Category Archives: Economy

Lawsuit against Arlene’s Flowers erodes small business rights

This is a follow-up to my article published in Watchdog Arena on April 29, 2015.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s legal action against 70-year-old Christian florist Barronelle Stutzman could have far-reaching consequences for many small business owners and entrepreneurs—consequences that haven’t entered into the discussion yet.

Barronelle in her flower shop
Barronelle in her flower shop

Last month, a Benton County judge ruled in favor of Ferguson in his lawsuit against Stutzman, who refused to create floral arrangements for the same sex wedding of Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed because of her Christian beliefs.

Based on the judge’s ruling, Stutzman stands to lose her family’s home, her life savings, her possessions, and her lifelong business, which had first belonged to her mother.

She’s not backing down.

Ferguson said that Stutzman’s refusal to create floral arrangements for a gay wedding violated the state’s Consumer Protection Act, which states, “Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby declared unlawful.”

Ferguson also referenced Washington’s Civil Rights Act, which has been amended to include discrimination against sexual orientation, among many other things.

The Civil Rights Act says that discrimination includes, but is not limited to: denial of employment, discrimination in real estate transactions, credit, insurance, or HMO services, and denial of the right to use public accommodations and amusements.

The law says nothing about flowers.

The Civil Rights Act also forbids discriminatory blacklists and boycotts.

But that doesn’t stop Ferguson and the ACLU from turning a blind eye to ongoing public boycotts of Arlene’s Flowers. Continue reading Lawsuit against Arlene’s Flowers erodes small business rights

PBMs–Fraud, Windfalls, and Unfettered Power

Follow-up to my article originally published in Watchdog Arena.

David and Goliath revisited –

Teresa Tolle
Pharmacist Teresa Tolle

There is nothing more rewarding than simply being able to “do the right thing” as a business owner!  I could not have done that if I was employed by someone else.  I am grateful that God has given me this platform in my community to help those in need.

          — Independent pharmacist Theresa Tolle,  owner of Bay Street Pharmacy in Sebastian, Florida.

Obamacare has revived the bygone era of the shady middleman—someone who gets rich by cutting deals and keeping secrets from both buyers and sellers.

While the information age has made this classic character virtually obsolete due to the Internet’s ability to easily connect buyers and sellers, monopolies and the government continue to provide life support.

The Affordable Care Act has combined the worst abuses by both monopolies and government by providing windfall profits and unfettered power to favored middlemen—Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBMs).

PBMs use their clout to push through regulations that make it nearly impossible for many small and independent pharmacies to survive. Continue reading PBMs–Fraud, Windfalls, and Unfettered Power