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Michigan Republicans decide Democracy is for losers

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Register, Mar 11, 2011.

  1. Register Gems: 29/31
    Latest gem: Glittering Beljuril


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    From another forum:

    http://www.dailytribune.com/article...4d78d0d4d764d009636769.txt?viewmode=fullstory

    "Essentially, if a city or school is facing a "financial crises," the governor - you know, the one who very well could've created that crises - has the power to hire an "Emergency Financial Manager" who effectively have complete unilateral power to cancel any and all financial contracts, even those collectively bargained, to at will terminate elected officials, and to at will consolidate schools, towns, cities, or counties, amongst other things.

    Literally the governor can implement policies that economically destroy a city, kick out elected officials in that city, and hire his own man to take over the whole thing.

    It is the end of democracy."

    Rachel Maddow's take on it:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUpO1QFMDtM

    I really hope the National Guard is called in to arrest Snyder because that is nothing but dictatorial. If it would've happened in any other country the republicans would condemn it immediatly.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2011
  2. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    I don't know if I would rely on the shrilling of leftist harpies to determine if it is the end of Democracy. It looks like Michigan is just taking a different approach to solving local fiscal crisises then Wisconsin is. Whereas Wisconsin is taking a more broad approach it appears that Michigan is trying to do things on a local level as opposed to statewide.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but basically what is happening is if a city or town is facing a fiscal crisis they are being offered a way to try to solve it without declaring bankruptcy. That is the missing piece of information that "labor" hasn't seem to figured out. In bankruptcy all of their "collective bargaining" would be cancelled anyway. These are attempts to solve problems without the courts.
     
  3. Register Gems: 29/31
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    So you're okay with one guy(or a corporation hired by him) can just declare an emergency at will and then dispose of all contracts, entire school districts, consilidate towns and elected officials?

    If you do, you're as undemocratic as any corrupt regime in the world because that's what this is; dictatorship on a small scale. ****, not even Castro has the right to dispose of elected officials in Cuba.

    The closest this is to emergency management is burning down a house to repair a leak.
     
  4. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    "An EMF would be appointed by the governor – in conjunction with the state school superintendent in the case of failing school districts."

    I think this means that such a person is appointed by the state governor, thus the state government. While technically they are acting on a local level, their wide mandate would seem to represent an empowerment of the state government - if certain conditions for a crisis is met, the governor can interfere and appoint someone with broad powers (I can't help but think of the word "czar") to do what s/he wants in order to resolve it. Actually, doesn't the state government control the taxes that funds schools and other similar institutions? If so, that technically would give it the power of defunding them, then appointing an EMF to do what they want.

    Sounds cynical? Yeah, I guess it does. What really soured me on the whole thing, mind you, was that bit where "Snyder has said that the state can no longer afford the level of financial assistance provided in the past". So basically the state can afford to lose millions of revenue via tax cuts, then has no money for something else. Tax cuts ARE financial assistance - you get to pay less taxes than you normally would - I guess the only question is who is worthy of receiving it.
     
  5. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    No, and it isn't as bad as you are making it out to be. Here in MA if a school system is failing the state appoints a special administrator and they go in and takeover the running of the school system. I don't remember what school system it was, but we had one that I believe Boston University was appointed to run and make all decisions for a couple of years until it was restored to respectability.

    I believe from your original post the governor appoints, but the legislature can remove the person if they decide it isn't working. It can't get more Democratic then that. The state has basically come up with a way to rescue city and towns that are in fiscal trouble. Just like failing schools a local community is never willing to admit that they are failing and many times they need an intervention. I wouldn't be surprised if there are many states that already have similar things. This one is only getting so much press because it appears to specifically targetting unions (like Wisconsin) which has become a "hot button" issue among Democrats.
     
  6. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Snook,
    I think the union employees should keep their current salaries and benefits. They are negotiated compensation packages used as enticements to attract employees. They aren't based upon merit, and they aren't "job well done" benefits, but contractually binding, perfectly legal, contracts guaranteeing these benefits as part of their employee compensation. They are entitled to this money regardless of the state of the state.

    That, besides, was the sole point why states were not allowed to declare bankruptcy in the first place - because States, as the arbiter of the rule of law, are supposed to honour fiduciary obligations and contractual agreements.

    To me, the whole idea of the a governor circumventing the State's own laws by renegotiating benefits and pay away from the employees under the pretext of a provoked budget crisis is nothing shy of stealing.

    In private business, provoking a bankruptcy in order to be able to renegotiate contracts would probably constitute the crime of fraud.
     
  7. Register Gems: 29/31
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    Did he have the power to remove elected officials permamently? Because if not, it's not the same.

    Hogwash. Say if it happened during a republican-controlled legislature and the dude is appointed to a region. Hmm, there's one smaller district that often vote democrats next to a larger district that often votes republican. Why don't we merge them and we got one big republican district!

    And don't try to say "oh but that would never happen" because gerrymandering is more common than not when it comes to the US, this is just an even more extreme and undemocratic version of it.

    No, it gets so much press because it's a dictatorial law. It gives unelected officials and corporations the right to overrule democracy as they see fit. There's no if and buts and leeways here, that's how this law works.
     
  8. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    No, that's hysterical hogwash (alliteration! ;) ). Going by the report (I haven't actually seen the law) which are typically filled with misrepresentations of reality, it says the new provisions of this law can only come into effect "if several preliminary steps to shore up a community's finances fail".

    More hysteria. It is elected officials appointing someone, and that someone can also be removed by elected officials if they screw up. Also, the report says the "state is training dozens of people with background in municipal finance to certify them as a qualified EMF", so it's not just some joe shmoe being appointed; it appears that there will be a pool of certified EMFs from which to choose.
     
  9. Register Gems: 29/31
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    Guess who decides that the preliminary steps have failed?

    Do you *really* think a Republican majority would remove someone from power that ensured them winning a district for the next 50 years?

    This law is dictatorial by the literal sense of the word. Someone is elected to get dictatorial powers to fix a problem and even if he is removed his "fixes" won't be undone.

    But then, Republicans have always been in favor of anti-democratic laws that favor them, why should it change now?
     
  10. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The democratically elected officials?

    What are you talking about? If the guy does a lot of damage and doesn't improve the situation, they won't be reelected.
    How do you know they won't be undone?
     
  11. Register Gems: 29/31
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    They very same guys who hires him to remove elected officials.

    You underestimate how many blind loyalists exist in both US parties.

    And the dude doesn't even need to have to do any damage, he just have to merge townships and stuff like that to give republicans more political power in the future.


    How many times have gerrymandering decisions been undone by the same people that ensured they went through in the first place?
     
  12. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    They are the elected representatives; they are doing what their constituents elected them to do. If not they can be replaced in the next election, or recalled if what they're doing is bad enough.
    I think you overestimate. Most people are in the middle which is why power swings back and forth over the years.
    If they approved of the job he was doing, he wouldn't have been removed.
     
  13. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Some pertinent excerpts of the bill:
    So the findings can be appealed to the courts.

    So it seems elected officials cannot be removed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2011
  14. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    BTA, how dare you introduce facts into a thread.
     
  15. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    There's a first time for everything. :p
     
  16. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Are you saying I'm typically fact-free? Tee hee! ;)
     
    Chandos the Red likes this.
  17. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    We'll see how things go in the next election -- if they suspend elections, then I'll believe they have screwed Democracy. If they get their tails handed to them and leave office peacefully, it means they're shortsighted fools, but it doesn't make them Anti-Democracy. I'm betting on the latter.

    It's kind of funny that when things go our way, the world is Democratic and good. And yet when those same government institutions rule against us, then those guys are tyrants!
     
  18. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    This is so absurd. In the entire Middle East the people are rising up, risking their lives, against their autocratic regimes, that have ruled with fiat and under emergency laws for decades, protesting the venal corruption and nepotism that come with autocratic rule, and who fight to get political participation rights and individual rights, while in the US so-called conservatives impose top-down anti-democratic reforms under the pretext of emergencies.

    In Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker abolishes union rights (enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but never mind) under the pretext of an emergency. IMO even worse, in Michigan, governor Rick Snyder is pushing yet another "fiscal emergency powers" bill - that if it becomes law would allow him to dismiss by fiat elected local officials if he feels like it, and to replace them with appointed 'emergency managers', which in the House version of the bill, 'can be a corporation', with the powers to nullify all contracts (including union contracts). It will also give him the right to abolish school or municipal districts by fiat.

    So that's how these fabled American ideals of democracy look like in practice? Thank you, but no, thank you.

    PS: This is rather transparently bait and switch and the bait is the (provoked) 'emergency' and the switch is the powers to solve the 'emergency'. The prize ultimately is privatisation of government services (water, electricity etc pp and the substantial profits that can be made that way), and the privatisation of schools with the benefits of lack of strings attached in a private setting (for instance, no more hassle some separation of church and state in private schools)./PS

    If some of the comments here are any indication, a sizeable number of Americans inertly shrug it off as 'Gee, at least something is happening'. Whatever you want to happen or not to happen, if you're in your right mind this is not it. This is a profoundly anti-democratic development.

    I can't help but think that those backward, poor, unwashed Muz-leems have gotten something Americans have blissfully forgotten.
     
  19. Register Gems: 29/31
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    BTA; can I get a source on those excerpts? Because pretty much everyone that has reported on the bill says elected officals can be replaced.
     
  20. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Go to the Michigan Legislature website; all the bills are there. 4214 is the main one, and I think that is the one I got the excerpts from.

    And Ragusa: So hysterical. :) It's amusing how when the US federal government has preemption rights over the states for issues you agree with, it's A-OK, but when the state of Michigan is trying to clean up messes made by local governments that make problems for the whole state, you now scream it's anti-democratic. What nonsense.
     
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