In Rick Snyder's Michigan, there's no money to make good on the pensions seniors in Detroit worked a lifetime to earn, but there's always a few hundred million available for a billionaire who wants an extravagant new sports arena.
Here are some thoughts on recent changes to union laws in Michigan, the historic home of the American labor movement.
Rick Snyder and Republicans are playing word games because they know their brand is a pale shadow of what their party once was.
We all know that those politicians who would gladly vote for "right to work" in Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan don't really care about workers' rights. Right to work takes away the workers democratic right decide what terms they want to negotiate into their contract.
More than 50 years after Dr. King warned of being "fooled by false slogans" such as "right to work," working people are facing a string of coordinated, corporate-backed attacks. But what the wealthy special interests don't have behind them are numbers.
RuPaul's "Right-to-Work-It" Bill aims to ensure that every man, woman, and child has his/her right to be fabulous officially protected.
Now, as during the New Deal, workers must undertake the task of organizing. But now, as then, government has an important role to play to grow the middle class as workers seek to maintain unions, negotiate contracts, and secure higher wages and improved workplace protections.
We have a group of rich business owners who are willing to lie, cheat and steal to get even richer. The greed of this elite has already had devastating consequences for the economy. But the latest attack on workers' rights in Michigan shows that they have no intention of backing off.
The GOP in Michigan tried to position itself as the savior of workers, some sort of perverse Superman rescuing those who receive union benefits from the responsibility to help pay for union costs.
The campaign to make Michigan a so-called "right to work" state is not really about individuals paying union dues. It's all about the 1 percent limiting the ability of working people to work together for a real voice on the job and better wages and conditions.
When you examine the history of organized labor -- the birth, growth, trajectory -- you have to be shocked and mortified by what just happened in Michigan.
Bullies always think they can do whatever they want, and that people will meekly follow. It's the definition of what makes them bullies. But the thing is, reality has a way of punching you in the face if you're not looking at it.
Anybody who was paying the least bit of attention to this year's elections would have noticed that two of the things voters find most repugnant about today's GOP is its blind allegiance to big corporations and its enthusiasm for regulating women's health. Apparently the Republican Party wasn't paying attention.
Consumer demand is vital to growth. That demand is tied to consumers' income, and to their belief that life in the future will be as good or better than it is today. Those are the two things we need to reinforce, and unions are crucial to that effort.
These bills will make Michigan one of the most regressive states in the nation in terms of women's health. Michigan. The friendly blue mitten is giving the people a slap in the face. Part of me can't believe it, but part of me believes it too well.
If Republicans keep obsessively pursuing their demons as Javert obsessively pursued Valjean, they will end up politically as he did, which is why I propose you read the book and enjoy the film.