They’re Not Even Pretending Anymore

It’s getting harder and harder to justify naked greed with “because liberty!” slogans.

As In These Times reports

Republican lawmakers in Michigan plan to introduce an ALEC-backed bill that would ban “community benefits agreements” (CBAs), one of the few options local activists have to fight for equitable development. A CBA is a contract between community groups and developers of publicly subsidized projects. In exchange for community support, a developer might agree to offer quality jobs, living wages, affordable housing or environmental protections. ALEC’s CBA ban, which specifically prohibits a local minimum wage, would be unprecedented.

So let me get this right–in the name of “freedom” and “limited government,” this measure would have government tell cities and developers what sorts of agreements they will be permitted to negotiate.

It bears emphasizing that this bill targets publicly subsidized projects.

If a city is subsidizing a development, it seems only reasonable to attach some “strings” to that subsidy–to condition public investment on compliance with measures protecting the public interest. ALEC begs to differ.

Evidently, ALEC believes that it is no longer necessary to engage in the charade of claiming that the cronies sucking at the public’s you-know-what are thereby doing cities a favor.

We the Taxpayers are just supposed to thank the private developers for being willing to take our money.

I’m so old, I remember when CCC stood for something other than Corrupt Crony Capitalism.


  1. The 21st Century GOP is unaware it’s basis premise used to be the platform of the Democratic party; they are not the Republican party of President Lincoln, nor are they even the Republican party locally of Mayor Bill Hudnut. They are now a party of Republicrats; beginning with Reagan at the federal level and Goldsmith at the local level. Barack Obama’s book, “The Audacity Of Hope” was primarily based in President Lincoln’s hard-fought battle – remember the Civil War – to unite this country and maintain the union. I worked in Mayor Hudnut’s Community Services Association which was part of the Mayor’s Office. We monitored the many multi-service, senior service and health care services to maintain compliance with federal guidelines to annually receive much needed federal funds. That ended with Reagan’s election. They provided any and all services needed by everyone in their surrounding communities; the workers were all dedicated to providing assistance not only provided by the centers but often on their own time and with their own money. Businesses in surrounding areas often provided donations; not only money but donated their time, service and expertice to help individuals. These were almost all Republicans; following President Lincoln’s lead in uniting the neighborhood and providing for the survival of the individuals. Does this sound like any Republican today? Or anyone associated with ALEC? Does this sound like Daniels, Pence or Ballard? President Clinton is correct in his assessment that the Republicans are waiting for Amerca to fail – but they are not sitting idle as they wait. They are actively destroying America for Americans and are being well paid for their efforts.

  2. Ooops! The office was the Division of Community Services – not Community Service Association. Bob Cross and Sandra Emmanuel would have me flogged for not correcting this – we were and are very proud of the services we provided to residents throughout the city.

  3. I had a reaction to Sheila’s topic today even before I read the content.

    “They’re Not Even Pretending Anymore”.

    How far does that truism signal that we have fallen? And the evidence that it’s true is pervasive!

    The Great Oligarchy Plot now has the power to sell their minions anything and everything with merely a tiny spin on the packaging. I swear their next spin on climate change will be the moon is made of green cheese and in a week it will be trending (using the modern vernacular).

    So sad to see among people who used to be the global standard for free.

  4. @Jan: They don’t need to justify it; they’re laughing their asses off at how stupid American voters have become and how easily they can be controlled. They have Scott Walker or Guilani or Graham go on TV and bash the president and their base sucks it up like cheap wine. We American as a group have become devoid of rational thought, lost any interest in factual information and are repulsed by the idea of a serious debate. If you have ever seen the film “Idiocracy” you can see where we’re headed.

  5. Promote ignorance, avarice, and dog eat dog competition and you can get away with anything. Reduce the public’s ability to think critically, and you can sell them anything. We have a ministry of propaganda that has diminished the public’s sense of solidarity and an economic elite that is making us a third world country. We simply must refuse to be divided, turn away from the circuses on our television sets and demand that the public interest be respected.

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