Conservatives are pro-business. They are not always pro-businesses. Refusing to dine at Red Lobster because of how the food tastes or buy garments at Hollister due to being someone other than a dopey suburban teen is not a statement against capitalism: it’s a stand for personal financial decency.
But some businesses are just trying to stay in the black during this reddest of eras. They engage in scummy behavior only because the feel forced into it. Working under federal supervision means that you’re at least working, a condition which has become a prolonged rarity.
Some commercial concerns are humiliating themselves by sucking up to survive. Still, they’re semi-excused by virtue of being forced to participate in a contest where the umpires invent rules after the game clock commences.
Corporations who back the president’s agenda are merely coping with a messed-up reality. Most notably, Walmart went along with Obamacare because it’s easier to swim with the current. Sure, they may eventually get sucked into a dam’s turbine. But that’s downstream, which is why they figure they can let the next sucker executives paddle harder in the other direction.
Complying with unbearably onerous federal dictates makes frazzled businessmen feel like governors who accepted stimulus money they considered dirty. They were dealing with the knowledge that slacker neighbors were taking what’s offered. With everyone paying into it and everyone else taking from it, even principled state executives had no choice but to queue up for federal gruel.
The urge to survive under arbitrary conditions explains why car makers consented to physics-defying miles per gallon standards. They supported the hippie-style efficiency rates because their boss demanded they do it, which was especially crucial considering that same boss also happens to be president. The inevitability of virtually impossible fuel usage goals will lead to papier-mâché cars to get under the weight limit, and they’ll still need to hope that engines will run on love. But Detroit has to please Washington.
In addition, peddlers of green nonsense are only able to perpetrate their carbon-neutral scamming through federal priming. The greenback handouts fail to generate either economic growth or green energy, but the eco-corporatists stay in business at least temporarily because they play by rotten rules.
Any energy-producing concern that relies upon favorable weather to juice outlets would fail in any free market. But nothing is free in Obama’s world, especially the allegedly complimentary stuff.
Complying with an autocratic administration’s wishes might not seem appealing. But refusing to conform may put businesses in line for a bullying session from a White House that doesn’t respect enterprise. That’s why entrepreneurs are not allowed to sell dairy products that people enjoy, refreshing beverages to parched humans, or the tools that enable awesome rockin’, especially if you like Republicans. They can either comply with astoundingly picayune regulations or cope with retribution from wingtip-wearing bureaucrats who possess a jackboot mentality.
As for a bigger manufacturer, Boeing is flying for its life, all because it didn’t want to lose money to a union that opposes concepts like corporate profits and self-funded health plans. When they tried to set up shop in South Carolina in an effort to find workers who didn’t tend to walk off the job after not getting everything they wanted, the White House let them exercise their rights to engage in commerce wherever they wanted. Ha, nope: they treated the aerospace innovators as well as they do the Tea Party.
Meanwhile, Obama’s pet conglomerate GE just happened to establish ties with a company that partnered with the Chinese military in a deal that will coincidentally harm Boeing. Payback is a bitch, especially when it leads to not earning enough to pay back.
Some individuals think like kowtowing companies. Obama lackeys like Warren Buffett prove that knowing how to invest money is fundamentally different from knowing how the economy works. The president’s lapdog billionaire never seems to acknowledge how he could voluntarily pay higher taxes or eschew deductions.
And he never mentions in an editorial that was poorly reasoned even by New York Times standards how he benefits by devouring family-owned companies which are unable to pay estate taxes, such as previously worthwhile papers like the The Buffalo News. High levies mean good business for particularly predatory businessmen.
It takes a Koch brother to condemn such financial self-loathing. Wanting to keep one’s own things is apparently the apex of greediness. But at least there are a few businessmen who are willing to tick off an administration that wants to make you share. The radical income-keepers may respect private earnings on principle, although hopes of returning to semi-free market conditions in 2013 could provide an opportunity to again do something as reactionary as profit.
For now, anyone who stands up for making both happy customers and money risks scoldings from a president who is above menial tasks like earning money. Companies are supposed to obey his rules above all else. What’s important is that Obama is in charge and you’re not.
Anthony Bialy is a writer and “Red Eye” conservative in New York City. He tweets at http://twitter.com/AnthonyBialy.