Friday, May 21, 2010

Private Business Rights

The Republican Primary victory by Dr. Rand Paul displayed the influence the Tea Party can have on the future of the Republican Party. Dr. Paul is a lifetime Libertarian who campaigned in the Primary on fiscal conservative message but may have just unraveled that message with his comments made on the Rachel Maddow Show. The issue that may be Dr. Paul's Achilles Heel is his view on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Although he agrees with ending the racism in government and institutional racism but he does feel the Government overreaches when it comes to private businesses. The comment made by Dr. Paul does create an interesting philosophical debate on the right of private business.

Earlier this year we saw private business rights challenged, which I do not believe any lawsuits ever came of it, when a doctor placed a sign outside his office telling any Obama supporters need not apply. The sign did have another twist because of the Hippocratic Oath that all doctors take before being allowed to practice medicine. Yet it still brings up the rights of private business. Does it make sense, from the standpoint of owning a business, to turn away anyone when they want to purchase from one's business? No. Do we need protections, like OSHA, for our citizens? Yes.

How far can the Government go to tell a private business how they are to run their own business? Setting aside Dr. Paul's comments a local private business, Target, had to deal with religious issues from their Muslim workers. For those that do not recall, Target Muslim cashiers refused to scan pork products because it violated their religious freedoms. In the end Target bowed to the perceived violation of the Muslim's Constitutional right to practice their religion. Here is the thing, when one agrees to work for a private employer for the most part your Constitutional Rights stop at the door step. Another example of Government intrusion into private business is the banning of smoking. While we can agree that smoking is not healthy for one; yet if one takes a job in a bar or restaurant or any establishment that allows smoking then we as an employee need to recognize that.

Now where the Government can mitigate the impact of smoking is through requirement of filtration to recycle the air. When it comes to private property are we okay with continual government intrusion?