As we've seen from the Chick-Fil-A imbroglio, every private company should be entitled to promote whatever values it chooses, irrespective of the prudence of their decision. Companies are free to promote American conservative values, and liberals (private citizens, not government) are entitled to boycott them. Likewise, companies are free to promote unAmerican liberal values, and conservatives are free to boycott them. The same cannot be said for a corporation that is almost entirely sustained by the federal government.
Proponents of Amtrak like to claim that it is a private corporation, but the reality is that the federal government owns virtually all its stock, and its board members are appointed by the president. Due to its poor service and inefficient business model, Amtrak has never turned a profit. They have sustained off of $40 billion in taxpayer subsidies over the past few decades. The Heritage Foundation estimates that Amtrak receives a subsidy rate of $237.53 per 1,000 passenger-miles.
One would expect that an open pocketbook from taxpayers would engender a closed mouth from the executives of Amtrak, especially as it relates to their views of morality, or lack thereof. But like good liberal dependents, they want to have their cake and eat it too. This, from The Hill:
Amtrak is joining the recent trend of companies taking sides in the fight over gay rights with a new marketing campaign dubbed “Ride With Pride.”
The campaign features a website, www.amtrakridewithpride.com, and advertisements showing same-sex couples onboard trains. It includes discounts to destinations like Martha’s Vineyard in Cape Cod, Mass., which Amtrak says is “extremely gay-friendly” and a section called “out and about” that lists pride events.
Amtrak says the campaign is a sign of its commitment to diversity.
“At Amtrak, diversity is not just a corporate buzzword, it's a priority,” the Ride with Pride website says. “It's vital and it's a commitment we make to our customers, our suppliers, our employees, and the communities we serve.”
Yes, they have definitely made things like diversity their overarching priority instead of...say...turning a profit? They have also been plagued by waste, fraud, abuse, and schemes with their food and beverage services, as reported by the Daily Caller earlier this year.
This is just one more reason Congress should cut them loose. Let them have a gay old time on their own nickel.
Cross-posted from The Madison Project