Let Matt Be Michael

Thursday, November 17, 2016

GrubHub CEO and angry leftist Matt Maloney recently channeled Michael Scott to tell his Trump-supporting employees, in effect, "This is an environment of welcoming, and you should just get the hell out of here." Indeed, Maloney easily topped Scott, with, "Get the hell out," coming in the form of a company email and, "This is an environment of welcoming," coming as a press release.

I share business columnist Suzanne Lucas's moral outrage. After quoting the email, Lucas notes:

No matter whom you voted for, this should shock and appall you. The last thing we want is companies insisting that you must vote for a certain person to keep your job.
Were I an employee there, I would go even further, and consider Lucas's past excellent advice regarding political discussions in the work place, part of which I summarized as follows:
[T]he work environment depends on collaboration, and a major part of collaboration is the premise that one can offer one's views for consideration and get a fair hearing. Lucas rightly notes that personal attacks related to a non-work matter not only fail to convince, but also cause the person on the other end to be wary of advancing his opinion about other things, including those related to the job.
On such grounds, this snit on Maloney's part causes me to question his fitness as a CEO, and, were I one of his employees, I'd keep an antenna up for further evidence one way or the other.

That said, like Lucas, I did not support either major candidate, but I have to disagree with her proposed remedy:
Currently, it's against the law for companies to punish people for political views in only a handful of jurisdictions, but it should be a bedrock of our republic. [link omitted]
As tempting as it might be to outlaw such behavior, I must say, No. This is a violation of property rights, and can very easily lend itself to further government intrusion in the name of "fairness." (And the definition of "fairness" would be whatever whoever is in power wants it to be.) At best, there would be scoundrels who would find ways to abuse such requirements and other scoundrels who would find ways to circumvent them altogether. Aside from respecting the property rights of the vast majority of businessmen who are professional enough to evaluate employees on merit alone, we should make it as easy as possible for people like Maloney to show their true colors. Armed with such knowledge, good employees can leave sooner and customers can boycott businesses run by such buffoons.

In short, it is not the government's job to protect employees from learning that their bosses are bigots, but to protect the individual rights, including property and freedom of speech, of everyone.

Our nation once had legally-enforced racial discrimination, and legal slavery before that. People like Maloney, who (fortunately) don't have government backing are nothing by comparison. Moral outrage and persuasion lifted both historical yokes, and can much more easily snuff out this new variety of bigotry -- if we remain free to use those history-changing tools. But to do so, everyone must be free.

-- CAV


Dinwar said...

My only disagreement with this is that you did not take this far enough.

This election has demonstrated the futility of solving social issues via passing laws. Liberals were astonished at the number of racist, sexist, and homophobic people came out of the woodwork to support Trump--they honestly had no idea how many people held those views. The reason for this ignorance is that Liberals, by passing legislation forbidding people from expressing politically incorrect viewpoints, removed their capacity to identify these people. And as always, underground beliefs become insular and self-sustaining.

I said it back when homosexual marriage was the issue of the day: We need to allow businessmen to express their political views, so that we can make informed decisions. Once businessmen realize that racism and sexism cut into their bottom line, they quite quickly stop being racists and sexists--see the history of the sewing machine, baseball, John Henry, and the like. Economic sanctions are powerful motivators, but to implement them properly we need to know who to target!

Gus Van Horn said...

On top of driving actual scoundrels underground and suppressing debate, leftists also devalue the term "racist" every time they use it to mean, "Anyone who doesn't toe the party line."