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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Big Babies in the Music Industry and Their Mommies in Congress

Remember these names: Howard Berman, D-California, U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, and Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont. These congressmen along with twenty-one other co-sponsors are the originators of the “Performance Rights Act.” Remember them in 2010 and again in 2012 with your vote against their continued employment.[1]

Basically the Performance Rights Act accomplishes the following: The two measures proposed in the House and Senate seek to amend federal copyright law, granting musical performers equal rights to compensation for the airing of their recordings by most radio broadcasters. [2] Representing the position of the musicians, “MusicFirst” Executive Director Jennifer Bendall says, “Radio is the only platform that does not pay a fair performance royalty to America’s artists and musicians,” Ms. Bendall claims that AM and FM music stations in the U.S. earn $16 billion annually in advertising revenue, yet won’t compensate the artists and musicians. “It’s not fair, it’s not right and it will be changed,” she adds.[3]
As someone whose livelihood is derived from radio broadcasters, I would ask Ms. Bendal, “Musicians make billions also, where is our cut from their profits for getting the word out?” It turns out that symbiotic is the description that fits best when describing the relationship between radio broadcasters and musicians. When someone like Ms Bendal gerrymanders the picture by only depicting the benefits that flow from the musicians, she makes the radio stations out to be a bunch of “meanies.” Please note that in essence musicians receive free advertising in this so-called unfair union.

Musicians feel they are getting a bum deal with regards to their music being used by radio stations. They are entitled to their opinion, but we do not see musicians baring radio stations from playing their music. In fact, I know a few musicians, and they all say, without exception, that hearing their song played on the radio for the first time is the most amazing thing, and that the amazement never really goes away. Any musician who says radio stations are exploitive is a either a bold face liar or is way too focused on themselves. Either way, they need to grow up. Let me also say that many musicians are against this bill; this article is not about them.

And so we come now to what I deem to be the biggest problem with this Performance Rights Act. I have a big problem with the federal government intervening to solve ALL of our disputes. The inevitable outcome of government intervention is the government siding with one group of citizens against another group of citizens. Whatever happened to the free market, where if one group of Americans don’t want to do business with another group of Americans then they don’t do so? If musicians do not want radio stations to play their music without being compensated, then they should not submit their material to them for public broadcasting. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen because the dirty little secret is that musicians need radio stations to keep playing their music. I once worked for a music station and you would be amazed by the large number of compact discs that come in the mail everyday. These musicians would like nothing more than for their music to be added to the play list.

With our new liberal government, you can be sure that they will not pass on any opportunity to further intrude into our lives. So when the musicians approached our representatives for a resolution, instead of saying, “don’t allow your music to be played on stations that won’t pay you” the government instead responds (in typical liberal fashion) by saying, “let’s destroy theses big corporations.” And destroyed they will be, if this ridiculous bill passes. Of course, it’s not the hated “big corporations” that will really suffer. The radio industry is already besieged with layoffs and cutbacks, and if this bill passes, thousands more jobs of ordinary Americans with families to support will be gone. Also gone will be many of your favorite music radio stations who can not or will not pay the exorbitant tax. Find out how you can help keep free music radio free, go to

Danian Michael
Political Agenda.


[1] The other twenty-one congressmen who foolishly support this bill by name, state and party affiliation. Don’t forget them in 2010 and 2012:

•Rep. Marsha Blackburn [R, TN-7]
•Rep. Steve Cohen [D, TN-9]
•Rep. Anna Eshoo [D, CA-14]
•Rep. Kay Granger [R, TX-12]
•Rep. Jane Harman [D, CA-36]
•Rep. Paul Hodes [D, NH-2]
•Rep. Jay Inslee [D, WA-1]
•Rep. Darrell Issa [R, CA-49]
•Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee [D, TX-18]
•Rep. Henry Johnson [D, GA-4]
•Rep. Jerrold Nadler [D, NY-8]
•Rep. Linda Sánchez [D, CA-39]
•Rep. Adam Schiff [D, CA-29]
•Rep. John Shadegg [R, AZ-3]
•Rep. Brad Sherman [D, CA-27]
•Rep. Louise Slaughter [D, NY-28]
•Rep. Edolphus Towns [D, NY-10]
•Rep. Zach Wamp [R, TN-3]
•Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz [D, FL-20]
•Rep. Anthony Weiner [D, NY-9]
•Rep. Robert Wexler [D, FL-19]

[2] (The San Antonio Journal) In an article titled, “Pending radio tax pitting artists against broadcasters,” author W. Scott Bailey describes events taking place right now from the point of view of radio broadcasters most notably the National Association of Broadcasters executive director, Dennis Wharton.

[3] Ibid.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fiscal Conservatism Illustrated: The Potential GM Move from Detroit

In January of this year, Democrats everywhere declared that fiscal conservatism was the devil reincarnated. Big greedy corporations and wealthy white men needed to be put in their place, in jail or at the bottom of our society. This denigration of big corporations is only restrained by the threat that they will take their business elsewhere. We were also told that top-down economics does not work. As a matter of fact, wealth redistribution is being offered as the antidote to that failed policy.

Enter reality! I love reality, it so easily refutes liberalism. Democrats have been telling us for as long as I can remember, but with greater intensity since Obama took office, that fiscal conservatism is how we got into the mess in which we now find ourselves. It was unchecked capitalism and tax breaks to the wealthy that were the sole proprietors of blame for this recession. On trickle-down economics President Obama said the following:

"The past eight years have discredited once and for all the philosophy of trickle-down economics -- that tax breaks, income gains and wealth creation among the wealthy eventually will work their way down to the middle class." Obama went on to say, "In its place, we need economic opportunity to trickle up." [1]

Isn’t it interesting how trickle-down economics is being redefined by simply replacing the mechanism by which money flows down from big business and the wealthy? To be sure, trickle-down economics is unavoidable; it is impossible for money and opportunity to flow up from the poor for obvious reasons. Interestingly, taking money from the rich and giving it to the poor is simply another form of trickle-down economics. Changing the mechanism from free people doing business together to the government intervening and forcibly moving their money to the poor does not transform trickle-down economics into trickle-up economics. There is actually a more traditional and sinister term for what Obama is describing as trickle-up economics. It is called Socialism, or at the very least, the rudiments of it.

So now, in agreement with Obama’s trickle-up economic theory, the very liberal Detroit and our very liberal Governor, Jennifer Granholm now face the very real and big problem of GM leaving Detroit. How pray-tell will they solve this problem? The following quotation outlines how the city of Detroit intends to keep GM within its borders and how the city of Warren intends to lure them away:

”Warren Mayor Jim Fouts has pitched tax breaks to the company to shift its headquarters there. Bing and Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano announced the proposal for Renaissance Zone status at the Detroit Regional Chamber's Mackinac policy conference this morning. This deal would include 2.2 million square feet of office space in the RenCen's four main towers plus the Detroit Marriott Hotel in the Renaissance Zone, which provides tax incentives including a waiver of city income and utility user taxes, most city and county property tax, plus state income tax or business taxes.” [2]

Please note two things with me. First, we are witnessing the attempt of two local city government to apply trickle-down economics. Both are catering to a big corporation in the hope that the people of their respective cities will be the beneficiaries. Second, note the mechanism being used to help GM.[3] Basically the city of Detroit and the city of Warren are competing for the title of “most conservative.” Cutting taxes is how these two cities intend to help GM, but conservatives have made that claim since the dawn of this great country. Yet Democrats have the audacity to claim that conservatives are just a bunch of rich white men who are only looking out for big corporations and who have no compassion for the poor.[4] But when Democrats have to eat their words realizing that in reality, their tax-the-rich policies are suppressive to growth, then they are merely being considerate of the needs of our society.

Those of us who claim to be conservatives have a long road to travel in reminding our fellow Americans that conservatism works when it is applied. In 2010 and 2012 we will have one big advantage. We will be able to point to the fact that when Democrats apply conservative principles they help our economy and when they apply liberal principles they destroy it.

Danian Michael
Political Agenda.


[1] (The Washington Post:) In an article titled, “In Obama Tax Plan, A Shift of Wealth From the Top Down” Obama’s economic plan and approach is detailed.

[2] ( The news story titled, “The battle for GM's HQ: Good moves or bad policy?” outlines the battle between the city of Detroit and the city of Warren to house the General Motors’ headquarters. The headquarters of GM is now located in the Renaissance Center in downtown Detroit.

[3] I submit that what is really going on here is the fact that both Detroit and Warren are trying to entice GM by being the most HELPFUL to the Auto Company.

[4] Black conservatives like me are not really free thinkers, we are the victims of Stockholm syndrome and as such, we are not really a part of the republican party. Ergo the rich white men label.