A ‘Boycott Against the Free Market’

31 May

As I was reading a New York Times story on the the demonstrations held in Arizona today, both for and against the new immigration law, the follow passage struck me:

The later rally, at sundown, was organized by Tea Party groups from St. Louis and Dallas who said they decided to take the lead and support the state against a wave of boycotts protesting the law, some by cities like San Francisco and Seattle.

“We are doing this to crush any boycott against the free market,” said Tina Loudon, a Tea Party member from St. Louis who helped organize the rally. “Arizona has a sovereign right to enforce immigration laws on the books.”

So, the Tea Party organizes a rally in support of the new law. Which is fine.

But the way in which these groups have decided to help – by defending the state against boycotts – seems contrary to its principles.

The Tea Party says it is fighting for the free market, but what is a more free market expression than a boycott? In a free market system people get to vote with their wallets. The Tea Party seems to have a problem with this when the issue is immigration.

Yes, Arizona may pass the laws it wants, but other individuals and other states and government entities have no obligation to do business with the state -for whatever reason.

That’s what it really means to be free market.

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