Smart ALEC Response to Big Biz
Disney, Apple, Coke, Starbucks, and others have spent the last three weeks griping about how bad the First Amendment is for business. Boy, were they wrong! According to a new report from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), North Carolina and Mississippi have everything to gain promoting freedom. Turns out, H.B. 2 and H.B. 1523 weren’t just good decisions — but profitable ones!
Based on their annual “Rich States, Poor States,” the areas with the brightest economic future “are all solidly Republican or leaning that way. These states,” ALEC writes, “have the common denominator or less taxation and government spending, right to work labor laws, and efforts to curtail out-of-control pension costs. The bottom states reflect the opposite prognosis and are almost all solidly Democratic.” By comparing things like income tax rates, property taxes, minimum wage, state and local debt and other factors, conservative states blew away the competition. In case you’re wondering where North Carolina ranks on the list, try #2! The state that’s supposedly “hurting recruitment,” “destroying tourism,” and “alienating business” by giving companies power over their own policies has the second-best economic growth in the entire country! So much for H.B. 2 being “bad for North Carolina, bad for America, and bad for business.”
Mississippi, where the Left is distorting common sense protections, is #17. Yet Big Business bullies are railing against the bills, wrongly arguing that “this is not a direction in which states move when they are seeking to provide successful, thriving hubs for business and economic development.” And here’s the kicker: The majority of states in the Top 20 have Religious Freedom Restoration Acts — the very laws liberals are protesting! North Carolina, Arizona, Indiana, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, Virginia, Idaho, Mississippi, and Arkansas all having booming economies and protections for faith. Only two in the bottom 10 can say the same: Illinois and Connecticut.
PayPal might want to consider that when they ship their jobs out of Charlotte. If CEO Dan Schulman accepts Vermont’s invitation, the company would be moving from the second-best economy in America to the second-worst. (New York’s travel-banning Governor Andrew Cuomo, D, is dead last.) And while ALEC’s focus was market freedom, the correlation with religious freedom is tough to ignore. The twin liberties have always been the driving forces of a healthy economy. That’s why the Wall Street Journal warned Big Business earlier this week of the short-sightedness of their position. “The private economy would be foolish to reject America’s heritage of liberty, which has powered the greatest engine of economic success in history. And if corporations want the benefits of a business-friendly environment, with lower taxes and less regulation, they would do well to recognize who enacts such policies: people with center-right social values, not the hard Left.”
And where are those values? Not in California, which has lost 1.2 million people in the past 10 years to greener economic pastures. “When you tax people who work and work people who aren’t taxed,” Tori Richards explains, “this is what happens. The only positive thing about California is that it has no death tax.” Hollywood and Silicon Valley should make the region a business mecca. But when locals only keep fifty cents of every dollar they earn, the effects on any industry are crippling. “California’s decades of Democratic leadership have brought on unmanageable pension debt and billions wasted on pork project developments such as a statewide bullet train that runs through the desert while constantly increasing taxes for everything from plastic bags to alcohol to gasoline.” New York, Hawaii, and others are in the same sinking boat.
“The top states try to not spend beyond their means, curb legislation and pension costs, and aspire to create higher earning jobs.” They also have an unshakeable respect for liberty, which contributes just as much to the common good as financial gain.
Originally published here.
Female Fighters on the Navy’s Radar
There’s no turning back now. That was the message from Navy Secretary Ray Mabus after Defense Secretary Ash Carter decided to ignore the advice of his military chiefs and bring women into the most dangerous, grueling roles in the service. Mabus, who’s ushered in years of the president’s extremism, dropped by Camp Pendleton this week to start paving the way for the integration that Marines openly oppose. “Once you’ve set the standards, once you’ve made them job-related, [then you say], ‘We are not going to change no matter what.’”
Despite a year’s worth of research about the catastrophic effects of opening infantry jobs to women, Mabus and Carter are charging ahead with a change that everyone agrees will lead to the drafting of women. “Marines,” the Navy’s top civilian told a crowd of 1,400, “we’re past the decision now. The Secretary of Defense has made the decision. Now we’re into implementing.” Shrugging off criticism from veterans like Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) who argued that the branch is ignoring the impact on military readiness, Mabus pressed on as chief cheerleader of the new policy. “We are stronger because we have Marines of color,” he told the troops sitting cross-legged on the concrete. “Same thing when ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ got repealed. We’re stronger because we don’t judge people by who they love but on whether they can do the job as Marines. A more diverse force is a stronger force.”
Unfortunately for Mabus and his boss, the evidence doesn’t exactly bear that out. Then, as now, political operatives openly rejected the opinion of military leaders with battle-tested experience, who cautioned that we were opening up our troops to grave danger. Five years of sexual assaults, suicides, recruitment woes, and low morale later, we see they were right. As with DADT, Tuesday’s pep rally was accompanied by the usual promises that the military wouldn’t lower physical standards or push for gender quotas. Of course, Congress was assured that opening the military to people who identify as homosexuals wouldn’t trample religious liberty or pave the way to transgender service in 2010 too. We all see how that turned out.
General Neller has been blunt about the obstacles of introducing women to things like hand-to-hand combat, after political appointees ignored his advice about the negative consequences. “I have concerns about retention. I have concerns about injury rates. I have concerns about propensity to re-enlist, career progression. I have concerns about what’s gonna happen if the numbers are low,” he told the Senate Armed Services Committee soberly. But, he recognized, “We have a decision and we’re in the process of moving out. We will see where the chips fall. And, again, our hope is that everyone will be successful. But hope is not a course of action on the battlefield.”
Marines at Camp Pendleton gave Mabus’s speech mixed reviews. The ones who agreed to be interviewed admitted that it’s been difficult to adjust to so many changes. But it’s the Pentagon’s inflexibility that has some concerned. Mabus insists the decision is “irreversible.” Says who? When did the military stop reversing decisions that undermine their mission? The day this president was elected? Fortunately for America and anyone interested in ending the real war on women, Obama’s days of social engineering are numbered. “We have had enough with political correctness — especially in the military,” Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has said. “Political correctness is dangerous, and the idea that we would draft our daughters, to forcibly bring them into the military and put them in close contact — I think is wrong, it is immoral, and if I am president, we ain’t doing it.”
Originally published here.
Cloudy with a Chance of Clarity
Very few people can imagine the pressure Governor Pat McCrory (R-N.C.) has been under since March 23. With one signature, he knew a vicious, distorted, smear campaign awaited — not just him, but the entire state. Still, in the face of the worst storm of his political career, McCrory stood firm, knowing that what he did was right for North Carolina in the long run. There’s never a wrong time to give businesses more freedom to operate their own way. And despite what the Left, Big Business bullies, and cultural elites may say, that’s exactly what H.B. 2 has done. [Tuesday], after a three-week pounding from Bruce Springsteen to Facebook, McCrory blinked — issuing an executive order to clarify the North Carolina law from the politically-motivated attacks.
At first, conservatives worried the bill might be “Penced,” a reference to Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R-Ind.), who surrendered to the demands of LGBT activists and watered down his state’s religious liberty law. “I have come to the conclusion that there is a great deal of misinformation, misinterpretation, confusion, a lot of passion, and frankly, selective outrage and hypocrisy, especially against the great state of North Carolina,” McCrory said in a video message. “I am taking action to protect the privacy and equality of all North Carolinans.”
While we don’t think Governor McCrory needed to provide any additional clarity, his executive order doesn’t change the law he just signed to stop local government from forcing people to violate their beliefs about sexuality. That much was confirmed when members of the ACLU and LGBT communities lashed out, insisting that the document was “a poor effort to save face.” Instead, liberals used the moment to call for a full repeal. Obviously, their response shows that the Left has no interest in a live-and-let-live policy and couldn’t care less about the common sense privacy concerns of North Carolina families — even when it comes to the question of letting grown men use the girls’ restroom. Everyone deserves human dignity and respect, but that doesn’t mean the government should force businesses to adopt its own twisted views on marriage or gender identity. We join our allies in the state — and Christians all across America — in calling on Governor McCrory to continue to protect women and children by defending H.B. 2.
Originally published here.