Promoting quiet recreation in Wisconsin.
Opposing the coming attempts to sell off Wisconsin's natural heritage.
Fighting denial about climate change. When are we hitting the streets?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Republican candidacy as a franchise

Someone else has probably thought of this analogy already but I can't think of anyone in particular, so here goes:

Republicans at the local, state, and national level are all voting alike.   We can contrast them with the Democrats, who couldn't even get their own party organized when they had the Presidency and both houses of Congress.  Or, contrast it with the past, when there was such a thing as a  "moderate Republican".

Most  commentators blame this fact on the need to placate the Tea Party, and that has got to be partly right-Tea Partiers may not represent the base of Republicans, and certainly not the brains, but they have the energy and committment.

But politicians have to be aware that there are only so many Tea Partiers, and even many of them aren't going to be happy when they hear about the policy positions really impact their lives.

To be a Republican candidate, you have to run as a franchise operation.  If you want to start a fast food business, you need lots of capital and resources.    Many people decide its easier to buy in to a franchise.  But once you have a franchise business, you lose the ability to call the shots.  You make the burgers the franchise way.

 The owners of the Republican franchise write the bills for the Republican politicians to submit and advance, and give the politicians their marching orders on policy.  If you go against the franchise guidelines, you will be replaced by the owners.

So even if you know, as a franchise politician, that a particular piece of legislation is unpopular with your constituents and bad for your State or Nation, you won't vote against it if it comes down from Corporate Headquarters.   In this case, "Corporate" being Corporate funded think tanks like ALEC.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Australia gets it: A carbon tax IS the correct conservative response to Climate Change

While America falls behind the race to develop a renewable energy economy, the Australian Prime Minister actually proposes a price on carbon pollution.

Since there is no free market right to pollute,  (see Hayek quote here)  we need policies that move us away from the long standing statist practice of allowing harm to the property if individuals through pollution.  

 Conservatives complain about the government mandating gas milage standards and the kinds of light bulbs we have to buy, but they have already rejected the most free market solution to Greenhouse Emissions pollution-a carbon tax.


Monday, July 11, 2011

How a Franchise operates...

I would be surprised if anything in the way of concrete evidence turns up in this:

A prominent business leader from state Sen. Rob Cowles' district was stunned when the veteran lawmaker explained why he voted in favor of Gov. Scott Walker's controversial budget-repair plan.
Cowles had contacted the business leader earlier this year to ask for the person's support in his upcoming recall election.
"He said, 'I didn't like this (bill) either. I didn't like being put in this position. I didn't like anything about the way it was done,' " the business leader quoted Cowles as saying. " 'But the governor's office told us if we didn't give them our support, they would run a tea party candidate against us.' "

But seriously, does any Republican politician doubt that he or she would be challenged by corporate-sponsored Tea-Party members if they voted against the party line?   Does any Republican doubt for a moment that his or her lucrative post-political career as a lobbyist or corporate board member will depend on their voting the party line?

No wonder Cowles is denying the story-if it were true, it would mean  he lacked the courage to act on his convictions, and that his Republican handlers thought he was so dim that he had to be told what should have been obvious.