1 A quick rant on the almost surreal stupidity of Indiana governor Mike Pence and his bill to legalize discrimination against LGBT people.
— Nick Hanauer (@NickHanauer) March 28, 2015
My boss Nick Hanauer is lighting up Twitter again, this time with a “quick” 19-tweet rant explaining the economic stupidity of Indiana’s new law permitting businesses to discriminate against gays. Except, the rant is not so quick, so I’ve reformatted it below for your reading pleasure:
- A quick rant on the almost surreal stupidity of Indiana governor Mike Pence and his bill to legalize discrimination against LGBT people.
- What’s really important to underscore is how totally clueless people in places like Indiana are about 21st century economies.
- Growth in technological economies is all about innovation. The more innovation, the faster living standards improve.
- But innovation is a combinatorial and cooperative process. Innovation happens when old things are combined in new and novel ways.
- Innovation is an evolutionary process, and diversity is at the core of that process. It’s not how hard you try…..
- It’s how many different ways you try that define success. Economic dynamism isn’t driven by sameness, but by differences.
- Diversity does not hinder economic growth in technological economies. It super-charges it. Including more people is the key to growth.
- This is why inclusive, diverse cities like SF, Seattle, New York, and Boston kick the shit out of exclusionary places like Indiana.
- LGBT people are different. They are uncommonly creative, and innovative. Thus, they lead in many creative endeavors and industries.
- That is why LGBT folks are packed into the most innovative and successful companies.
- And why states like Indiana are increasingly becoming economic backwaters. Sad, forgotten places that smart people flee from.
- Obviously, people who are different flee, but also, all of the smart people who know that differences are key, flee as well
- Leaving behind a homogenized, narrow, and increasingly prejudiced population, who elect the same kind of leaders.
- Who enact laws that chase more smart diverse people away, that creates a brain drain death spiral.
- That in turn, consigns the economy to a backwater, or at a minimum, a low wage competitor to Bangladesh.
- All of which is a terrible waste of real estate and capital improvements. But something that may in fact, be unavoidable and inevitable.
- So, to all of you creative, innovative, different people in Indiana: The world faces tremendous challenges.
- They will only be solved by people like you. Come to places like Seattle that will embrace you, and leverage your talents.
- We need you. The world needs you. Indiana apparently, does not.
Many business leaders, particularly those in the tech industry, are expressing outrage over Indiana’s new anti-LGBT law, and an incipient boycott is already underway. For example, Salesforce.com CEO Mark Benioff has canceled all company events in the state, and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced today that he is barring city employees from using city money to travel to Indiana on business. But Nick’s invitation to LGBT Indianans to “come to places like Seattle that will embrace you and leverage your talents” suggests a much more lasting and effective economic sanction.
No doubt Nick is right that discriminatory laws like this result in a “brain drain” by driving talented workers out of state. But if the tech industry in Seattle, San Francisco, New York and elsewhere were to actively recruit LGBT workers and other Indianans who value diversity, that economic death spiral would quickly accelerate. And that would be an appropriately high price to pay for Indiana’s government sanctioned bigotry.