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Over the past month or so, the nation’s gaze was fixed on Wisconsin and the showdown there between pro-labor, pro-consumer protesters and conservative policymakers. In the meantime, while no one was looking, Michigan‘s own Republican governor and legislature have been introducing numerous bills aimed at stripping individual rights and protecting corporations.

Governor Rick Snyder, who ran as a common-sense moderate Republican, and the conservative legislature have already passed a law that could be used to take power away from municipal governments and put it in the hands of a “city manager” or corporate entity. These “emergency managers” would then have the power to invalidate collective-bargaining agreements with teachers and other public employees.

Unfortunately, this appears to be just the tip of the iceberg. Governor Snyder has proposed cutting corporate tax rates while increasing taxes on the poor and elderly, saying these groups need to “share the sacrifice.” Other bills would extend legal immunity for defective and dangerous sidewalks, extend governmental immunity, and at least two bills that would limit the rights of victims to sue for medical malpractice.

Governor Synder’s plan seems to be clear: protect and enrich corporations at the expense of ordinary people. If this seems unfair to you, I encourage you to take action by visiting the Capitol tomorrow, March 16, 2011, and by contacting your State Representative and Senator.

3 Comments

  1. Gravatar for Altec Lansing

    Yes, this is disturbing. Have we been gradually entering a new Gilded Age over the past 20 years, and now things are coming to a head? Or maybe this is the beginning of a new era of American feudalism. The richest 400 Americans have more combined wealth than that of the bottom 100 million. 1 in 6 Americans lives in poverty.

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