A Private Business Has a Right to Deny Service to Anyone They Choose

February 23, 2020, 9:39 pm

Agree31 Disagree16

66%
34%

The debate "A Private Business Has a Right to Deny Service to Anyone They Choose" was started by jrardin12 on February 23, 2020, 9:39 pm. 31 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 16 people are on the disagree side. That might be enough to see the common perception. It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.

jrardin12 posted 23 arguments to the agreers part.
Nemiroff posted 4 arguments, Allirix posted 8 arguments, historybuff posted 1 argument to the disagreers part.

jrardin12, ototoxic, saumyajain27, StrangeTime, eva_pet35 and 26 visitors agree.
Allirix, Nemiroff, historybuff and 13 visitors disagree.

Well so far your little village bakery example hasn't happened yet. What has happened is a gay couple in Seattle, Washington went across town to a Christian bakery and when turned down took the bakery to court. Obviously, Christian bakeries can be targeted. So where is the right of the majority against attacks from the minority?

1 month ago
Allirix
replied to...

Your boycott concept breaks down when (1) the majority don't empathise with the discriminated against minority, (2) the minority is so small their loss has no market impact, or (3) the discrimination is organised across a group that hold a monopoly.

If the only cake shop in a small town does not serve a gay wedding a cake they're discriminating against a minority which poses little economic threat. Small towns generally have inconsiquential gay populations and holding a geographic monopoly immunises against moderates who may care but not enough to go out of their way. So denying a gay wedding a cake would barely affect their bottom line, but it impacts the gay consumer as they need to go to the next town because of their sexuality. That's unfair and the law protects them.

You're right that making the choice to discriminate against a customer isn't economically rational, and that's why it's not accurate to model the economy as a sum of economically rational agents, because sometimes someone's discriminatory belief outweighs their rationality.

The rational agent assumption, along with an assumption of information symmetry (where everyone knows everything about everyone) is also needed for your invisible hand philosophy (greed makes good) to function perfectly.

Second year Economics students are taught one of the weaknesses of many economic models is the incorrect assumption that all businesses are economically rational agents, when they aren't when tested empirically. Also, second year Management students are taught how to exploit information asymmetries because that's where the profit lies.

So the assumptions required for the invisible hand to be the only thing to govern society are wrong. Believing the invisible hand should be the only governing force is way too ideological for real conservatives. It's a great concept, but it's not perfect so pragmatic laws need to fill in the niche little gaps.

1 month, 1 week ago

I wouldn't mind if a group of Jews in a town refused to sell to Gentiles. But let us be realistic. This scenario has never happened before and likely will never happen in the future. Why? Because of something the left always rails against, greed. Greed prevents businesses from doing those types of things. Businesses comete to get more money, so if a business band gentiles then another business will welcome them to have an advantage over the other business.

1 month, 1 week ago
historybuff
replied to...

So if all the businesses in a town decided they didn't want to serve jewish people, that would be fine with you? That would effectively run those people out of town since they would otherwise starve since no one will sell them food. Is that the kind of country you want to live in? Where the mob can discriminate against people at will and hide behind "freedom" while they attack the freedom of others?

1 month, 1 week ago

If that is the case, which I don't think it is (but I didn't really look into it), it is tyrannical. The government has no business telling a private business telling who to accept and not accept.

1 month, 1 week ago
Allirix
replied to...

The legislation doesn't say people shouldn't be denied services in general, it says people shouldn't be denied services from a specific business. That's not all groceries, but a specific grocery business. That's what makes the law actionable. If it applied to multiple businesses that provide a service then they would shift the blame to the other businesses for not delivering the service to the discriminated against group.

1 month, 1 week ago

So I think there is still a bunch of leeway there.

1 month, 1 week ago

@Allirix, well as you say, people shouldn't be denied food, for example. However, let us say for the use of an example, HEB in Texas says that they will no longer serve blacks, well then blacks (and me and probably many others who disagree with HEB) will go to just Walmart and other stores that do allow them. With this decrease of shoppers either HEB will fire their CEO saying he doesn't follow their values or go under. That is freedom. What is not freedom is a State demanding that all their stores deny access to food to blacks. This would deprive blacks of all available food supplies in their immediate area.

1 month, 1 week ago
Allirix
replied to...

SEC. 201. 42 U.S.C. 2000a

(a) All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations (of businesses defined later in this section) without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.

(b) Defines businesses under this purview.

SEC. 203. 42 U.S.C. 2000a?2 No person shall withhold, deny, or attempt to withhold or deny, or deprive or attempt to deprive, any person of any right or privilege secured by section 201

So this addresses the dilemma of two conflicting rights. A business has the right to turn away someone, but all persons have the right to the full and equal enjoyment of goods and services, etc. This legislation explicitly says when the two conflict on the grounds of race, color, religion, or national origin then the person's right to the full and equal enjoyment wins. Other legislation adds more protected classes.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

The Disabilities Act has to do with hiring people without discriminating against them. However, would you have a person with a severe case of Down Syndrome working as a teller? There are many places that "discriminate" against people with certain disabilities.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

I will say that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited the government from forcing businesses from descriminating against blacks. Jim Crow wasn't businesses prohibiting blacks from doing business in their establishments, instead it was the State governments forcing them and threatening them into not giving blacks service.

1 month, 2 weeks ago
Allirix
replied to...

act*

1 month, 2 weeks ago

This is the legislation

(federally protected classes)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Rights_Act_of_1964

(the art that protects disabled people)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americans_with_Disabilities_Act_of_1990

(an example of state specific legislation)
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unruh_Civil_Rights_Act

These are all examples of restrictions to how you choose to turn people away from your business. I guess I agree that a business has the right to turn people away, but it's not an unlimited right.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

@Allirix, I looked, but didn't find that. The only thing I found was Job Descrimination. I didn't find a law prohibiting businesses from not giving service to certain groups or people.

1 month, 2 weeks ago
Allirix
replied to...

No matter where you live in the USA, you cannot deny service to someone because of their race, color, religion, national origin or disability or arbitrary reasons like a lazy eye (precedent in the courts). Some states have added sexual orientation to the list of protected groups. If there is no state, federal or local law prohibiting discrimination against a particular group of people, then you can legally refuse to serve that group of people. What part of the constitution is that against?

1 month, 2 weeks ago

We do not have legislation that prohibits a business from refusing service to people, and if you show me one, then it is unconstitutional.

Also I was talking about this app when saying that most agree with me.

1 month, 2 weeks ago
Allirix
replied to...

Most people don't agree with you though. If they did protected classes wouldn't exist in our legislation...

1 month, 2 weeks ago

Also, most people agree with me.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

It doesn't take away anyone's freedom. Because people aren't forced to do anything, instead they are giving a freedom of choice. Both for the business and those who look for the business to attend them. A business shouldn't be held to a certain standard and a buyer to another. They should both be able to express their freedom.

1 month, 2 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

you phrase it as an absolute statment, but it's just your opinion. an opinion many disagree with.

your interpretation of freedom allows the powerful to abuse the weak. it creates oppression and eliminates freedom for most. no thank you.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

Well a business does have that right. It isn't the governments job to be in charge of that

1 month, 2 weeks ago
Allirix
replied to...

Yes. But a business also doesn't have the right to reject anyone arbitrarily, my understanding is it's currently untested in the Supreme Court if religious reasons are considered arbitrary or not.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

My point is that businesses can choose whether they want to serve homosexuals or not. Or Christians or not. The government has no right to tell a business that they have to attend all people.

1 month, 2 weeks ago
Allirix
replied to...

I thought your argument was that businesses should have the right to choose who their customers were, not that they do. Because the law explicitly stops business from arbitrarily choosing customers. There are "protected classes" and clear limits to how a business chooses it's customers.

My point was true freedom can only exist if we give up some freedoms. We're not free to kill our neighbors, we're not free to steal, we are not free to do whatever we want because that creates anarchy. That creates a "rule of power" where the powerful dictate the rules instead of an agreed upon set of laws. A fair and free society needs to balance rules with freedoms. Unfettered freedom is just what happened in the times of kings and queens.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

I don't know what your point is. All I know is that a private business is free to choose who to serve and who not to and it is totally Constitutional.

1 month, 2 weeks ago
Allirix
replied to...

You're too ideologically libertarian if you believe unfettered freedom actually maximises freedom. It's an unconservative version of libertarianism. Conservativism is about using precedent to inform how you administer society, libertariansim is about maximising freedom.

History shows us rule of law gives the majority of people more freedom because a rule of power results from unfettered freedom. That's power structures like unconstitutional monarchies which are even more extreme than what the USA originally revolted against. That's why there's no movement in legitimate conservativism to change the laws to give businesses the right to arbitrarily deny service.

The conservative libertarian argument is to allow businesses to deny service based on religious beliefs, that's not arbitrary. That maximises freedom because there are more religious people than people negatively affected by religious beliefs. The issue is people are still negatively affected by those beliefs and that incurs something called a negative externality which is a cost that the business creates that doesn't affect its bottom line. All protection laws do is allow those with perceived costs from being rejected to incur their costs on the bottom line of the business making the choice to create those costs. It's up to the courts to test if those costs are legitimate or not.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

The consumer is free to put his money where they so choose.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

I am totally ok for homosexual couples starting their own businesses that don't make cakes for straight couples. I have the right not to go. Just like Disney has the right to make movies with transgender characters and I have the right not to watch. Freedom should be for everyone including businesses.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

Freedom is about leaving a person alone to decide for himself what he wants. I am against government forcing businesses to give service or not give service to certain groups, but it is the individuals right to give or refuse service to certain people or groups whether black, white, homosexual, Christian or Muslim if they so chose, however they run the risk of losing customers. Private businesses should not be forced by government to accept or reject who they will serve, for that leads to totalitarianism.

1 month, 2 weeks ago
Allirix
replied to...

The sad fact of our common law is companies have a duty to harm minorities under a critical population if it maximises profit. It's the fiduciary duty. That's why legislation imposes costs to making antisocial decisions. It makes those decisions unprofitable. That protects us from profit seeking motives that may not align with our best interests. The added financial cost to making antisocial decisions means the fiduciary duty flips to pressure companies to make socially responsible decisions to avoid those heavy costs. That is why we need regulations to protect consumers.

Without those laws, if a minority is harmed, not just a demographic minority but a population less than a critical mass of consumers that could mount an effective boycott, then they would have no way to protect themselves against unfair business practices or get reimbursed for the damages caused by those practices. This is well known and is even still infamously used in the profit-driven risk assessment calculations for things like product recalls. If a vehicle defect expects to only kill 5-10 people then it is better for the company to pay off the families of those people then incur the cost of an entire recall of all defected vehicles. If those families weren't able to get paid for the lives lost then.

Now, making it harder for a business to be profitable of it decides to kill people is more extreme than stopping a business from turning away consumers. But the same principle of free consumers applies. If someone is turned away because of a life choice that doesn't impose a cost on the shop then the shop should be liable for paying any added costs imposed on the consumers from turning them away.

eg when the Asian man was dragged from the United Airlines plane he deserved repayment for the psychological cost and financial loss from not making his business flight. In that situation people called for boycotts and United infamously still had strong financial growth that quarter, because boycotts don't work.

Saying the ability to boycott makes us freer than having consumer protections is ignorant of how the world actually works.

1 month, 2 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

I don't believe in your god, so his law is arbitrary to me. the bible is not the law of the land. there is nothing inherently immoral about people being with the person they love.

again, a society that allows discrimination based on inherent characteristics is immoral. boycott you say? sure the minority shop that tries this will be ran out of business quick, but do you think any business will care if the two gay or brown people in town boycott them? much of this nation may become unlivable for many groups.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

However, that is not my point. My point is that a private business has the right to turn anyone away. We the people have a right to boycott said business. Therein lies true freedom.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

It is immoral before God says so and He is the law giver.

1 month, 2 weeks ago
Allirix
replied to...

What makes gay marriage immoral? Do you have an argument from reason for why it's immoral, or is it immoral because it just feels wrong, or do you think it's immoral because the prima facie view of a few Old Testament verses say "man-bedding" is wrong?

1 month, 2 weeks ago

Besides being black isn't immoral, gay marriage is.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

It Is not Jim Crow. Jim Crow was the government mandating businesses not to accept certain people, not businesses doing it on its own.

1 month, 2 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

@Allirix

the you all wasnt meant at you personally, especially you with your across the board hypotheticals :)

more in regard to the agrees, but in response to your scenario.

1 month, 2 weeks ago
Nemiroff
replied to...

in this muslim christian scenario, the christian can simply go somewhere else. but to the muslim, 99% of places are Christian.

wont rent, wont sell, wont feed. this is jim crow all over again. you all never learn.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

if someone does something that deserves them getting banned individually, absolutely.

a just society would not permit discrimination against people based on uncontrollable circumstances of birth. thats immoral.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

Yes, of course he does.

1 month, 2 weeks ago

Does a Muslim who owns a business have the right to deny a Christian service?

1 month, 2 weeks ago

A Christian Baker has a Constructional right to deny service to a homosexual couple.

1 month, 2 weeks ago
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