Seems the NFL has warned Georgia about passing a new bill designed to protect those that discriminate against gays. They have warned that Atlanta would likely not have any chance at the super bowl should the bill be signed into law. (It has passed both houses and awaits the governor's signature).
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nfl-warns-s … d=22482990
A pretty clear attempt by a major organization with lots and lots of money to buy legislation (or prevent it in this case), something we all seem to decry and complain about.
So do we still abhor such actions by the rich when the law is a very bad one in our opinion? Is it OK to use huge amounts of money to buy "good" laws and prohibit "bad" ones (who, outside of the organization or company with the money, decides what is good and bad, what can be bought and what cannot)? Or should we still be still be complaining that it is wrong, that money cannot buy laws the wealthy like?
A conundrum - what's your opinion?
I think both the NFL and the state have the luxury of choice regarding this issue. The only conundrum I see would involve someone's search to rationalize their condemnation of one side over the other.
Is there a real difference, then, between this and a large corporation "buying" a new law to cut their taxes?
The NFL is a large corporation. Do you see something wrong with someone, (or a corporation of someones), trying to influence, (buy), improvements to their environment?
As long as I agree with that environmental change, no. If they wish to lower their tax rate (environment), probably. If they wish to discriminate against a segment of the population, absolutely.
Which is kind of the point - we'll all say it's great that they are dong this, but when the change is something we don't like (lowering their taxes, or the reverse of this specific case) we'll scream to high heaven and demonize Big Money or Giant Corporations for using their financial power. Is that reasonable?
I don't see it as attempting to buy anything. Yes, they are trying to throw their weight around but I would think if a religious conviction could be swayed by the thought of not being able to host a super bowl it isn't really a religious conviction. They're going to look pretty strange if they cave in. I'm sure they realize this.
As to your question though. I suppose it could be argued that it is similar to a corporation attempting to sway legislation to their favor but where is the favor involved? Does the NFL stand to suffer if they can't have a super bowl hosted in Atlanta? Do they gain if they do? It sounds to me as if the NFL is making a moral stand against the moral stand GA thinks it is making.
Yes, it seems a moral conviction. Does that make a difference - that it is a moral question rather than financial? What if the moral (gays are evil) was something you disagreed with? Would it still be fine to use large amounts of money to obtain laws supporting it?
Maybe I don't know all of the facts. Other than state that a Super Bowl would not likely be held in Atlanta if that law was passed, has any money been spent by the NFL to attempt to change the fate of the bill?
No; rather than spend money to defeat it, they threaten to withhold vast sums of money flowing into the state from the superbowl. Did you know they have a sales tax exemption already, one that cost the state some 10 million dollars (if the bowl goes there)? That's a lot of dough to give up, and you can bet the state figures on not only recouping every penny but many times that much. That part is much like a business getting an exemption or straight tax write off for building a new factory in a specific location, which is rather common (and ridiculous, but that's another tale). I just mention it to give some idea of the amount of money Georgia will lost if they don't get the bowl game. The size of the "sword" (bribe) the NFL is holding over them to force what they want to see.
So. Let me get this straight. You think that they (the NFL) should not look at the laws, policies and customs of anywhere they are going to consider allowing to hold a venue. And, if they do look at the laws, thus finding that being there might be detrimental to their image, harm their brand and possibly otherwise cause them a loss of income or endanger any sub segment of their fanbase they have an obligation to not look at those factors when determining where to hold a game because concessions have been given to them previously and their failure to award a Super Bowl game to that particular area will cause a loss of income to the businesses located there.
I'm in a quandary here. They haven't invested any money in an attempt to change a law. They are simply saying they will not do business in an area which creates such a law. I don't know that businesses have an obligation to do business in any area. It's no different from a business saying it doesn't like gays (Chick fil A).
I honestly don't know what to think. I think they have a right to make a statement. I doubt that scenario came up during negotiations for concessions. If it had and they said it would be no problem then I suppose they are in the wrong.
Personally, I applaud their stance and cheer for it to work. For the governor to refuse to sign the bill into law.
I also hate that Chick fil A has taken the opposite stance, and when the Mormon church invested millions into the effort to defeat the California bill to legalize gay marriage I was incensed. They tried to buy a negative vote with their money and I hated that. I cheered when they failed and it wasn't just that the law passed anyway. It was that all the money of the church failed them in something they should not have been doing anyway.
Isn't that a little hypocritical? A corporation that tries to use Big Money to force legislation they like is OK...when I agree with the stance being taken. But when it against what I think is "right" it is deplorable, nothing but "lobbying", using their huge financial power to create law. Does that make more sense? True, the Mormon church thing was a little different in that they didn't go directly to politicians or the state, but the basic idea is still there just as it is with Chick fil A.
I think businesses have a right to make a statement. Not to spend money in lobbying efforts to push their agenda. I don't applaud when they push agendas I like. It's wrong for them to attempt to influence policy.
Now you're losing me! How is "making a statement" (using their enormous wealth to push an agenda) any different than "attempting to influence policy"? I would have said they are the same thing.
I think you are seeing too much weight in a simple statement by the NFL. Looking into this, it appears that many major corporations and Georgia businesses have weighed in on this that it will hurt their business as have major ball teams located in Georgia. Why does the NFL statement warrant a special thread?
I will say that a business warning that they will not consider doing business in an area that openly discriminates against portions of the population isn't really throwing their weight around. Isn't that part of federal law?
Yes, baseball teams have weighed in too, if only as a statement that it will hurt their business and they don't like it.
But the NFL has made a very strong and definite threat to the pocketbook of the state. There is a difference
I didn't mean to pick on the NFL, though - just the idea that using economic means to gain legislature they like is wrong, regardless of who's doing it. We hate that so much is done through lobbying to gain laws advantageous to the company, and at the end of the day this isn't really any different. Yet we (mostly) approve of it (outside of Georgia legislature, anyway).
But what if they said they wouldn't come unless the law was enacted? Would that be all right to you (outside of any moral considerations to the NFL - all right for any corporation to thereby buy a law you found abhorrent is the question).
Or I may be just putting unwarranted weight on it all, as you say. That's why I made the thread - to see what others thought.
First, I see a big difference in that the NFL is not currently doing business in the state of GA. The franchises are. So, what we have is a company that could, potentially, do business in the state. I just don't see their statement as a threat that is unduly attempting to sway legislation. Lots of businesses could do business in the state of GA. Maybe it could be argued that by their silence they are attempting to sway the governor's pen?
I simply think you picked the wrong entity to use to pose this question. I don't think the NFL is obligated to do business in Georgia, or any other place. I hear that SalesForce has threatened to pull as much business as possible out of the state. I don't see that as a threat. I see it as a company explaining what the impact of legislation will have on their business decisions. 373K is moving because of the bill. Is that a threat?
A business owner does have a right to chose their location. So, I suppose I don't have any problem with the current situation. Just as I wouldn't have a problem with a business saying it supported the bill because it didn't want to wait on, or do business with, the LGBT community. I wasn't happy when Chik-fil-A made a point of pointing out their narrow minded attitudes. I boycotted. I noticed they had a surge in business in this area. With people rallying to show their support. Our elected official were, I'm sure, aware of the outcome. We all decided we couldn't live without the occasional Chik-fil-A fix so we took to announcing before we ordered that we were gay. They served us and did a good job with the orders. I'm pretty sure it was a gay manager who came over to make sure we were happy with the service. We stopped pretending to be gay because we realized we weren't having any effect on Chik-fil-A corporate ideals.
Companies make statements. Legislatures make laws. Laws such as this one usually lose out in a legal battle. And companies which vocally advocate laws such as this usually see a very limited clientele.
I don't want to see companies attempt to push for legislation which unfairly favors them. Which limit free trade and fair competition. But, free speech and freedom to make choices which affect the bottom line dollar for their companies? I don't have a problem with. We will decide whether we want to support a company for their moral stands.
That's probably the right position to take - that one may use money to influence morality based legislation whether corporate (group of people) or individuals. But not when it financially benefits them.
LOL Love the Chick fil A thing. I boycotted Hobby Lobby for much the same reason...until I needed something from them, whereupon I bought it. We're so weak when it comes to making a statement!
Are we really so weak or are we simply more accepting of people with different beliefs and attitudes?
Personally, when a store (Hobby Lobby, Chick fil A) takes the belief that discrimination is OK into the public arena via their store I don't find it acceptable.
And yet, if they offer a product of value we reason that it is not so unacceptable as to warrant completely severing the relationship. It's the same with all decisions in life. They are all trade offs. "Eat the donuts. Worry about the calories later. Date the bad boy. Deal with the repercussions later. Bow your head so someone you completely disagree with on religious matters can offer a prayer, so you can cut into your steak dinner in a semblance of harmony, bitch about it on hub pages later"
The great part of life is that we don't all shuffle around like clones. The bad part is we think life would be better if everyone thought more like us.
What discriminatory actions has Chick Fil A exhibited in the public operation of their stores?
I have not heard of any, and Live to Learn's recount of her group's efforts to elicit anti-gay reactions seem to validate my impression that they are keeping their owner's beliefs out of their public customer interactions.
It's been a while, so bear with me - it's coming from a failing memory.
But it seems that Chick fil A made it extremely plain in the political arena that it disagrees with gay marriage and threw it's weight behind the anti-gay movement to halt such marriages. And Hobby Lobby did the same.
In my mind, then, they are promoting discrimination through public statements from the business. Again, it seems like there was considerable lobbying going on from the business, but I could be wrong.
You are correct about Chick Fil A's actions. No public discrimination, just a public acknowledgement of the owner's beliefs , and a principled stand to hold them. And those beliefs are not in the anti-social/society strata of the Klan, or Skinheads, or cannibalism. They are as legitimate as your right to disagree with them.
*From what I could find, (and remember), the company made a determined, (and I think successful), effort to keep the controversy of the owner's beliefs out of store operations. No lobbying and no customer discrimination.
ps. Hobby Lobby is a different issue entirely and should not paired with the Chick Fil A example.
It is funny that the NFL is taking such an interest in this topic. Is it out of moral outrage? Where were they when their players were sustaining brain damage and death from playing the game? Are they now a moral compass for us?
Are they a moral compass, and if so is it all right to buy legislation with their resources? What if they took the opposite stance - "We'll come if the bill becomes law"? Would we be angry about such "lobbying", finding it no different than lobbying for a tax break and thus wrong?
Nobody has a thought on this? Too clear cut and obvious an answer, too murky and unsolvable or just don't care?
I think it demonstrates to what length the gay-lobby will go to advance their agenda. By using professional sports as a sounding board/bargaining tool, and the revenues that come with it, it most certainly is coercion. I think the NFL on the other hand is simply pandering by even considering such a thought. It's detestable.
Not sure how the gay lobby got into it - I've never heard that the NFL is just one of their tools before.
But do you find ANY business buying ANY law to be objectionable? Or is using your money just another acceptable tool, even for Big Business and we should quit griping when it happens?
Gay agenda? Or do you mean a minority who simply want to be treated like everyone else? Was the civil rights movement in the 60's referred to as the black agenda? Homophobes, especially those living backward southern church/states that continue to be an embarrassment to the rest of the nation need to simply grow up and get over themselves!
backward southern church/states - This is the state where I live and go to an evangelical church, so I want to go on the record as one of many people here who are just as opposed as anyone to legislating the right to be prejudiced against any particular group of people. The Governor said during the legislative session that he would veto such a bill. The typical sorry politicians we all suffer with took that as permission to satisfy their primarily conservative base by passing the bill through both houses. They are cowards. Now it is up to the lame duck governor to do the right thing and take the hit from some (not all) evangelicals alone. I only hope - like many others - that he will.
We can hope that you're right - that it is nothing but a grandstand play to keep bigoted voters happy and thus keep their job. Although anyone that would do that should perhaps find another line of work...
As I follow this thread it appears to me that this NFL "controversy" was an excellent vehicle to make a point. Namely that it appears it is OK for corporations to use their financial clout if it is for something we agree with, but it is an evil self-serving act if it is to accomplish something we don't agree with.
As I read the OP, I took the point to be the right or wrong of the NFL's actions, not the right or wrong of the cloth of their actions.
Isn't the question about the act of influencing policy more basic, (and important to decide), than questions about the purpose of "the act"
A Super Bowl is a tremendous financial boost for a city. I think threats to withhold it, (no matter how innocently phrased), amount to blackmail. Or more accurate to this case, purposeful influence of legislation.
As many responses have shown, "the act" isn't being judged, just its purpose. Wrong and wrong.
ps. I don't have a problem with a corporation attempting to influence legislation. It is a natural part of capitalism. My problem is with those that sell-out to that influence to the detriment of their constituents.
Seriously? The fact that the NFL simply stated that the policy would likely inhibit their ability to win a bid to host the Super Bowl? That's blackmail? Me thinks there are some who put too much emphasis on sports.
The NFL, I'm sure, weighs many factors in deciding who gets to host a Super Bowl. It isn't blackmail. It's common business sense. Bad press if the bill goes through and they award the event to that city. Boycotts by some, protests by others. What it will boil down to is a loss of income during that event.
A corporation has a right to make a statement without it being automatically labeled black mail. And, they have a right to protect their brand. It isn't blackmail. It's simply stating what the obvious outcome will be if the bill is passed. It's still a free country. You can't force a corporation to make bad financial decisions.
I think you misunderstand me. I don't have a problem with the NFL's statement. But I do believe its action was studied and purposeful. And just as you said - a business decision.
It is possible that I misunderstood but you said it appears it is OK for corporations to use their financial clout if it is something we agree with, but it is an evil self-serving act of it is to accomplish something we don't agree with
The only parameters I see, which they should remain within, are that attempts to sway legislation to unfairly favor them against competition, or unfairly put the consumer at a disadvantage, should be off limits. Your statement implied that if a corporation attempted to sway this type of legislation, either way, it would be heinous; but only halfway so. Depending in which stand you agreed with.
This legislation stands to allow the individual and the corporation to target the individual by allowing open discrimination. No company stands to gain or lose except if they chose to use the legislation to push their personal agendas. It doesn't financially enrich them but protects them from prosecution or a potential lawsuit. I see no inherent over stepping of bounds in either side voicing their opinions. Nor do I perceive it as flexing financial muscles. It's a simple matter of the question of what environment a company is willing to invest in and being clear about it.
This being a question of morals, it would seem to me that no company's input should affect the outcome. If it does, was it really a matter of conviction to start with?
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