Monday, 13 March 2017

The industry conservatives should love but never will

A while back an article did the rounds bemoaning the fact that millennials were destroying the paper napkin industry. More recently a similar article lamented that the same looming fate hitting fabric softener companies. Another said millennials weren't buying enough breakfast cereal. On a larger scale, real estate is in crisis because the younger generation simply can't rely on the sort of longterm employment and stable wages needed to afford a mortgage.

To a certain sort of cold, calculating neoliberal conservative this is simply market forces at work: if your business can't create demand then it deserves to die. Never mind the unemployment and shattered lives, to people like this the perfect business is one that never needs a subsidy and adapts perfectly to fill the needs of a changing economy.

Few businesses actually manage this and, in practice, conservative governments sign off on bailouts all the time to banks, to manufacturing concerns and even sports tournaments; they subsidise whatever arts they see as worthy; and, they pass laws intended to protect businesses they can rely on for financial endorsement.

There is one industry, though, that perfectly conforms to the neoliberal capitalist ideal. An industry that has never needed a bailout, never claimed a subsidy, that has survived every technological shift that should have sunk it and weathered every attempt to legislate it out of existence:


No, I'm not kidding. Neoliberal conservatives should love porn, and not just because if they watched more of it they probably wouldn't get caught with rentboys quite so often. The porn industry quite literally does everything they think a business should do.

Porn has never cost the taxpayer a penny, it is entirely self-financing. In fact, it contributes huge amounts of tax revenue in California, ironically a place where conservatives constantly try to destroy it through legislation. It has weathered every recession the world could throw at it. When the print and video distribution models began to collapse it was one of the first (perhaps even the first) entertainment industries to seriously monetize the internet, saving itself from annihilation with no outside help and pioneering models of revenue now used by the likes of Netflix, Amazon and WWE Network.

Hell, they even do the “charity is good business” thing with Pornhub recently announcing that they were starting a sex education website. An actual, honest to God sex education website that will be written by actual doctors and psychologists teaching safe sex and consent.

Now its not a perfect industry by any means, of course, but the simple fact is financial conservatives should love it. They don't, of course, because it involves sex which is a filthy endeavour fit only for animals and so they'll never acknowledge the one place their business values are actually practised and instead continue to subsidise the corrupt and unethical behaviour of banks or handing out headline friendly loans to business that will never actually stop outsourcing labour to cheaper countries. 

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