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Culture Beat / August 11, 2017

Rainbow Mafia: Dubious Economics to Further Agenda

Socially conservative laws are labeled as dangerous for business, while leftist prerogatives are an economic boon.

The Texas Association of Business has been a vocal critic of a proposed transgender bathroom bill — one that would restrict the use of public bathrooms to an individual’s biological sex rather than one’s self-declared gender identity. It’s similar to the law that was passed last year in North Carolina. So why would a business advocacy group oppose a common-sense law that protects the vast majority of the population? Because it fears an economic backlash to the tune of an estimated $8.5 billion in lost business should the bill become law.

In Florida, a small-business advocacy group called Florida Competes has been actively and aggressively pushing for the state to make sexual orientation and gender identity a protected class under the Florida Civil Rights Act. The advocacy group maintains that this change would boost Florida’s economy by some $5 billion and add at least 36,000 jobs over the next decade.

What’s driving this connection between business revenue and leftist “social justice”? Call it the Rainbow Mafia’s economic carrot-and-stick approach. Across the country, these single-minded pressure groups have been promoting their agenda by pouring money into a “network of small-business coalitions that routinely make doom-and-gloom economic prognostications about socially conservative legislation.” To put it simply, they find “experts” to study the issue and then declare that any legislation which impedes their agenda is backward, bad for business and harmful for economic growth.

But even lefty PolitiFact rated the Texas Association of Business prognostication as “mostly false.” Politicians seem to be especially susceptible to these dubious doom-and-gloom “studies” because they’re terrified of being blamed for any ill economic effects. Their constituents, however, would be far better served by an adherence to principled and untainted sources of information.

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