The Oxymoron Of Conservative Mongrel

Originally, Analysis was going to consider the Ohio Governor’s desire to change Ohio’s tax structure within the budget. John, the governator, “appears” to embrace change, something usually associated with liberals. In the recent, not so subtle dismissal of the candidacy challenge by Tea Party darlink Charlie Earl, the governor positioned himself as THE conservative choice. Being associated with change, allows him to hedge his bets (hey, he worked for the now defunct Lehman Brothers, what do you want?), maybe come off as a “progressive conservative” (a chimera indeed!). Before regressing to Nugentian mongrelization, Analysis was going to look at just how much “change” was involved with the governator’s proposals. Salaried talking heads have focused on the three tax increases meant to subsidize a tax rate decrease (ostensibly to keep the wealthy from fleeing to the richer ‘burbs of Florida, or Colorado). It is a three legged stool with one portion of revenue expected from the “somewhere over the rainbow” shale oil promise, another from the ever continuous actuality of the Commercial Activity Tax being increased (since things are so much better in Ohio today than 4 years ago, and, well, there is now increased commercial activity), and the last leg from a whopping increase in the cost of cigs and other nicotine related products. The latter, traditionally referred to as a “sin tax,” receives unequivocal support from many sides since it will motivate people to “kick” the addiction habit. The two former are expected to meet stiff opposition from the oil and gas lobby as well as the retail association lobbies. Most pundits predict those will get severely watered down. Analysis finds the entire ploy disingenuous and cynical. Already the culture “assumes” (as something totally natural) that the various lobbies, trade associations and PACS will protect their turf through financial incentives to the legislators in this election year while John, the governator, comes off looking like a reformer, a proponent of “change”. Should the “sin tax” actually succeed at getting people to seek relief from their addiction, then the tripod would collapse since one of its legs would no longer be contributing revenue. The cynical presumption is: let’s cash in on folks’ addiction. No “change” there. To do like Colorado, or Washington State, and unabashedly embrace the “sinfulness” of the constituency and tax another addictive sin, would not grant pedigree to a mongrel “progressive conservative”. Besides, today’s real and actual (statistically verifiable) gateway drug is prescription pain medication, the makers of which have an even more powerful lobby than oil and gas/retail sales combined, and much more incentive to make sure it retains its number one gateway drug status quo (research, dear reader, “over the counter” ephedrine and its relation to methamphetamine for background). The governor is definitely using the conservative approach by cashing in on addiction without disclosing the approach’s reliance that it stay that way, remain the status quo. Ditto was done with (casino) gambling, guaranteed through a constitutional amendment. That tax revenue was supposed to go to schools (not gambling addiction prevention programs). However, when the nitty gritty sausage making of John, the governator’s, budget proposals were squeezed out, individual schools found themselves required to “show me the money” before they can access any of the gambling “sin tax” revenue they are entitled to by law. The governor champions a 3 to 1 matching grant for the dispersal of what was the school funding involved in the original amendment. High rolling schools, already flush with cash, will be able to fund class trips to China, while those in receivership will be lucky to charter a bus to the statehouse. No, it is all more of the same continuance of status quo, no change; “progressive conservative” is a conservative mongrel.

America’s contemporary Duck Dynasty camouflage culture of conservatism is much more interesting to analyze. The Ohio Governor’s tax proposals are only an appetizer of political governance being more about lobbies, PACS and money than democracy. The main course is a much more convoluted challenge, steeped in American history and culture. “Anti-union workers sue Volkswagen, UAW over Tennessee plant” by Amanda Becker writing for Reuters (Mar 13, 2014) continues the ahistoric, “Bizarro” world narrative that Analysis has considered in previous posts. Reinserting itself into due process, the Koch brother’s union death wish in America finds winning not to be enough (the only good _ is a dead _ ). The “anti-union workers” are asserting their right to have their “anti-union” identity recognized as such, though vehemently opposing any form of representation (Gasp! That would be a union) – a class action without a class! (but demanding its right to be recognized as such!! Principle is principle, Analysis surmises.) Ted Nugent, Texas and “principled” conservatism aside, this is not pre-civil war America. As pointed out by previous postings referencing Generation Like (as well as even a rudimentary knowledge of the history of “Japanese” management), capitalist production and marketing are in the 21st century of networking, collaboration and information sharing. German VW has embraced that while American conservative corporate sales leaders appear to be elsewhere. It would be no surprise if the expansion of SUV production, guaranteed by corporate sales leader Senator Corker, never takes place. VW may well reconsider, believing that these folks in Tennessee are crazy. They don’t want what we want (representation and input in our production management approach) and not only that, but they now are suing us in order to maintain the status quo. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. Analysis finds this difficult to fathom. From a cultural perspective it is as if someone is saying that we don’t want representation, we don’t want to be involved with any decision making regarding what we do. We want to show up at work, be told what to do, and go home with our paycheck after a week’s work, thank you. You run the company, make all the decisions and just keep us employed while we dance and sing carefree on your plantation. This is the closest to a status quo that Analysis can come up with, and change to that is definitely a threat. It does explain why any attempts to drag America’s conservative corporate sales leaders into the economics of the 21st century, an economics of networking, collaboration, information sharing and disruptive technologies, is met by such virulent resistance and opposition. Delivered today, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation would be decried as a jobs killer. Change is not for the lovers of Ted Nugent and the ever “apologizing for racist remarks” Tea Party fringe of conservatism. Even corporate sales leader and former VP candidate Paul Ryan embodies this aspect of Duck Dynasty conservatism. In another Reuters article (3-14-14), “Paul Ryan to meet black U.S. lawmakers after ‘offensive’ remarks” by David Lawder, the camouflage is fading, bad. “Representative Barbara Lee of California, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, called Ryan’s remarks a “thinly veiled racial attack.” “Let’s be clear, when Mr. Ryan says ‘inner city,’ when he says, ‘culture,’ these are simply code words for what he really means: ‘black’,” Lee said in a statement.”

Webster’s has “conservative, 1. Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones, and to limit change.”

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