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Affluent Christian Investor | March 30, 2023

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Amazon Should Not Cave In To Red-State-Lining

One of the most abusive business practices in American history was something called ‘redlining’. Redlining was a way of treating some Americans as second-class citizens by refusing to deal with them in certain business relations.

“In the United States, Redlining is the systematic denial of various services to residents of specific, often racially associated, neighborhoods or communities, either directly or through the selective raising of prices. While the best known examples of redlining have involved denial of financial services such as banking or insurance,[2] other services such as health care[3] or even supermarkets[4] have been denied to residents. In the case of retail businesses like supermarkets, purposefully locating impractically far away from said residents results in a redlining effect.[5

From Wikipedia.

Redlining is discriminatory because it uses something irrelevant to business suitability as a criterion for doing business. For example, classic redlining involved banks or real estate brokers who would do business with poor white people, but not with identically credit-worthy black citizens. It would make sense for banks to look at income or credit history, of course, when making loans. However, race is economically irrelevant and therefore should not be a distinguishing feature in business.

Likewise for religious and political differences. A similar practice is the increasing tendency to punish states (usually ‘red’ states) with the threat of not employing their citizens due to having state-level Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (which would include protections for religious individuals to not participate in business which violate conscience, such as same-sex marriages). It ‘red-state-lines’ them by discriminating against prospective employees simply because they live in a state with policies disagreed with by management of activists (or the increasingly-intimidated-by-activists).

I recently recorded a commentary on this topic which is running on Salem radio stations:

“Amazon Corporation is looking for a site at which to build a 2nd headquarters, and they’ve narrowed the list down to 20 American cities. But a group which calls itself ‘No Gay, No Way’ is pressuring the company to knock Austin; Dallas; Nashville; Atlanta; Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis; Miami; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Washington, D.C off the list. The problem is that the red states which are less likely to embrace special protections for sexual identity also tend to be low tax.

This is not about protecting gay Amazon employees. This is about power, about using economic intimidation to punish cities and states which have not yet submitted.

But if the management knuckles under to activists and rejects cities with better business climates, it does so at the expense of owners, employees and customers.”

You can listen to the commentary here.

Corporations were brought into existence for the purpose of enhancing human productivity. Not liberal human productivity or conservative human productivity, but all human productivity. The corporation brought all sorts of different people together in order to expand the incredible power of the division of labor. Shareholders buy shares in order to participate in that. To the degree that businesses either initiate, or cave into, shrinking the pool of participants in this web of human productivity, they lose their reason for being.


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