Michigan is in deep trouble. What makes me really angry is that people voted for this TrojanCorporateBastard, even though he told them that he would “run the state as a business”. What did they think that would look like? (in the next week or so, I’ll be doing a piece on Snyder’s campaign, including the financing-stay tuned) And, more critical now, why weren’t we paying attention?
PoliticusUSA has a piece on the implications for Michiganders [which includes moi]. Scary stuff.
While we were venting our outrage at shenanigans in Wisconsin politics, in fact while Republicans were planning last night’s attempted coup, the Michigan state legislature quietly passed a bill giving the Governor of Michigan martial control over the state. Except instead of using actual military, the Governor is more likely to use private security. But make no mistake–rights would be suspended.
Here’s how it works:
The governor, on his own initiative, can declare an economic emergency in any town and appoint an administrator. The administrator can be any person, including a corporate person.
The administrator has the power to do anything in the name of economic stability, including void contracts, void collective bargaining agreements, dissolve the town council, dissolve the school board, fire anyone including elected officials, hire private security, unincorporate the town, and sell off public property.
The people of the town have no say in this. They can neither demand nor turn away the administrator. That is because this provision is meant to be used against the people.
What might constitute an emergency in the Governor’s eyes?
A labor strike is the first thing that comes to mind. Too many foreclosures. Crime! In short, anything he wants it to be–and with billionaire backers, any controversy can be created.
What might the administrator do in that emergency?
First, privatize everything. Fire public workers and take over all public functions–running schools, police and fire service, and so on. Michigan just made this legal.
Second, imprison dissidents, shutter businesses, and seize property by eminent domain. This is not legal, but hey, that didn’t stop the Wisconsin Republicans.
In short, take over control and turn it into a corporate town.
We need to pay attention to Michigan because they are farther along the road to corporate statehood–to where the Republicans want to take all of us.