The Economics of Discrimination
Former Virginia Secretary of Commerce and Trade writes in today’s Washington Post:
Discrimination and economic development just don’t mix. For proof, look at the Jim Crow South, where economic growth lagged the rest of the nation from the end of World War II until the mid-1960s. Racism undermined prosperity. Then, as segregation waned, economic growth accelerated.
In November, Virginians will have the chance to self-inflict a fresh discriminatory wound on their economy. The Marshall-Newman amendment, the so-called “marriage amendment,” seeks to amend Virginia’s Constitution to ban gay marriage and to impose other legal limitations on unmarried couples, including heterosexual couples. The amendment is not only useless — gay marriage has been outlawed in Virginia for 30 years — but it is downright harmful to the state’s economy in two important ways.
Virginia tried the economics of discrimination once before. It didn’t work in the 1950s and ’60s, and it left our state’s economy at the bottom of the national heap. Surely we have learned from that.
Virginians should vote no this fall on the Marshall-Newman amendment not only because it’s wrong but also because it’s bad for business.
Why would a free market voter do anything else?
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