RON HART: Economic stagnation through regulation and litigation

Ron Hart, The Hart Beat

CHATTANOOGA, TENN. — Dollar stores have done more to keep down what we pay for basic goods and helped more struggling families than any government action ever has. For that, and because they are based in the South, Obama’s O-bots in the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) are going after them.

Stores like Walmart and Dollar General often operate in under-served areas of town, sell staples at great prices, and hire Greatest Generation veterans to be greeters in vests. These are men who stopped the march of Hitler in WWII but who cannot slow the stampede of women for a waffle iron sale when the doors open on Black Friday.

My uncle Mac says he prefers Dollar General because he “does not like having to get all dressed up to go to Walmart.” People going into dollar stores and buying larger size clothes have been the only thing keeping the economy going for the last four years.

A high school buddy sent me an email saying the EEOC was suing Dollar General for performing criminal background checks on prospective employees. I thought it was such outlandish Internet misinformation and did not even try to verify it via Snopes. It turned out to be true.

The EEOC suit alleges that, by performing background checks for convictions for murder, assault and battery, rape, child or spousal abuse, and manufacturing of drugs, Dollar General is "racist." It says because African-Americans have higher conviction rates than whites, background checks are discriminatory.

Thus, according to the EEOC, it’s a great idea to put a guy in charge of the Sudafed aisle who was convicted of cooking meth in his community. And what could go wrong with letting a convicted pedophile man the toy department? If he does well, promote him to boys' underwear.

The premise of the EEOC suit is that 10 percent of blacks and 7 percent of whites failed the retailer’s criminal screening, and that scant three percent is a “gross disparity” and “statistically significant.” So the "racist" arrest and prosecution levels of blacks versus whites is something that the government (which arrests and prosecutes) seeks to remedy by suing a private business?

Rest assured, if the EEOC lawyers win and Dollar General hires a rapist who then re-offends, the company will be sued by that same type lawyer for not protecting its customers. And if Democrats have their way, Dollar General couldn’t sell country music CDs, NASCAR hats or daily planners.

Obama appointee Jacqueline Berrien, the clearly unbiased former NCAAP attorney, is spearheading the EEOC.

The EEOC said last year that employers requiring a high school diploma would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. It also sued Pepsi for running employee background checks. I guess the goal was to bring former coke distributors to Pepsi.

Over time, as with the IRS and Fox reporter scandals, the administration began using the coercive powers of the federal government against its perceived "enemies." Since Obama's henchmen can no longer jam his agenda through Congress, they are ginning up lawsuits through their control of various agencies.

Obama's DOJ had some early prosecution success. It got long-sought Boston crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger. He was probably arrested because one of Holder’s agents misinterpreted the AG's directive to “get whitey.”

The next thing you know, the Agriculture Department will investigate Walmart for having farm animals outside. Recently, a government official got on a horse outside a store. He got his feet tangled in the stirrups and injured himself before a Walmart greeter could turn off the electricity.

There is no word yet on an EEOC suit against the NBA that seeks to racially  balance that very high-paying job sector.

If you wonder why there is little job creation, look no further than these types of government actions — and the ObamaCare mess that has been forced upon us. We have the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world, yet friends of the administration like GE and Google pay almost nothing. No wonder businesses are moving offshore.

Our government does not hesitate to check our backgrounds via the TSA, IRS, CIA, FBI, ATF, NSA, etc., ostensibly to prevent "terrorist attacks." But now companies cannot check the background of a potential employee?

What if they unwittingly hire an al-Qaida suicide bomber? He will be the one who plans to wear his vest to work only once.

Ron Hart, a libertarian syndicated op-ed humorist, award-winning author and TV/radio commentator, can be reached at or visit