Civil Rights Act, A Disgraceful Infringement On Private Property RightsI'm not without sympathy to this line of argument, but there is a flaw in Dean's reasoning: Walgreens isn't a privately owned business, it's a corporation. Corporations have numerous legal privileges, but the most important is the doctrine of limited liability, which allows ownership of a corporation to be anonymous and transitory.
If you have ever had the misfortune to hear Sean Hannity speak, then you have probably heard him brag about how Republicans pushed the 1964 Civil Rights Act through Congress. The very fact that he would brag about this infringement on private property rights proves that he and many more like him are much more Republican than they are conservative.
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But how can you support a federal government that has the power to tell a property owner or an employer who he or she should do business with? The whole idea completely runs opposite of the concept of liberty. . .
I used to be a docrinare libertarian -- I worked for Liberty magazine for seven years -- but when I started to think of the problem of the corporation, my beliefs began to unravel. A while back, I quoted Wendell Berry on the subject:
You would find that these organizations are organized expressly for the evasion of responsibility. They are structures in which, as my brother says, "the buck never stops." The buck is processed up the hierarchy until finally it is passed to "the shareholders," who characteristically are too widely dispersed, too poorly informed, and too unconcerned to be responsible for anything.
Limited Liability, and other privileges granted to corporations, amounts to a huge intervention in the economy. In fact, it makes the modern economy possible. It also makes corporation very powerful compared to an individual employee or customer. I think there is room for reform of our civil rights laws, but I don't see anything wrong with the government evening the odds on occasion.