Archive for the ‘Michigan’ Category

First off, congratulations to Michigan for allowing citizens to own their own labor and not be forced by law and coercion to join a union.

Congrats to Democrats and union supporters for acting like the moron goons we all know you are:

I’ve heard the point made in the last few days, though, that the thuggery is not just endemic to unions, but important to them.  When there are real threats put out there, people understand that they really mean it.  Though “it”, as always, is merely preserving their racket, while painting a picture of cackling mustachioed robber barons whipping child slave labor, and the idea that it was unions and not the free market that created the wholly subjective “living wage”.

It’s interesting to read the leftist point of view on this topic.  From HuffPo:

LANSING, Mich. — Over the chants of thousands of angry protesters, Republican lawmakers made Michigan a right-to-work state Tuesday, dealing a devastating and once-unthinkable defeat to organized labor in a place that has been a bastion of the movement for generations.

The GOP-dominated House ignored Democrats’ pleas to delay the final passage and instead approved two bills with the same ruthless efficiency that the Senate showed last week. One measure dealt with private-sector workers, the other with government employees. Republican Gov. Rick Snyder signed them both within hours, calling them “pro-worker and pro-Michigan.”

“This is about freedom, fairness and equality,” House Speaker Jase Bolger said during the floor debate. “These are basic American rights – rights that should unite us.”

After the vote, he said, Michigan’s future “has never been brighter, because workers are free.”

The state where the United Auto Workers was founded and labor has long been a political titan will join 23 others with right-to-work laws, which ban requirements that nonunion employees pay unions for negotiating contracts and other services.

Supporters say the laws give workers more choice and support economic growth, but critics insist the real intent is to weaken organized labor by encouraging workers to “freeload” by withholding money unions need to bargain effectively.

Protesters in the Capitol gallery chanted “Shame on you!” as the measures were adopted. Union backers clogged the hallways and grounds shouting “No justice, no peace.” And Democrats warned that hard feelings over the legislation and Republicans’ refusal to hold committee hearings or allow a statewide referendum would be long lasting.

Emphasis obviously added.  They wouldn’t just go out and say “Republicans bad, they hate workers, Democrats good, they love workers, and scabs are evil scum”.  Because, y’know, there’s nothing more democratic than getting forced by government to pay to an organization you don’t want to belong to, just for the priviledge of owning your own work.

But as always, unions aren’t about helping workers, they’re about pitting one group of workers against another group of workers.

Now, if you do happen to be a union guy, or a union girl (though they don’t like women or blacks or hispanics or chinese or ______  minority depending on the shop, and used unions to keep shops closed to non-white males, but I digress…), you’ll note that they said the problem is it will allow non-union workers to not have money stolen out of their pockets to pay for union negotiation.  Thing is, a company probably doesn’t have to hire somebody at the union rate if they aren’t a union member.  Also, union member dues don’t go to negotiation (except when they’re busy killing tire plants and bakeries) so much, and as visibly, as they go here.  Note that these are the top all-time donors, and unions are all boxed in blue.  Notice that their support goes overwhelmingly, if not absolutely, to Democrats:

union heavy hitters open secrets 1

union heavy hitters open secrets 2

Now if you go back and really look at the list, you’ll see that not only do unions make up over a third of the list there, they contribute almost exclusively to Democrats, and when you look at other “heavy hitters” that donate, they aren’t split anywhere near the way the unions are.  The most “even” distribution of union support is a split of 75% Dem, 17% Rep.

Of course Democrats will be mad about this.  If people don’t have to pay dues each month to support Democrats, they might have to turn to some of their other overwhelmingly powerful political action committees to get elected rather than just pick the pockets of voters while blaming Republicans for the failures the Democrats cause – The Curley Effect again.

>The link that JBH posted for Michgan’s “Financial Martial Law” bill was a floor summary. After he posted it, I looked up the text of the bill, as well as a lot of the debates. Some other things ended up delaying me, but on that first day, I noticed that the story was only picked up by CBS, the Michigan Messenger (which I have no familiarity with), and archlefty Mother Jones. The rest of the search results for it were mostly copypasta of the CBS story, and almost universally on lefty blogs, with the exception of all-around conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Color me skeptical, but I take both of those Joneses with a big grain of salt.

Here’s a link to the bill, as approved by the Gov and filed by the Secretary of State of Michigan:
House Bill 4214
And in easier-to-read PDF format:
House Bill 4214

Some of the most important things to note are in one of the first summaries – note the background information.

Note the citation of Citizens Research Council of Michigan‘s report 362: Financial Emergencies in Michigan Local Governments.

The report basically goes over some of the levels of failure of Michigans, townships, school boards, cities, and communities. It’s bad.

To give an anecdotal example, an economic refugee from Michigan who I know bought his house a few years back for about $170,000. He ended up getting away from it at $40,000. He was happy to get out from under the crushing debt on a house that wasn’t worth anything anymore due to the housing bubble collapse.




Yes, really. He could buy it.

Now, consider how towns, cities, and even states generate revenue. One of the big methods is property taxes. It’s considered a progressive (in the lefty sense) tax that’s acceptable, because it only taxes the rich, landed classes. It’s politically acceptable, since folks who are well-to-do typically want to think they’re paying for their schools, and it’s not visible enough like sales taxes to bother people who rent. It’s considered a cost of “owning” a home, even though you can never truly own something you have to pay someone not to confiscate, but I digress. It’s a standard source of revenue, and widely accepted.

Using that $170K to $40K transition, let’s assume a tiny tax rate of 1% of the property’s value per year. If Anytown, Michigan, were making $1700 per year in taxes off a house, and budgets according to what they have to spend, even with no deficit spending (unlikely), times 1000 houses in their township, then Anytown, Michigan, has about a $1,700,000 operating budget. That’s enough to hire several police, maintain a small fire department, and Anytown’s part of Anycounty’s incorporated school distruct running (there are also roads, sanitation, etc.).

And with the end of the housing bubble, suddenly Anytown is making $400 per year in taxes off a house. With the 1000 houses in the township, Anytown, Michigan now has only $400,000 to spend for their operating budget. Suddenly, the cost of police, a fire department, and Anytown’s part of the school district is threatened, along with the town’s other few services.

Anytown still has financial obligations to pensioners, to contracts (be they private or union), and suddenly Anytown is faces with a financial disaster. So Anytown petitions the State to come in. The state is faced with the same budget crisis, and has no money to spare to bail out 200 desperate Anytowns.

The solutions do become desperate. Does the township reneg on its obligations? Do they declare bankruptcy? Do they raise taxes on the remaining residents? Since those residents have fewer jobs, and can’t meet their personal obligations and declare bankruptcy as individuals, does Anytown get even the $400 tax anymore? Should the town go bankrupt if it has thriving industries and in simply going through a hard time? Should the town, run by a corrupt mayor and crooked board of aldermen, simply be dissolved?

That’s where the bill comes in. Michigan is in a state of financial emergency, no matter what Chrysler is trying to sell. The dominance by unions, democrats, and leftist identity politics melded together to keep everyone but the political exploiters down. The big car companies made foolish decisions to sign unsustainable union contracts and are saddled with debt to the point that taxpayers around the country had to bail out GM and Chrysler – formerly companies that were powerhouses – are now weak shells of their old selves. Black/white identity politics tore communities apart as the economy fell, and things just got worse from there. Economic destruction is all part of that, intertwined with societal destruction and redistribution and unsustainable economic policies.

The state of Michigan didn’t past the bill to start dissolving neighborhoods. They passed the bill to keep the entire state from imploding due to its horrible economic situation – they passed it to put capable managers in charge of towns and districts that need help. If they keep doing what they’re doing, they’ll be begging for a federal bailout, and as Margaret Thatcher said: “Socialism works great until you run out of other people’s money.

The thing is, the rest of the country doesn’t want to bail out Michigan. For example, California with its own mismanagement certainly doesn’t need to be taxed to bail out Michigan, nor does a successful state need to have its success confiscated to bail out Michigan. The successful states need to be emulated, not taxed.

The grasshopper needs to stop having government steal the ant’s hard work, and instead the grasshopper needs to get off his ovipositor and start doing what the ant did to succeed. Michigan acknowledges this, as there are towns that are ants, and towns that are grasshoppers within it, and there is no reason why the entire state should be consumed.

Having read a lot of it, I’m not so sure that it’s a power grab – it seems to be an extreme austerity move, wherein most of it is a move by the state against local governments, and all with checks and appeals to the state court system as well.

>From CBS News

Keeping in mind there’s a huge difference in the political spectrum between a Texas republican and a Michigan republican, Michigan republican governor Rick Snyder is about to allow his state bureaucracy to make a huge power grab over city elected officials.

Mr. Snyder is about to sign into law a bill that will allow the governor of Michigan to declare a “financial emergency” in any town or school district. This declaration would pave the way for the state through a “financial czar” to fire elected officials, break contracts, seize and sell assets, eliminate services and possibly even eliminate whole cities and school districts.

Here is the bill.

If this isn’t a statist power grab I don’t know what is. The only opposition to this that needs to be noted is state democrats and even some federal representatives are opposed to this bill not because it violates property rights or dissolves local governments on a whim. They are upset because there happens to be legislation that is going to affect the collective bargaining of their beloved public sector unions. They also seem to be linking this bill to the Wisconsin bill that provided reform to bargaining with public sector unions and gave the choices to state employees as to whether they want to even belong to a union.

These state and local democrats of Michigan ARE NOT decrying the power grab itself, which means they are okay with most of the bill. Meaning the are alright with the power to wipe Detroit off the map if they see fit to do so, or some public school that has been mismanaged in another city. They don’t seem to be too upset about that. They definitely aren’t upset about being able to seize property. And you don’t All they care about is losing part of the force that has kept them in office for years, their beloved public sector unions, to which they continuously have given more benefits and more money to over the years, which has continuously increased the tax burden on Michigan’s citizens over the years. In turn, these statist lean on the public sector unions political action committees for support reelection which keeps the cycle of ever raising taxes and increasingly over compensated public sector unions.

The Michigan Democrats are also playing the race card on this as well with comments directed towards minority communities that the dissolving of the local governments is targeted at minority communities and will impact the greater then another community. How so? Didn’t they elected their representatives? Didn’t the next town? Did those individuals even get out to vote? Are the fiscal issues of their township in the hands of their elected officials just like the next town? Don’t they have the ability to vote new representatives in every 2 or 4 years just like the next town? How is it any different? You won’t get an explanation. Only that it’ll affect a minority area that elected fiscal idiots over some other town that isn’t primarily minority that also elected fiscal idiots.

Bottom line?

This is a power grab by the state pure and simple. These cities, school districts should be allowed to go into bankruptcy on their own. The democrat gripe over collective bargaining for the public sector unions is just a token out cry that’s going to affect only their re election bids. The seizure of property, breaking of contracts in general are pure power grabs and something the statist in general are okay with. More regulation and more regulation are always something the statist want. Dissolving elected bodies reminds me personally of past despots like King George III of Great Britain and should not be tolerated. The people of Michigan need to take a stand for true liberty and freedom, and oppose the signing of this bill that is an outrageous violation of the United States Constitution which guarantees a republican form of government for each state.

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