Barilla’s Homophobia: A Libertarian’s Dream | VALID | #TWIBnation

Barilla’s Homophobia: A Libertarian’s Dream

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Libertarians don’t like the government telling them what to do, especially in economic matters. Even when the government tries to prevent genuinely bad conduct, like discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, or sexual orientation, libertarians balk. Of course we’re against discrimination, they say. We just think the market should solve the problem.

Well, libertarians, here’s your chance to put your money where your mouth is. Literally. As The Independent reported Thursday:

Gay rights groups are calling for a boycott of the world’s biggest pasta maker Barilla after the company’s chairman said he would never use homosexual couples in his advertisements.

Guido Barilla, whose firm has almost half the Italian pasta market and a quarter of that in the US, told Italy’s La Zanzara radio show last night: “I would never do an advert with a homosexual family…if the gays don’t like it they can go an eat another brand. …” 

See? This is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate that market-based solutions work. Not only is Mr. Barilla openly practicing discrimination against gay and lesbian folks, he’s a lousy capitalist to boot: He’s telling a segment of consumers they should go spend their money elsewhere.

If ever a case was ripe for a “market-based solution,” this is it. So what do you say, libertarians? You should launch a boycott of Barilla’s products forthwith.

It ought to be fairly easy to gauge the success of your market-based solution, too. In 2011, Barilla did about a half a billion dollars of business in the U.S. – out of a world-wide total of $3.9 billion – and it’s been looking to increase its sales here ever since, including launching a restaurant chain in the U.S. later this year. If “market-based” solutions really work, we should see Barilla take a hit in the near future.

On the other hand, if a boycott is ineffective – if Barilla continues to cash in in the US market despite the uproar over its CEO’s homophobia – wouldn’t that say something about the efficacy of “market-based” solutions?

David Von Ebers

An evil trial lawyer from Chicago, which makes me almost as bad as Barack Obama himself. Except, I am a Cubs fan, unlike our President, and so, as the kids say, I AM SHAME. I blog about legal issues, politics, sports, music (that long-haired rock 'n roll music all the kids are into), and, frequently, the interaction between any and all of the above. When I'm not busy undermining the Constitution or circumventing your freedoms, I run, watch too much sports on the teevee, and hang out with my long-suffering wife and three kids.

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  1. Andre King September 27, 2013 at 5:51 pm

    Libertarians don’t really do boycotts. Of the Libertarians I have spoken to, they feel that there is nothing wrong with Barilla’s CEO being homophobic, and that the “free market” will handle this all on its own. In Libertarian theory, people will stop buying Barilla because of homophobia, Barilla will go out of business, no more homophobia.We all know reality is very different from this. And even in that instance, Libertaians wouldn’t see themselves as wrong because money is the ultimate factor in their logic. Still making money? you were right. Not making money? you were wrong. And to be completely honest, even though the Libertarian argument is simpleminded and unrealistic, this is not the biggest problem with their logic, because this entire argument centers around a want rather than a need.

    I have actually argued with Libertarians that tried to justify slavery because “it was still making money. If it was wrong, it wouldn’t have made money.” So they definitely will not be offended by this.

  2. democommie September 28, 2013 at 7:52 am

    It’s not like one pasta is that much better than another. I don’t buy Barilla anyway, as it’s higher priced than other brands, locally. I did sign up for a recipe letter from them a while back–I’ll cancel it. I will also tell anybody I run into in the pasta aisle about the boycott.

    Fuck liebertarians. I know people who are actually very decent human beings who STILL think that Ron Paul is a decent, principled human being instead of the hypocritical, lying, grifting piece-of-shit he has proven himself to.

    “Today’s Libertarianism, when you’re just a little too squeamish (and cowardly) to call yourself a ‘good nazi'”

    Gosh, did I just say that out loud? My bad.

  3. Good Greg October 7, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Discrimination? Explain how not using gay couples in adverts is discrimination. Considering homosexuality to be wrong is not the same as homophobia. I realize that violates some talking point or spin statement, but it’s true. So, if a boycott fails, it really proves that the market market is right and that the less than 10% (probably closer to 2%) of the population that identifies as homosexual and those that actively support them either don’t care or already didn’t by Barilla pasta or that it isn’t a boycott that got legs.

    Democommie – I will save you the trouble, I am aware that I am fuckwit and beyond salvation.

    Communists are just power hungry pieces of shit that are able to ignore the fact that their form of government is a failure in reality, regardless of how well it works on paper. They overlook the fact that their heroes are the biggest mass murderers in history. They also can’t name a country where communism allows the rights that they hold so dearly in this country to promote communism like free speech, free elections, etc.

    Socialists are just communists who are still to squeamish about the whole mass murder of your opponents thing.

    • Andre King October 7, 2013 at 11:58 am

      This is the simpleminded logic I was referring to. There is no such thing as an economic market being “right or wrong”. The entire concept of tying morality to a product’s sales is infantile and meaningless.

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