Issues, Political correctness

North Carolina, PayPal and the Californication of America


PayPal cares. Or at least they want you to think they do, as they issue statements filled with bromides about fairness and equality in the wake of their decision to terminate a planned 400 person facility in Charlotte, N.C. But do they really care? You know, about the equality in all those countries they do business in?californication

Let’s take a look. PayPal is silent on the treatment of lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) people on their long list of partner countries, including Saudi Arabia that executes homosexuals, as well as Cuba, Singapore and Malaysia that imprisons them. Oh, and PayPal apparently has no problem employing Malaysians to do what North Carolinians can’t do. Excluding the possibility that PayPal is just plain hypocritical, this leads to an obvious conclusion: PayPal is hostile to democracy, and prefers tyranny.

After all, PayPal decided to locate in Charlotte after the people of North Carolina voted resoundingly in 2012 against same-sex marriage. And yet, PayPal was still willing to do business with them. Shouldn’t that have reproached North Carolina, or did PayPal simply act in a knee-jerk fashion in accordance with the news cycle? If PayPal were truly consistent, there would be few transactions conducted in the Muslim world, where LGBT people enjoy few of the privileges of their Western counterparts.

PayPal, as an entity, has the freedom to locate wherever they like, and we wouldn’t presume to tell them otherwise. However, when they seek to punish North Carolina for enacting a law regulating their own facilities, barring transgendered people or anybody else from using opposite sex bathrooms and locker rooms in public schools and other government buildings, PayPal are engaging in small-scale economic imperialism.

To the point, PayPal is imposing their preferences on states that legislate against their preferences via democratic processes, while ignoring policies in countries that are truly hostile to their stated values.

PayPal is hardly isolated in its preference for tyranny over democracy, as their seeming act of protest is in reality part of a larger phenomenon, the Californication of American society, where California-like values are forcibly imposed by elites.

Silicon Valley and Hollywood are exerting a corporate conformity to elite values rather than to democratically enacted laws and their underlying public support — but then turning a blind eye to egregious abuses overseas.

Evidence of this phenomenon is pervasive.

For example, take the anti-gay marriage Proposition 8, when Brandon Eich, former CEO of Mozilla was purged because he supported the measure as a private citizen. Then, the Supreme Court added insult to injury by disregarding the will of most states’ desire to preserve traditional marriage.

Or in Oregon where the First Amendment’s explicit protection of the individual’s freedom of religion is being disregarded and bakers must act against their own conscience in catering to gay weddings that contradict their beliefs.

PayPal is complicit in this, but not alone. What is clear is that democracy in North Carolina and across the country is being subjected to values arrived at yesterday in the boardroom or the courtroom, but not on Main Street itself.

Lt. Governor Dan Forest was well within his rights when he said if the new law protects one child or one woman “from being molested or assaulted, then it was worth it.”  He added that “North Carolina will never put a price tag on the value of our children…they are precious and priceless.”

If North Carolina officials determine there is a public safety issue at stake, or if the state wants to forbid male students from dressing up as females to get into the girl’s locker room, who is PayPal to dispute that?

Some Americans may think that they are freer when these corporate elite values are forced into law and policy, but in reality, they are now more likely to be compelled to act against their conscience than ever. Rights Americans once took for granted have now taken a back seat to enforcing the expedient of the day.

The power of state of North Carolina to define how to regulate their own facilities is clearly protected in the 10th Amendment. That explicit grant of the power of states to make their own law stands in contrast to more recent rights contrived to supplant it.

These new rights not explicitly provided for in the Constitution do not limit government, but instead use it as a cudgel to promote conformity, by PayPal as an example, and undermine the very essence of democracy — which is the legislature’s primacy in making law.

This is a guest post by Dustin Howard a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.
  • KayO

    Where’s the “equality” in forcing me to use the bathroom with the opposite gender? Where’s my “equality”?

    • Kevin

      Didn’t you know? There is a hierarchy to different protected victim groups’ rights. For example, the preferential “rights” of blacks and Hispanics takes precedence over women’s rights. I have a friend who is an administrative assistant (secretary) to a division manager at a Department of Energy testing lab. She had a run-in with a Hispanic manager (male) with an attitude, and was told to forget about it, because “he’s Hispanic, and Hispanic males have this machismo nature which is just a part of his culture…” Really.

  • Richard Bagenstose

    personaly i hope only the lgbt’s go to the concerts , they will take a big hit in the pocket book , catter to the few and piss off the meny, and i don’t use pay pal so go f your self pay pal

  • Why should PayPal be concerned with social issues? They are in business to provide a service to people wanting to give or receive payments. This has nothing to do with Saudi Arabia’s policies on homosexuals, for instance. They are making a big mistake getting involved at all.

  • PayPal is a business who’s purpose should be to make a profit. If PayPal’s management is so enamored by LGBT, then rename the company LGBTPal or GayPal.

    As a graduate of NC State I am offended by their action. My future use PayPal will be restricted to situations where there is no other alternative.

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