Perhaps lost in the Wisconsin shuffle is the story of what exactly is happening in Michigan. Newly elected Republican governor, Rick Snyder, is set to pass one of the most sweeping, anti-democratic pieces of legislation in the country – and almost no one is talking about it.
Snyder’s law gives the state government the power not only to break up unions, but to dissolve entire local governments and place appointed “Emergency Managers” in their stead. But that’s not all – whole cities could be eliminated if Emergency Managers and the governor choose to do so. And Snyder can fire elected officials unilaterally, without any input from voters. It doesn’t get much more anti-Democratic than that.
Except it does. The governor simply has to declare a financial emergency to invoke these powers – or he can hire a private company to declare financial emergency and take over oversight of the city. That’s right, a private corporation can declare your city in a state of financial emergency and send in its Emergency Manager, fire your elected officials, and reap the benefits of the ensuing state contracts.
We've heard for years about "Government small enough to drown in a bathtub", but this guy's actually running the water. Basically, he's saying the state's his and he's gonna sell it. Residents of Michigan, voters, taxpayers--you do not matter. The local governments that you've supported and voted for--don't matter. The tax money you have paid for the community's assets--you have no say in how that investment is to be handled, a private corporation will. And I think he is saying this because he may very well believe that corporations are more important than other "people".
I find this a rather disturbing notion. I have a suggestion, though.