Laws and regulations should not require a person to join a union in order to work for a unionized employer, including the government. But for privately owned businesses, the owners should be able to work exclusively with a union, and require employees to join the union, if that is what the owners want. Most if not all right-to-work laws do not give owners that right. Those laws should be changed.
Both the Iowa and U.S. Constitutions allow government to take private property, using the government’s power of eminent domain, when the property taken is for public use, (and just compensation is paid). Taking property for public benefit is not sufficient. Many privately owned enterprises benefit the public. If we allow property to be taken for public benefit, there would be almost no limit on the power of government to take people’s property. Public use means what is says: the property will be used by the public, not by a privately owned company. So, using eminent domain to take property for privately owned gas pipelines or electricity transmission lines is not public use and should not be allowed. The Iowa Legislature failed to pass legislation that would have strengthened our property rights against taking by eminent domain, but that doesn’t mean regulators (the Iowa Utility Board) can’t stand up for the rights of property owners and not allow the use of eminent domain for privately owned projects.
Link to related Des Moines Register article: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/opinion/editorials/2014/12/07/editorial-must-forfeit-land-utilities/20012449/
The Des Moines Register reported today (7/24/2014) that, “An Iowa newspaper editor fired after publishing his views on homosexuals is claiming he was the victim of religious discrimination by his former employer.” He has filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Editors of newspapers should not be protected by laws against discrimination in employment based on religious belief. Newspapers are privately owned businesses that typically express the opinions of their owners. They benefit our society by their independent advocacy regarding public policy. They should not be forced by government to employ editors who hold beliefs contrary to their own – especially political or public policy beliefs. Owners of newspapers should be free to fire editors at will, unless they have entered into an employment contract to the contrary. For government to force a newspaper to continue to employ an editor is wrong and is bad public policy.
Link to Register article: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/crime-and-courts/2014/07/23/newspaper-editor-fired-gaystapo/13047733/
A Supreme Court ruling today (6/30/2014) upheld our fundamental right to use our own private property in accordance with our own moral beliefs. The ruling gives priority to natural religious and private property rights over the politically created guarantee that private business owners will provide employees with a health insurance benefit that covers certain birth control pills.
The owners of Hobby Lobby objected to the Obama Care legal requirement that they provide their employees with an insurance benefit that covered morning after “abortion” pills. The law was in direct conflict with their sincerely held, honest and peaceful religious beliefs. Hobby Lobby has never used force or fraud to get people to either work for or patronize their business.
Governments are the only organizations that can legally use force against peaceful people. We created our government to use force, if necessary, to protect our fundamental right to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. Government force should not be used to make peaceful people act against their own religious beliefs – no matter how good the cause or the intentions.
Contrary to the letter by John Ashman, the owners of Hobby Lobby are not forcing their views on anyone. (“Are owners of business forcing views on workers?” 2/12/2014) Only governments have the legal right to use force against peaceful people. No one is being forced to work for or patronize Hobby Lobby. Although I disagree completely with their religious beliefs, I do agree that they have the right to use their own private property, including their business which is open to the public, in their own peaceful, honest way. Similarly, individuals and groups have freedom of speech, assembly and association rights which allow them to organize protests and boycotts against businesses that they think operate unfairly. Government’s proper role is to protect the lives, liberty and property of peaceful people against those who would use force or fraud to take what they want . It is not proper to for government to take sides when there are differences of opinions between peaceful and honest people.
Link to Register article: http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20140213/OPINION04/302130029/1038/opinion04/Letter-editor-owners-business-forcing-views-workers-
The owners of Chick-fil-a have spoken out against gay marriage, and have financially supported groups that are against gay marriage. Many supporters of “traditional marriage” have shown their support for Chick-fil-a by patronizing their stores. Many who oppose discrimination against gay marriage have boycotted and protested against Chick-fil-a.
All of these peaceful and private actions are morally acceptable and should be politically acceptable. What we don’t want is for government to get involved. Privately owned businesses, even though they open their doors to the public, do not give away their private property rights or speech rights. People should be free to speak on both sides of the issue. Rallys, protests, and boycotts by groups for or against gay marriage rights should be allowed without interference by government.
Our laws should not discriminate against people who are peaceful and honest. The force of government should not used to require owners of privately owned businesses to provide products or services that are against their moral philosophy. In the case of Chick-fil-a, they should be able to employ or say, or do whatever they want as long as they don’t use any force or fraud against others and don’t infringe on the same rights of others.