Hypocrites and Capitalism and Conyers

The hypocritical mind of the Michael Moore type decries “capitalism” while reaping the fruits of it.  And not just the fruit, but the soured and rotten apples placed in the pie that is the American dream.  What he uses is not even a pure capitalism, but rather a stipend in the form of a film credit to produce his wares.  A special industry balancing tool crafted by the great minds in Lansing to reward those whom they like, or at least know how to play the game best.

And that is just a Michigan issue..  We would conveniently ignore the others of his type at an even more oppressive level.

So obscure in the dank dark place that is a liberal mind, is also that concept of free and open agreement between a producer and promoter of the performing arts. Michigan’ US Representative John Conyers – D, as a leading sponsor of the H.R.848 – Performance Rights Act, demonstrates even further that the only place in the heart of leftist representatives is one that supports adding cost and complication to business.  Conyers’ bill, and its Senate counterpart (by Pat Leahy -D) S.379 – Performance Rights Act are nearly word for word identical twins, and could quickly pass before anyone pays any attention.

Why does it matter?  Why wouldn’t we support the recording artists in their quest to be paid more for their recordings?

Well it depends on if they really will be paid more, as opponents of the bill contend that its not as clear as that.

Poppycock, argues Dennis Wharton a spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters, the group on the other side. Half of the money would go to record companies, and “Who has abused artists worse than the record labels traditionally?” he asks. “No one.”

Another concern, though likely not from the major coalition opposing the bill which (surprisingly) includes NPR and others, is that it might provide a back door mechanism for the control and reigning in of “conservative” radio.  Even FM radio stations tend to have a bit more of a conservative slant than their television counterparts.

Ultimately however, the bills are what they appear to be on their face.  No matter the motive, they add cost to the operations of radio stations in both compliance, and straight out taxation that provides no counter benefit.  Just a tax.  Just an additional burden on business.  Just reaching into the pockets of business owners who have developed operating models that do not include such an artificial thing.  A money shuffle managed by government.

“But what about the artists?” One might ask.

What about them?  They are free to withhold their music from the radio stations.  Private property is still private, is it not?  Likewise, the producers, and record labels who would expect this cash cow to fill the coffers to pre-MP3 levels can withhold their product.  No Pay? No Play. Simple.  Its a free market right?  No one forces them to play, and frankly they are usually begging to be played for exposure.

So why would they need the congress to enact such measures?

Because that is what crony capitalism is about.  When one segment of the market cannot or WILL NOT compete on its own merits, it uses the hammer of government to equalize the playing field.  Bringing to that lowest denominator all parties, through a control by taxes or a modification of business practice through regulation.  Indeed, it pays to have a tool like Conyers, or Leahy in the collective pocket of the music producers in this case, and in other cases, they might be serving another industry such as big labor.

Conyers contributors is certainly PART of the story, and his masters include the following.

Top 5 Contributors, 2009-2010, Campaign Cmte

Contributor Total Indivs PACs
Law Offices of Peter G Angelos $28,800 $28,800 $0
Intellectual Ventures LLC $12,500 $12,500 $0
Microsoft Corp $10,650 $5,650 $5,000
Boilermakers Union $10,000 $0 $10,000
Laborers Union $10,000 $0 $10,000

Top 5 Industries, 2009-2010, Campaign Cmte

Industry Total Indivs PACs
Lawyers/Law Firms $104,249 $85,150 $19,099
Computers/Internet $49,533 $18,950 $30,583
TV/Movies/Music $47,691 $14,900 $32,791
Casinos/Gambling $24,400 $23,400 $1,000
Building Trade Unions $22,000 $0 $22,000

Draw whatever conclusions you want, but ask yourself if this is what we want in Michigan for elected representation?  Is he, or any others like him at any level representing the citizens of his district (or Michigan for that matter) with such measures?  Can job and industry killing measures continue?  Is this who you want to control debate?

I use these examples (Conyers is a near perfect one) an an attempt to pound home the point that government interference with the natural state of trade and free markets hardly provides a benefit to all.  For there to be a winner in the arena of government intervention, a loser must be selected first.  It is my contention consumers and taxpayers are always first in line for that distinction.

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