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SOPA, PIPA Shelved

January 21st, 2012

The bills are in storage but not necessarily dead. Their seemingly inevitable momentum, however, is, at least for the moment, halted.

Ironically, these bills, which are supported by both political parties but overwhelmingly by conservatives, was taken down in no small part by something conservatives would have expected to come from the other group of business interests: a corporate strike right out of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

The thing is, the biggest giant to go on strike and stop producing for society was Wikipedia, a not-for-profit foundation. Yes, other for-profits joined in, like Google and Facebook, but those giants did not shut down, probably for the same reason true Randian corporate strikes never happen: they don’t want to stop making money.

Alas, the politicians are doing little but playing an evasive waiting game, knowing that momentum like we saw recently is hard to build, and they can just quietly come back to this issue in weeks or months. Hopefully, the protests will not subside.

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  1. Tim Kane
    January 21st, 2012 at 19:34 | #1

    The case for the protection of intellectual property interests gets very little consideration from me. Very few property rights were ever intended to be perpetual, but most especially Patents and Copyright were not. Yet, thanks to Disney’s deep pockets, Copyright protection for anything created since 1925 (or there abouts) is approaching perpetual… in order to keep hold of copyright protection of Mickey Mouse and the like, (which is not needed for protection of trademarks and tradedress as those ARE perpetual), Disney has lead the lobbying assault on getting Copyright protection extended each time it was about to run out. The constitution, as written by the framers, in 1787, intended patents and copyright to be LIMITED, and in 1790 gave copyrights 14 year duration. Now it’s up to 120 years.

    Strong public backlash and protests seems to have undone SOPA/POPA and the Keystone pipeline. How much longer can it be before the same happens in regard to economic issues, being the concentration of wealth is the single most prominent issue in both American politics and economics?

    The emergence of Romney help articulate this problem. I always felt that his candidacy would push to the forefront as an issue America’s model of capitalism.

    Most interesting to me, in this age of recession, how GM and Chrysler (i.e., American car manufacturers) went through bankruptcy, not Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Subaru, Suzuki, Mitsubishi, (nor Hyundai for that matter). Conservatives blame the unions, almost en mass, yet ever single production car imported into the United States (save from Mexico – usually by American makers) was built by a Union hand. None of those foreign makes have been through bankruptcy in the current economic crisis, bad as things are. Some how unions aren’t a problem in other countries that they are here.

    Likewise, Kodak declared bankruptcy on Thursday. B-Schools have written cases on Kodak’s mistakes, but have they written about Fuji’s success? Some how Fuji faced with the same technological change didn’t make the same mistakes.

    America’s version of capitalism deserves to be on issue. So, I’m hoping Romney survives – because he help put it on issue.

    Our version appears to be biased towards CEOs, courtesy of the U.S. Chamber of commerce. Big Business rather send millions of factory jobs to COMMUNIST China, if that’s what it takes to pulverize American labor into smithereens. They have no sense of loyalty or patriotism for the American worker, who in times past, set down their own individual liberties and lives to protect the property rights and interests of the corporations CEOs head. CEOs earn 500 times the average employee earns, that exists in no other country.

    The average CEO’s tenure as CEO is four years or less. That makes them exteremly short sighted. What’s one of the hall mark failings of American corporations? Oh, yeah, short sightedness.

    In 1995 or 6, Ford Motor Company declared that it was abandoning car development in favor of trucks. At the same time Toyota and Honda spent money developing hybrid technologies. Why? Well, in 1996 gas mileage wasn’t a big issue, but it had been a market driver in the past, and no one could be assured that it wouldn’t be again in the future. Which car company was taking the bigger risk? Ford of Toyota? Well, in 2008 Ford just nearly missed declaring bankruptcy – the only thing that saved them was timely massive borrowing of tens of trillions of dollars (including mortgaging Ford’s trade mark, the bloe oval).

    Populism seems to be making some head way. Populist are learning how to be effective at organizing to impact the political process. SOPA and POPA are actually hopeful developments. Hopefully we will build on these. The CEOs and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (and like interests) must obviously have taken notice, maybe have even been blind sighted by this development, and are probably reworking their strategies, tactics and plans (one such strategy+tactic+plan might be to dump Romney to get try to move the issue of American style of capitalism off the table), but at least there’s a slim ray of hope.

  2. Matthew
    January 22nd, 2012 at 22:19 | #2

    Thanks for posting,Tim. Always enjoy reading your take on things.

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