Satterwhite on the Civil Rights Act
Here’s AJC editor Cynthia Tucker’s take on the Rand Paul story (looking over her archives and twitter updates, she seems to have a bead on all things Randian- I’ll leave it up to you to figure out if my pun there was intentional or not.
On the surface I actually agree with a lot of what the noted liberal Tucker says here, as well as with the conservative Bruce Bartlett who she quotes. White business owners in the segregated South were perfectly willing to disregard money from potential black customers. My argument is and always will be that that is their right. However, I would further argue that the segregated South is not an example of a free market system in place for various reasons. I would pose this question because I honestly don’t know the answer- in the segregated South, could businesses owned by blacks or whites who chose to cater to blacks legitimately compete with white-owned businesses who barred blacks? Could those businesses operate without fear of state-sanctioned and in some instances state-supported harassment? If the answer is no, then a free market did not actually exist and one cannot argue that the free market “failed” in this regard.