Tag Archives: diversity

American Capitalism & The Illusion of Laissez Faire

To draw from an opening phrase, in the beginning, there was capitalism. More accurately, at the beginning of our Constitutional Republic, government was committed to limiting – drastically – it’s footprint in the new American marketplace. Americans were free from the tyranny of government interference leveled at the former colonists at the hand of King George III. Our Founders and Framers sought to secure the right of the individual not only to property, but to commerce in a form lightly touched by government. My, how far we have fallen from the Framer’s original intent.

The original intent of the Framers where commerce was concerned – and especially under the Articles of Confederation – was to leave the new American people to reap the benefits of their crafts and labors. The Framers embraced a laissez faire system of capitalism. Laissez faire capitalism is defined as:

“…a doctrine opposing governmental interference in economic affairs beyond the minimum necessary for the maintenance of peace and property rights.”

A system of government’s only responsibility in a laissez faire capitalist system, where commerce was concerned and if adhering to the original intent of the Framers, was:

“…to protect the rights of the individual, by banning the initiation of force, thus making all relations between men peaceful, i.e., free from the threat of violence and fraud…

“…a system of checks and balances so ordered to protect the rights of the individual, from criminals and most importantly from the democratically elected voices who claim to speak for the ‘public good.’”

Today’s American “free market system” is actually anything but a laissez faire capitalist system; a free system.

Starting a small business today requires that the aspiring entrepreneur incur significant start-up costs including fees, costly regulatory acquiescence, licensure requirements, taxes, tariffs, diversity quota hiring and other associated costs, taxes, actions and/or fees. Add to that the impossible task of acquiring necessary to-market development capital from a financial institution – many of which were afforded lifesaving financial infusions of taxpayer dollars, courtesy of crony capitalists in Washington, DC – and you have a formula for a stagnant economy and high unemployment for the “producers,” and the selective enrichment of the connected, the elite and the “chosen few.”

This was not the case so long ago. And as little as 30 years ago, starting a small business meant reaping the rewards of ingenuity and hard work. Someone with a dream; someone with a “good idea,” was able to acquire capital to launch small business initiatives based on that tangible idea; based on a well-crafted business plan and model. Sadly, today, no one “invests in ideas” anymore. Financial institutions and capable venture capitalists balk at the “good idea”; recoil from the uncertainty of start-up entrepreneurship because of the non-guarantee of return on investment, even as many of them have been deemed “too big to fail” when they make bad business decisions of their own, only to receive government-funded (read: taxpayer-funded) bailouts. This all happening while the “good idea” start-up concepts wither on the vine for lack of start-up capital.

Additionally, many a creative entrepreneur is neutered – or hamstrung – by the fact that the “powers that be” have declared they did not jump through the traditional “educational hoops”; did not attain the necessary piece of paper and the required student loan debt to be considered “competent” or “intelligent” enough to conceive of the “next big thing.” Of course, this certainly must come as a surprise to Bill Gates, or to the late Steve Jobs, two pioneers of the computer age who dropped out of college. So, too, must is be shocking news to the many “gangsta” rap moguls who possess a depth of language proficiency usually reserved for those with a single or low double-digit intelligence quotient, and most of whom know the assembly of automatic weaponry better than algebraic theory.

And while the successful navigation of the “educational hoops” does not guarantee entrée into the realm of the financially anointed, sometimes the connections and friendships acquired at many upper-echelon secondary education establishments can serve to circumvent the ties that bind “producer Americans” to the grind of the average. Yes, I am talking about elitist crony capitalism.

Case in point: Toni Townes-Whitley.

According to TheDailyCaller.com:

“Toni Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of ’85, is senior vice president at CGI Federal, which earned the no-bid contract to build the $678 million [failed] Obamacare enrollment website at Healthcare.gov. CGI Federal is the US arm of a Canadian company.

“Townes-Whitley and her Princeton classmate Michelle Obama are both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.”

Coincidentally, George Schindler, the president of CGI Federal’s Canadian parent CGI Group, became an Obama 2012 campaign donor after his company gained the Obamacare website contract. What a coincidence…

What does all of this have to do with laissez faire capitalism? Well, actually, nothing. It has nothing to do with laissez faire capitalism. And that’s the point.

Considering that our economic system has turned into a fiscal bordello of short-cuts for the Progressive chosen few, bailouts for the “too big to fail” financial institutions, and a playground for the crony capitalists, is it any wonder the financial markets have ceased reflecting the health of the American economy? How are investors supposed to know when the next major economic disaster is approaching when risky investments and questionable financial schemes are always rewarded in their failures and losses with government-backed (read: taxpayer-funded) bailouts? For the “chosen ones,” where is the “risk”?

The original intent of the Founders and Framers was to have an “American capitalism”; a system of commerce and investment based on achievement, investment, hard work, production and, yes, failure. The American system of capitalism was designed to leave the evolution of society and the decisions about the “common good” to the people. Today’s “anything but free market system” is a disingenuous scheme establishing pre-determined winners and losers; a manipulation of the laissez faire capitalist purity that promotes equality in outcome over an equality of opportunity: economic and social justice.

In an economic system enslaved by the Progressive ideology, economic and social justice is of a paramount importance, trumping the small business, the innovator, the entrepreneur and the producer; trumping and extinguishing opportunity for all, opportunity guaranteed in the United States Constitution.

An economic system enslaved by the Progressive ideology dictates who will win and who will lose; who will acquire wealth and who will live just above poverty, all according to an oligarchical elites’ idea of what is fair, what is not and who is worthy.

Under a Progressive economic system, opportunity is dead and the American Dream, but for those chosen by the Progressive masters, swings from a rope off a branch of a socially engineered (read: Socialist) tree, long-standing on the Progressive plantation.

“Not houses finely roofed or the stones of walls well builded, nay nor canals and dockyards make the city, but men able to use their opportunity.” – Alcaeus

Bigot or Not? I Say Not: The Hypocrisy of “Tolerance”

I received an e-mail a few days ago with a story about a lady who owns a bakery in Des Moines, Iowa. She declined to bake a wedding cake for two lesbians, which has resulted in calls for a boycott, and the usual name calling, from homosexual groups. Victoria Childress, owner of Victoria’s Cake Cottage told the couple that she is a Christian and would not violate her Christian beliefs to provide them with a cake. When interviewed about the incident, Ms. Childress said:

“I was straight-forward with them and explained that I’m a Christian and that I have very strong convictions.  I chose to be honest about it. They said they appreciated it and left. That was all that was said.”

Childress said her decision had nothing to do with discrimination or the lesbian couple, and stressed this fact by saying:

“It doesn’t have anything to do with them – it was about my convictions. They can get their cake anywhere.”

Childress said money is not the issue, adding:

“I’m being attacked because of my beliefs – my convictions to their lifestyle. I was not rude. I was not condescending. It was matter-of-fact. I told them, ‘I’m sorry, I just can’t do that.’”

The lesbian pair released a statement calling the Christian cake baker a “bigot” and are contemplating filing a discrimination lawsuit against Ms. Childress. More on the discrimination issue later in this piece. The couple ran to the media and started calling a citizen, who I thought had freedom of choice also, a bigot. They threaten legal action, and make a big scene because someone doesn’t want to bake them a wedding cake. How thin skinned can anyone get? They are offended? I am offended that they think they have a right to demand service from any business owner. I am offended that they think a Christian doesn’t have a right to decide who to do business with. If someone doesn’t want my business I just take it elsewhere.

Unfortunately, this reaction is typical of special interest groups, any special interest group. It seems everyone has a “right” to their views, and to be pandered to, except Christians. I wonder what would happen if these same women walked into a bakery owned by a Muslim. Would the owner bake them a cake or chase them out of the shop with a barrage of rocks, or simply hang them for their blasphemy? Stoning, in case you aren’t aware, is one of the penalties for homosexuality in the Muslim world. Hanging also seems to be a popular punishment.

Would these women go screeching to the media about Muslim bias against their “lifestyle”? If they did complain, would anyone make a big fuss or would they just keep out of it for fear of “offending” a Muslim business owner? I hope their next stop is at a bakery owned by a Muslim. I would really like to see the result of that visit. That situation would put the media and all of the “minority” groups in a tizzy. Who would they side with?

Where does this nonsense stop? Why is it that everyone has to bow down to the homosexual lifestyle, or Islam, or the NAACP, or any other “minority” group? Does freedom only apply to those with “issues”? I always thought freedom applies to all of us. Does “diversity” of thought include the thoughts of Christians? Does “diversity” of expression include Christians? Does “freedom of speech” include Christians? Apparently not!!!!!

I am also a Christian who believes homosexuality or heterosexual relations outside of marriage to be wrong. Does being against heterosexual couples living together and engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage make me a bigot also? What does one call that bigotry, heterophobia? Do Christians not have a right to live according to their firmly held religious beliefs? We are certainly expected, by Muslims and many judges and politicians, to allow Muslims to practice their religious beliefs and customs, even the parts that call for stoning of adulterers or honor killings.

Like most other Christians, including Victoria Childress, I don’t condemn others for their lifestyles, I simply disagree with them. Ms. Childress didn’t say anything tawdry about the couple, according to the article. Ms. Childress just expressed her views politely and let it go at that. Also mentioned in the article was a comment from another bakery owner who would be more than happy to bake the cake. Why is this a problem? It isn’t like these two can’t get a cake anywhere, others are happy to have their business.

Read the next couple of paragraphs very carefully and think about the point they make. Find the irrationality of those calling for a boycott of Victoria’s Cake Cottage. As far as a boycott, what will that accomplish? Ms. Childress seems to be boycotting homosexuals, yet that is unlawful according to homosexual activists. Homosexuals are going to boycott a business that doesn’t want their business. Does anyone besides me see the irony in this? I really can’t help but chuckle at this point.

If it is permissible for homosexuals to boycott Victoria’s Cake Cottage why isn’t it permissible for her to boycott homosexuals? Isn’t a boycott a boycott? Shouldn’t this cut both ways? Aren’t these homosexual groups practicing discrimination against Victoria’s Cake Cottage? They claim she is discriminating against them so they turn around and call for a boycott. If they don’t boycott every bakery equally isn’t that the definition of discrimination?

One of the biggest problems faced by this nation today is this very attitude of “tolerance”. We are told we must accept illegal aliens, who have a “right” to be here. We are told we must accept Islam and Sharia Law, because Muslims have “rights”. Christians are told we must accept a lifestyle that goes against our beliefs because these people have “rights”. I find it problematic that the “tolerance boat”, built by Christians who came here looking for freedom of religion, no longer has room for the Christians who built it. What about the rights of Christians to live our lives according to our beliefs? What about our “rights”?

If we are to be a truly tolerant society the tolerance has to go both ways, and it currently does not. If true tolerance were to be enforced, illegal aliens would be required to understand and “tolerate” my views about immigration. In a truly tolerant society homosexuals would be required to “tolerate” the fact that Ms. Childress and I disagree with their lifestyle and would rather they take their business elsewhere. A truly “tolerant” society would say the Congressional Black Caucus is required to admit white members of Congress. Muslims, in a truly “tolerant” society, would be required to accept that America has a Constitution and that Sharia law is unacceptable as it violates nearly every tenet of that Constitution. Muslims would have to “tolerate” our Constitution, and its Judeo-Christian basis, in a truly tolerant society.

If tolerance is not a two way street then it isn’t tolerance it is bullying. Whites are bullied by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson on a regular basis. Christians are bullied by CAIR and homosexuals, among other special interest groups. American citizens are bullied by the ACLU, LaRaza and like organizations. Proponents of Right to Work are bullied by unions every day. Tolerance must be equal or it isn’t tolerance. If Victoria Childress and others like her are not allowed to live their lives according to their beliefs then tolerance isn’t anything other than brute force being used against someone these groups disagree with. Isn’t that the definition of bullying? Isn’t that the very thing they are fighting against? Can you spell HYPOCRISY?

I salute Ms. Childress for the way she handled this situation. She was forthright about her stand and refrained from making a big deal out of the situation. She did not “chastise” the couple; she merely chose not to participate in something she finds objectionable. From what I know of this situation she handled herself in a Christian manner with courage and firmness, yet with “tolerance”. She didn’t run to the media, she merely responded with the truth of her beliefs.

I hope that everyone reading this piece will show Ms. Childress their support. If you live in Des Moines or nearby, visit her shop. If not, go to her website and give her words of support. If possible, order something from her bakery and reward her for this stand for freedom of religion. If you live outside of Des Moines order some cookies or something that can be shipped. Let her know you appreciate her courage and her willingness to stand by her values and not be intimidated into surrendering her values or her freedom to live by those values.

I submit this in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, in faith, with the responsibility given to me by Almighty God to honor His work and not let it die from neglect.

Bob Russell
Claremore, Oklahoma
November 26, 2011
The first thing the lesbian couple did was run to the news media, where they knew they and their whining and crying, “woe is me”, “I’ve been victimized” story would be coddled.

The Rainbow Formula: Hollywood’s False Diversity

A couple of weeks ago as my husband and I were leaving church we were stopped by our pastor, who asked us if we had seen the guest pastor from the previous week.  We hadn’t. “Oh, that’s a shame” he said, “He was Black and I wanted to know what you guys thought”. While the population of Orange County includes quite a large number of minorities, the one group that is woefully underrepresented is Blacks.  Being among the few Black congregants in our large church, we took it as a natural curiosity that he would ask our opinion of the guest pastor.  We took no offense, but did have a giggle as we told him perhaps our names had been left off the minority alerts email blast.  He rolled his eyes apologetically. “I know.  We aren’t the most diverse church.  We need to do more to address that”.

On the drive home I started thinking about that. Why do we need to make a concerted effort to diversify?  When it comes to church, Black people are different from White people in many ways.  They are more interactive, they worship differently, and they hear messages differently.  That is not a bad thing. It’s a cultural thing.  Attracting more Black people would mean having to change the whole approach to services, and if you do that, then aren’t you letting the quest for diversity trump genuine message?  Church is not for meeting your weekly diversity quotient. It’s for fellowshipping with other believers and spreading the Word. For those who aren’t drawn to a particular service, there are other churches with different ways of worshipping that may work better for them and that is why God made diversity, so there could be a myriad of choices for folks of different stripes.

My thoughts turned to Hollywood and their seemingly never-ending modern quest for diversity. What I find most frustrating about this is how it is so deliberate and methodical.  It’s as if there is a formula that must be adhered to in order to receive the diversity stamp of approval.  I’ll call it the Rainbow Formula.  1 Black + 1 Asian (any type) + 1 Hispanic (any type) + multiple White people = officially diverse.  Sorry, Native Americans.  You don’t make the cut unless the script calls for something to happen on an Indian reservation.

I suppose I appreciate the effort, but the result is a “false diversity” that ends up bleeding cultural appeal and uniqueness. The Rainbow Formula creates a “vanilla” diversity that adheres to a color quota, but denies any other relevant differences between the cultures other than the superficial aspects.  Cue sassy Black friend, cue nerdy, overachieving Asian friend, cue clueless, rhythmless White friend.

This false diversity is not only offensive, it’s bad for business.  I believe Hollywood could be creating a lot more revenue if it strove for a genuine assortment of offerings.  In other words, the diversity doesn’t come in the casting, it comes in the programming.  Recognizing that different cultures perceive, laugh, love, work and interact differently could be the key to creating a diverse arrangement of shows that appeal to Americans in many different, but lucrative ways.  Take BET, for example.  Two of their most popular offerings in the history of their channel cater specifically to the sensibilities of Black people.  The Game and Girlfriends.

Of course, it’s not only Black people who watch those shows, but they are marketed to Black people in the respect that they approach issues from a specific cultural perspective.  The fact that they do that unapologetically and organically ends up making the shows palatable to all races, while recognizing their cultural market.  Black people flock to those shows and they’re happy to do it because it’s a show for them and about them.  It’s just too bad that those millions and millions of Black viewers have to navigate their dollars to the nether regions of cable when they could and would be just as happy to turn their televisions to any of the major networks if only their programming was more… diverse.

We’ve seen hints of this diversity model in the past.  Both Fox and the CW built their fan base on Black shows (Living Single, In Living Color, Moesha, etc.) before abandoning that audience.  They ignored programming diversity in favor of the Rainbow Formula, forgetting that those shows were popular precisely because they celebrated cultural identity instead of sanitizing it.

Modern liberal Hollywood’s sad obsession with false diversity effectively reduces every person to nothing more than the color of his or her skin.  It erases individuality and very real cultural differences.  The Rainbow Formula becomes more important than solid entertainment.  Its born of a twisted need to prove that they are not racist like the great unwashed masses of middle America, a guilt that transcends time and reason.  It ends up whitewashing (if you’ll forgive the term) the unique cultural flavors that have gathered to make up America. Ultimately, and by Hollywood terms almost unforgivably, it throws away the significant entertainment dollars of minority communities (see Tyler Perry’s Tyler Perry for more information about harnessing that particular revenue stream).  It sends the message that those communities have no important stories to tell that don’t include Jim Crow or “white knights” riding to rescue the natives.

Perhaps the real problem is the almost religious connotation liberal Hollywood has given the word ‘diversity’.  There is no inherent virtue in diversity.  Diversity, as we use the term today, is a joke and applied almost exclusively to color while ignoring culture.  Hollywood needs to give up this stifling quest and start working on creating real programming choices.  That is where the money is, and ultimately, the viewer’s heart.