Politics and economics share a common problem. When too much power flows to the top, and is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, that greatly-increased power is controlled by an ever smaller minority. To put it in a kind of formula, the growth of power and the number of people who wield it are inversely proportional, until it reaches the point where absolute power is concentrated in one person. That is a tyranny.
Politically, the more power that is gathered into the federal government, the smaller the number of people who actually control everybody else in the nation—be it one president who does whatever he wills with executive orders, a few congressmen in powerful committees, or five Supreme Court Justices. All bow to the will of a very few.
The same is true when economic power flows into fewer and fewer companies. Economic monopolies concentrate far more economic power in far fewer hands, and this translates into political power as well. Thus, as we are now experiencing, a very small number of very powerful CEOs of the biggest corporations are now flexing their economic muscle to impose a social agenda on the rest of America—an economic parallel to the secular liberal political use of the Supreme Court. Big Business is used like Big Government when too-big-to-ignore companies threaten to boycott whatever state or organization opposes them which results in a very small number of people controlling everyone else. This used to be called tyranny. It’s now called progress.
This strategy has worked exceedingly well, as the newly releasedCorporate Equality Index 2016: Rating American Workplaces on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equality indicates. In 2002, when Human Rights Campaign Organization started its Corporate Equality Index, only 13 businesses scored a 100% affirmation of all LGBT inclusion goals. But by 2016, 407 businesses are now in full compliance with their agenda, law firms and banks leading the way. But here’s the real news: 165 of these are Fortune 500 companies, with 11 of the top 20 companies hitting the 100% mark.
Let’s name them: Chevron, Apple, General Motors, Ford, General Electric, AT&T, CVS, Fannie Mae, McKesson Corp, Hewlett-Packard, and J.P. Morgan.
As the HRCO proudly proclaims, “Businesses that achieve a rating of 100 percent in this report are recognized as ‘Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality’ and are welcome to use this distinction in their recruitment and marketing efforts.” We assume they are also invited to use their considerable economic power to force everyone else into similar compliance, as has happened in Georgia. The obvious implication is that—especially in difficult economic times—businesses, state legislatures, and individuals cannot afford to oppose the any aspect of the agenda, or they will face financial blackmail. Those who oppose having cross-dressing men come into women’s bathrooms are commanded to keep their opinions to themselves. But what about those of us who will not remain silent? What can be done?
We might begin by asking a more fundamental question, a deeply conservative question:
Is it time to break up political and economic monopolies? Has too much political power become concentrated in the Supreme Court, and what can be done to break up that consolidation of political power? Likewise, has too much economic power become concentrated in a relative handful of companies, and what can be done to break up that consolidation of economic power?
While many are happy to see a reduction of federal political power, they are a bit squeamish about inserting themselves in the free market. One may of course ask whether the market really is free when a few corporations (e.g., Walmart or Amazon) have the financial ability to sell products at levels which destroy all competition. But on the more obvious and pressing level, politics and economics are not so easily and neatly divided into separate compartments. Corporate Cronyism describes the current control of Congress by Big Businesses. But even more to the point, however free the economic market is, the Biggest of the Big Businesses that rule it are now using their immense economic leverage to destroy political and moral freedom.