Mind Your Own Business!
By Patrick F. Cannon
I’m not going to go into the details of the Florida law about what can and cannot be taught about sex to little kiddies in their schools, but whether or not the Disney corporation should have gone public with their objection to it.
My answer is “no.” Why would a corporation that owns more than 200 companies that reach into the pockets of almost every American, alienate a significant percentage of its customers and its stockholders by taking a position they may or may not agree with? Maybe they should make a cartoon called “Mickey Talks Sex.” Or, maybe “Goofy Comes Out!”
More and more, public corporations are giving in to pressure from some of their employees and customers to take positions – mostly, it must be said, “woke” ones – on public policy matters. I suppose Disney, in the business of amusing children, now thinks it should take a role in deciding how they’re educated about sex. Initially mute on the bill, Disney CEO Bob Chapek eventually gave in to pressure from members of the Disney family and affiliated companies to express opposition to the bill. As a result, and in obvious retaliation, the Florida legislature has stripped Disney of its special quasi-governmental status.
I frankly don’t know enough about the bill to take an informed position. But I do know that public corporations like Disney should mind their own business, unless a proposed law or regulation directly affects it. For example, if the Florida legislature were to propose a special tax for amusement parks that other businesses didn’t have to pay, that would be a legitimate reason to scream bloody murder. And General Motors would be within its rights to weigh in on fuel consumption or pollution limits. But why would they take a position on school prayer?
Private companies are a different matter. Their owners can say whatever they wish — at their own risk, of course. A good example is Bill Penzey of Penzey’s Spices. A progressive’s progressive, Penzey uses his regular customer newsletter and other media to heap abuse on Republicans. As I recall, he started this when Donald Trump was running for president and upped the ante when he was elected. While I was inclined to agree with him on Trump, he soon began painting all Republicans with the same brush, and continues to do so. Indeed, in honor of Martin Luther King Day this year, he proclaimed “Republicans are Racists” weekend!
Has he lost customers because of his stance? Yes, he has. Obviously, Republicans can get their spices elsewhere, and mostly do. But it seems that Democrats and progressives have decided to put more spice in their lives, so he claims his business has actually increased. Go figure!
Anyway, if I were running a public company, I would require all employees to sign something like this as a condition of employment:
“The Acme Horseshoe Company is in the business of making the best horseshoes available on the market. It is dedicated to providing a quality product to the world’s horses, farriers, owners and trainers. It takes no position on matters of public policy, unless they directly affects its core business. This does not mean that its employees may not do so – in fact, it encourages its employees to express their opinions on matters that affect them and their communities, as long as they do not associate the Acme Horseshoe Company with them. To do so is cause for immediate termination.”
Copyright 2022, Patrick F. Cannon
2 thoughts on “Mind Your Own Business!”
Public education mimics Disney fantasyland. Androgynous Peter Pans, lost boys, evil dads and moms, hookah smoking caterpillars. Parents have embraced it for years.
Disney felt perfectly entitled to step in. They likely believed the governor would roll over and beg forgiveness. Trouble is he’s more big dog than lap dog.
I read there are thousands of these special taxing districts. Cook county has a few like the mosquito abatement district you pay tax to every year. Good thing too as otherwise you’d all be suffering from malaria. Or was that buzzing Tinkerbell?
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Illinois has more taxing bodies than any other state. Think of the jobs to fill! By the way, why do I keep getting mosquito bites?