Corporatism, Flint — January 22, 2016

Down the corporatist rabbit hole: ALEC blames #FlintWaterCrisis on retired city workers (aka union thugs)

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The corporatist network is now circling the wagons around Michigan Governor Rick Snyder over his administration’s poisoning of Flint’s drinking water. This time it’s none other than the American Legislative Exchange Council. It’s not the Snyder administration that’s responsible, they say, it’s the retired city workers and their blood-sucking union pensions that are to blame:

From the ironically-named Reason article linked in their tweet:

Let’s not forget the reason why local authorities felt the need to find a cheaper water source: Flint is broke and its desperately poor citizens can’t afford higher taxes to pay the pensions of city government retirees. As recently as 2011, it would have cost every person in Flint $10,000 each to cover the unfunded legacy costs of the city’s public employees.

The #FlintWaterCrisis is not a blueprint for what would happen if libertarians abolished government and let poor people drink poisoned water, as some enemies of free markets are no doubt claiming. Instead, it’s a great example of government failing to efficiently provide even the most basic of public services due to a characteristically toxic combination of administrative bloat and financial mismanagement.

But as long as the media is tossing out blame, perhaps Flint’s public employees—who cannibalized a dying city’s finances—deserve more than just a drop?

See? Rick Snyder is just a victim of the leeches on the jugular vein of society: retired city workers. The fact that his administration has failed the city on nearly every level and at nearly every juncture is, according to these corporate titans and saviors of society, irrelevant.

Their article, by the way, is titled “The Government Poisoned Flint’s Water—So Stop Blaming Everyone Else” and has the subtitle “A failure of local government, brought on by public employee pensions.” It’s a catchy title because it says government is responsible, which it is. But the government they are talking about is the one that had no political power at the time the events leading to the poisoning of their drinking water were happening: local Flint officials.

I frankly don’t think these people believe their own rhetoric. They’re just paid very well to espouse them.

One more thing: Reason magazine is funded largely by the Koch brothers and has connections to ALEC itself.

Of course.

  • raypc800

    Alec must be very confused, like all of the GOP members in Michigan are. See we are talking about drinking water and ALEC’s tweet is talking about SHIT. SO I am calling this BS by ALEC yet again.

  • judyms9

    These crisis management types, PR goons and thugs (Two sides can play that game.) who think the crisis is bad press for one of their ilk rather than bad water seem to be walking around in their own waste. Retirees, career civil servants, union members, all bad guys because they did their jobs and played by the rules. ALEC reeks of contempt for working people.
    Why Obama’s not on the list is a mystery, but perhaps they will find a way to work his name into the mix before the hearing in Washington.

    • Amen, sister.

    • Nancy Wickman

      And there was a time–before Republican trickle-down policies took hold–that Flint had one of the highest per capita incomes in the country. Public employees weren’t responsible for the corporations outsourcing the jobs. They also weren’t responsible for the Bush recession that no doubt caused a hit to many pension funds.

  • Judy White Ornella

    That is completely outrageous! I hope nobody is buying this crap.

  • Mark Mudry

    How cruel can these bastards get? Have they no shame? Here you have some elderly retirees in Flint getting by on Social Security and meager pensions. They are not huge amounts of money! Much, much less than the ALEC authors/writers expect at their retirement. How dare they blame these people for this problem. All these poor people did was report every day to work and do their jobs they were asked to do. They fulfilled their obligation and should be paid what they were promised! Period!
    Back during the Reagan years, the wealthy taught the middle class to hate the poor. Now, the wealthy is teaching the middle class to turn upon themselves and hate and blame each other. Hate radio and TV, the divisive social medium.

  • wait_a_dag_minute

    Who took away local control of flint & detroit? The gov’nor! Who hired the most incompent emergency manager for not only flint’s water issue but also to take control of detroit’s public schools? The gov’nor! Who handed out lucrative contracts to his buddies @ the taxpayer’s expense (sucking the city’s coffers dry)? The gov’nor! You have earned your place, licking the boot of the devil, while in hell dude! Brilliant job! As for alec backers & supporters: may your business fail, your money be stolen from you, & may you wander the rest of your days begging for the public’s mercy.
    # 479 reason to get yourself registered as a democrat & get out to vote in the primary & general elections! Kick these sobs out of power. Render them impotent!

  • redastcyr

    That’s why Governor Snider went on MSNBC Morning Joe This morning He needed to hook up with his right wing talking heads to get them in his corner Dirty dog He needs to be jailed

  • Sam Galate

    I don’t see where they mentioned snyder cutting revenue sharing to Michigan cities, so he could impose EFM’s and then EM’s in these cities, cancel contracts, reduce pensions, and poison people.

    • judyms9

      Excellent point. Choke off funds and then blame local politicians for being unable to provide adequate service. Republicans setting the table for privatizing everything.

  • baruchzed

    ALEC is a blatantly fascist organization that should be shut down, and all it’s members indicted for treason.

  • pyradius

    Here was an interesting dig up that someone found, which kind of runs counter to the claims that this was all about ‘saving money’ and not privatizing resources.

    https://twitter.com/MCmuckraker/status/691018953687187457?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

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