Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Sarah Jones writes at Politicususa.com blog, "Last night on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show, Maddow explained that Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder is pushing a bill through that will give ultimate governmental power literally to corporations, thereby using shock doctrine tactics to create a dystopian government." Rachel Maddow Exposes Michigan Republicans Secret War On Democracy:
Synder’s bill not only goes after collective bargaining rights, but does in fact seem to represent the Republicans’ final solution to killing democracy by enabling the replacement of elected officials, dissolving entire city’s government and handing them over to corporations. Snyder calls his “budget bill” a “shared sacrifice,” but it gifts corporations with 1.8 billion in tax breaks while hitting citizens with harder taxes, including seniors and other vulnerables, and cutting essential services to an already suffering region.
Here is the video from MSNBC:
Rachel Maddow began her segment on Michigan with, “The Michigan House has already passed and the Michigan Senate is about to pass a bill that sounds like it is out of a dystopian leftist novel from the future. [See Amid shouts from protesters, Michigan Senate sets vote on emergency manager bill | Detroit Free Press] If you think Republican governors across the country are using fiscal crisis as a pretext to do stuff they otherwise want to do, this is something I don’t think I would have ever believed Republicans even wanted to do, but this is what they are proposing. This hasn’t gotten much national attention, but please check this out.”
She described the threat to democracy in Michigan, “Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget in Michigan is expected to cut aid to cities and towns so much that a lot of cities and towns in Michigan are expected to be in dire financial straits. Right now, Gov. Snyder is pushing a bill that would give himself, Gov. Snyder and his administration, the power to declare any town or school district to be in a financial emergency. If a town was declared by the governor and his administration to be in a financial emergency they would get to put somebody in charge of that town, and they want to give that emergency manager that they just put in charge of the town the power to, “reject, modify, or terminate any contracts that the town may have entered in to, including any collective bargaining agreements.”
The bill also has the power to suspend or dismiss elected officials, “This emergency person also gets the power under the bill to suspend or dismiss elected officials. Think about that for a second. Doesn’t matter who you voted for in Michigan. Doesn’t matter who you elected. Your elected local government can be dismissed at will. The emergency person sent in by the Rick Snyder administration could recommend that a school district be absorbed into another school district. That emergency person is also granted power specifically to disincorporate or dissolve entire city governments.”
Maddow said Michigan Republicans want to abolish entire towns, “What year was your town founded? Does it say so like on the town border as you drive into your town? Does it say what year your town was founded? What did your town’s founding fathers and founding mothers have to go through to incorporate your town? Republicans in Michigan want to be able to unilaterally abolish your town and disincorporate it. Regardless of what you as resident of that town think about it. You don’t even have the right to express an opinion about it through your locally elected officials who represent you, because the Republicans in Michigan say they reserve the right to dismiss your measly elected officials and to do what they want instead because they know best.”
What’s worse is that this power to be abolish governments could be handed to corporations, “The version of this bill that passed the Republican controlled Michigan House said it was fine for this emergency power to declare a fiscal emergency invoking all of these extreme powers, it was fine for that power to be held by a corporation. So swaths of Michigan could at the governor’s disposal be handed over to the discretion of a company. You still want your town to exist? Take it up with this board of directors of this corporation that will be overseeing your future now, or rather don’t take it up with them. Frankly, they’re not interested.”
Maddow talked about the power grab behind the fabrication of a fiscal emergency, “The power to overrule and suspend elected government justified by a financial emergency. Oh, and how do you know you’re in a financial emergency, because the governor tells you, you’re in a financial emergency, or a company he hires to do so, does that instead. The Senate version of the bill in Michigan says it has to be humans declaring your fiscal emergency. The House bill says a firm can do that just as well.”
Rachel Maddow concluded, “This is about a lot of things. This is not about a budget. This is using or fabricating crisis to push for an agenda you’d never be able to sell under normal circumstances, and so you have to convince everyone that these are not normal circumstances. These are desperate circumstances and your desperate measures are there for somehow required. What this is has a name. It is called shock doctrine.”
Naomi Klein, author of “The Shock Doctrine” implies that man made crises are used to push the “free market principles” of Milton Friedman et al, which are pushed through while the citizens are reacting to disasters or upheavals. The perpetrators of the shock doctrine require a violent destruction of the existing economic order in order to achieve their means.
Continue reading Rachel Maddow Exposes Michigan Republicans Secret War On Democracy.
Naomi Klein also discussed what is occuring in Michigan on Democracy Now! Naomi Klein on Anti-Union Bills and Shock Doctrine American-Style: "This is a Frontal Assault on Democracy, It's a Kind of a Corporate Coup D’Etat".
What is happening in Michigan is also happening here in Arizona to a lesser degree with a series of bills in the Arizona Legislature designed to assert a super-legislature control over municipal governments. These bills do not go as far (yet) as the bills in Michigan. But who will stop the super-majority Tea-Publican radicals who want to destroy our democracy and impose an authoritarian corporatocracy?