Friday, January 21, 2011
Hard Copy: Nashville Business Journal surveys business reaction to CAN DO
Above the fold on the front page of the Nashville Business Journal is a great piece by Brian Reisinger on the business community's reaction to Metro's BL2011-838, the Contract Accountability Non-Discrimination Ordinance. It's only available in the print edition so I recommend going out and getting a copy. Here are a few highlights, but I won't give everything away since they obviously want you to go out and make a purchase. And I can't blame them in this economy.
Pretend business arguments: President of the Family Action Council of Tennessee David Fowler is attempting to make a business argument against the ordinance in the piece. It runs something like this. The ordinance would contribute to a "patchwork" of regulation that stifles business. Beware of culture warriors who try to use business arguments to justify opposition to human rights laws. The problem with Fowler's argument is that business is already used to the patchwork. Many Metro vendors already do businesses in many cities and states other than Nashville, TN. CCA and AT&T among others are already subject to many other jurisdictions. And what have they done? They adopted inclusive policies.
In the shadows: Interestingly the business leaders that met in secret a few weeks ago at LifeWay didn't want to comment. That tells me that their opposition is based on prejudice and a prejudice that they don't feel comfortable articulating in a public forum. And why would they? It's hard to justify job discrimination, after all. So they get Fowler to do their dirty work for them.
Prize for best argument: The price of the paper is more than worth it to read Darrell Freeman's comments. He not only says his companies are voluntarily updating their policies in light of the debate, but that it is actually detrimental to business if companies aren't hiring the best people. In other words, business not only can adapt, but it must adapt.