treatment of transgender people using a sledgehammer approach to legislation is unjust. There could have been a more surgical answer. So, short of a full repeal, let me offer a compromise.

  • eliminate the LGBTQ discrimination feature in its entirety before you are made to by the courts. This feature is unconstitutional. Period.
  • eliminate the feature on restricting a city from having a higher minimum wage; cities who have larger economic competition and cost of living should have the right to allow a higher minimum wage than the national one. This feature needs to be vetted more than it was by itself.
  • change the transgender portion of the law to do the following; if a person has a formal document indicating a gender different from his or her birth certificate, he or she should legally have the right to use the bathroom he or she identifies with.

Again, I believe the whole law should be repealed. Yet, this compromise should help the state move forward before these business decisions not to move, expand or hold events here are more recognizable in our economic growth. The scary part, as shared by Chamber of Commerce recruiters, is we have no idea how many organizations did not consider North Carolina.

Jesus told us to treat others like he we want to be treated. It is the right thing to do as well as the economical thing to do. Bigotry is not much of a money-maker.


7 thoughts on “Bigotry is a lousy money-maker

    • Hugh, passing this law in ten hours showed the lack of vetting and debate. It was a bad law the day it was announced. Yet, this same General Assembly did not learn their lesson. They called a special session in December to primarily restrict the office of Governor since a Democrat defeated the incumbent. Mind you, the GA already had a super majority in both houses (meaning they could override a veto), but they decided in short order that a power grab was needed. This law is being held up in court right now. Keith

  1. Dear Keith,

    If I wanted to start a business or expand into a new area, I would not think of NC, if I were to consider having a convention, NC would be off my list of options. For any special events i would think of other states. That pandering law is costing NC bigly,

    I hope this is an example for other states.

    • Gronda, that is sad, as we used to be known as one of the more progressive states in the south. The gerrymandering hurt us as it allowed more extreme Republicans in the mix. Like the DT travel ban, this law does little to solve any perceived problems, unless their is an officer at the bathroom door to frisk people. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: In my earlier post on Coexisting and Capitalism, I mentioned that even with the Jim Crow laws in the south, commerce with African-Americans was done by White business owners, but on the owners’ terms. A Black person could not enter restaurant, but could purchase a to go order from the back window. A Black person could ride the bus, but had to sit in the back and, if crowded, had to yield his or her seat to a White person. And, the list goes on. While it could have been so much more, this commerce gave economic power to Blacks to boycott en masse. Buses cannot operate efficiently without riders, e.g. and such boycotts created change.

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