December 12, 2012- An inanimate object or representational figure manipulated by an entertainer can be amusing and tell a story, and it is insignificant if the puppet-master is evil or kind, as long as the puppet is benign. However, a person manipulated by an outside entity, regardless their outward behavior, can be deceiving and dangerous. Over the past few days, Michigan’s governor and GOP legislature moved quickly to pass and sign a bill into law at the direction of their puppet masters the Koch brothers with assistance from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), and Americans for Prosperity.
The inaccurately named Right to Work (RTW) law signed yesterday by Koch puppet Rick Snyder was rushed through the GOP-controlled House because Republicans were concerned they may lack the votes once the newly elected legislature was seated in January. Snyder previously said the legislation was not a “policy priority” because it was “too divisive,” but his change of heart is calculated political payback against unions for supporting Democrats in the recent election, and a direct attack on public and private sector unions.
Last week, identical bills dealing with private and public sector unions sailed through the GOP Senate, and after the bills were signed into law, Snyder hailed them as “pro-worker and pro-Michigan.” During the floor debate House Speaker Jase Bolger said “this is about freedom, fairness and equality,” and that “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 workers are not exactly free, but they will be much cheaper for business as they earn lower wages, reduced health benefits, and smaller pensions that do little for workers and everything for big business.
A Michigan economist commenting on the RTW law, Charles Ballard, said, “If what we want to do is do a little bit better at attracting low-wage jobs, I think this may help, but it will not galvanize Michigan’s economy.” For the RTW law’s proponents, galvanizing Michigan’s economy was not the motivation; empowering the Koch brothers to do whatever they want to working people was, and RTW ensures middle class workers get lower wages, slashed benefits, disappearing pensions, and unsafe workplaces. It is precisely the prescription for the middle class the Koch brothers planned well in advance, and to help Michigan Republicans expedite the bill’s passage, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) provided the template.