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Manifesto, by L. Neil Smith now downloadable as an audiobook!
Number 1,047, November 17, 2019

Incompetent Powers That Shouldn’t Be

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The Tale of Three Businesses
by Sean Gangol

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Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

About six months ago a restaurant in Melbourne, Australia, known as Handsome Her was forced to close its doors after only two years of service. I know that many of you are shrugging and asking “So? Don’t most restaurants go under?” It is certainly true that most restaurants find themselves closing their doors after a short period of time. Just ask Gordon Ramsey, who has not only lost a few establishments himself, but the overwhelming majority of the restaurants he helped on Kitchen Nightmares haven’t fared much better. Though, the fact that Handsome Her had a limited market as a vegan restaurant probably didn’t help either. Yet, I have to say what really worked against the owners in the end was their treatment of their male patrons. This story has actually reinforced the points I have made in my previous articles, “Suicide Pact” , “Freedom of Association: The Double-Edged Sword” and “The Lighter Side of SJWS”.

The mistake that the owners of the Handsome Her made was that they were so determined to incorporate their feminist beliefs into the theme of their business that they didn’t stop to think how it would affect their bottom line. This actually reinforces the points I made in Suicide Pact, about how certain companies are so blinded by their social justice ideologies that they either don’t realize or don’t care that their efforts to shove their beliefs down the throats of their customers is actually costing them money in the end. In this particular case the café owners put up a sign that said that all female patrons will get priority seating over males. If that wasn’t enough to be considered off-putting to any male customer, the sign also said that all men would be charged an 18% tax because of the so-called gender wage gap.

Never mind that the whole gender wage gap claim has been long debunked by economists that actually compare apples to apples when they discuss the differences between the incomes earned by men and women. I would have to say that these owners could have learned from the mistakes made by the owner of The Red Hen. As I wrote in “Freedom of Association: The Double-Edged Sword,” Freedom of Association works both ways. If you make a certain group of people feel unwelcomed in your establishment, they will take their business elsewhere. In this particular case, half the population of Australia was made to feel unwelcomed in the Handsome Her café. It’s not just the men that would likely feel uncomfortable eating at a place that treats them like second class citizens. I am pretty sure that there are plenty of women who wouldn’t at all feel comfortable dragging their sons, nephews and significant others to a place where they are going to be unfairly punished for having different genitals.

The owners of Handsome Her tried to backtrack a little when they said that they wouldn’t have forced their male customers to pay the extra 18% and that they just wanted to start a conversation about the gender wage gap. Imagine if I opened a café that placed an 18% tax on a person that was black, only to say that my real intention was to have a conversation on race. One can surely imagine how well that would go over. Probably worse for me, since I would probably have community activists picketing my establishment, instead of people just quietly spending their money elsewhere. The only thing that should have been surprising to the owners, is that their eatery actually survived two years using a business model that involved giving the finger to half of the population of Australia. This whole debacle seems more like a parody of feminism, which reinforces my point about how it is getting harder to identify actual feminists from those creating parodies of them in “The Lighter Side of SJWS.” Seriously, the story seems so laughably absurd that you would have thought it came from The Onion.

This isn’t the first time that the world has seen this level of stupidity coming from business owners. I am actually reminded of the bookstore, In Other Words in Portland that closed down last year. It was a feminist bookstore, which had been around since 1993, but had been forced to close their doors in 2018. The reason should seem pretty obvious, starting with the fact that the store catered to an ideology that appeals only to a select few. Of course, once you read the article and see that the owners of the bookshop blamed white cisgender males for their own failures, it becomes quite clear that they actually represent the insanity of the Third-Wave feminism that most people want nothing to do with in any shape or form. It is also amusing that they seemed to have a complete distain for capitalism, which is always ironic for anybody running a business. While this story certainly isn’t a parody, it unsurprisingly became the subject of one on the IFC show, Portlandia.

If you thought these two businesses seemed laughably ridiculous, then you will love the story of The Garden Diner and Café of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who had to close their doors in 2016. All it takes is two words to explain why this eatery failed, Worker-Run. If you think this seems like some absurd Marxist principle, then you would be right. The owner tried to run his restaurant based on Communist principles, such as allowing the workers to dictate what hours the café should remain open or how it should be run. Then of course, they had a policy where all the workers, no matter their experience or skillset, are all paid equally and none of the waiting staff was allowed to collect tips. This predictably led to the diner opening and closing at odd hours of the day. This then led to customers having to wait forty-five minutes for a sandwich. Again, you would think this was something that came right out of the Onion, since the café had a mural of Chairman Mao performing kitchen duties, while not even noting the irony that Mao caused a famine that cost the lives of seventy-six million of his countrymen. It’s amazing how Communism, even when it’s practiced on the smallest level, is still proven as an absolute failure.

What I find completely hilarious about the three failed businesses that I just mentioned is that they all seemed more interested in trying to push a social agenda then they did at trying to achieve financial success. Then they acted surprised when their businesses came crashing down. You would think that owning a business would slap some sense into these people and give them a real taste of reality. I remember a line from the book, The Big Black Lie by Kevin Jackson, that said that everybody turns into a conservative when they run their own business. Apparently, that is not true of everybody.

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