opinion

The State of the Union and Online Porn

Stephen Yagielowicz

Tonight, President George W. Bush delivered the 214th State of the Union address, outlining the current condition of America, its future, and its role in the world at large. Traditionally affecting all areas of the culture and economy of these United States, this speech also previews the policies and paths that the administration anticipates for the coming year…

Given these facts, the State of the Union address is a speech that politicians, pundits, pollsters – and yes, even professional porn mongers – pay close attention to. Running approximately an hour long and being repeatedly punctuated by periodically polite – as well as powerfully patriotic – applause, President Bush revealed his plans; and now, I will reveal my personal predictions about how these plans might possibly affect the world of online porn based upon what I heard.

A Bit of Good News
The President spoke out about the economy, painting a picture that showed a bright future, with the worst of the recent economic decline behind us, and positive growth well into the future.

Outlining a broad plan that focused on growing the economy through targeted tax cuts and renewed investments, President Bush pushed for an acceleration of tax reforms that would benefit over 23 million small businesses; and that includes many of us! You can say what you want about Republicans, but they do favor lower taxes and a much more open and profitable business climate, free from the excessive regulatory and tax burdens that Democrats are so fond of.

One issue that was not mentioned was the debate over an imposition of sales taxes on Internet purchases, something that would excessively burden our industry – and not necessarily due to lower sales due to the increased costs, but due to the potentially enormous record keeping, reporting, and tax submission burden on what is largely an industry made up of ‘mom and pop’ companies run from the kitchen table. Omitting this issue is a cause for celebration, as is the brighter business outlook that a strengthening economy with higher employment and more disposable cash will bring.

Causes for Concern
All was not sunshine and roses, however. While the President stated “We will answer every danger and every enemy that threatens the American people…” – without a clear mandate to eliminate the legitimate players in the online adult entertainment business presumably under the guise of “protecting the children” or some such, it is unclear how much of a priority will be placed upon pursuing our industry – no matter how much we are perceived as an “enemy that threatens the American people” – at least by those who would pursue us. Still, the possibility remains, given the impassioned agendas of our industry’s enemies…

Much more of an immediate threat faces the ‘less than legitimate’ players in our industry, in my opinion. “Holding corporate criminals to account” are the words which the President used to describe the current campaign to clean up corporate America. Beyond the much publicized wave of high-profile arrests and prosecutions of major league corporate scoundrels lies a growing tide of tax evasion and deceptive trade practices investigations and prosecutions. If your business standards and practices are not what they really should be, now is the time to clean up your act – before it’s too late!

The War On Terror
“War goes on – and we are winning… we have the terrorists on the run!” is how George Bush sternly categorized operations that continue in Afghanistan and around the world. And stating that our “…greatest danger is outlaw regimes” he outlined his opposition to ‘the axis of evil’ in general and to Saddam Hussein’s rule in particular. I fully expect that we will go to war against Iraq on the first ‘moonless’ night in March…

While in many ways I consider this to be a good thing, I also believe that as a result we will incur a wave of terrorist reprisals here at home, the consequences of which (beyond the vast devastation and loss of life) include a means of justification for increased restrictions on our personal liberties, one side effect of which may be an indirect assault on our industry. Another side effect may be an increased fear of public places – leading more folks to stay at home and enjoy the many diversions that the Internet offers…

Just as George Bush’s State of the Union address presented a mixed bag of blessings and potential curses for the country as a whole, it also foretold mixed blessings for our industry. While it is apparent that the powers that be have more important things to consider than porno on the Internet, that situation could change as easily as the world we live in. Whether good or evil is coming our way, only time will tell… Until then, take care, and good luck! ~ Stephen

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