At a time when Citizen’s United has made it possible for corporations to dominate the political arena, unions serve as the last line of defense against the privatization of the public sector and as one of the few remaining voices for the working class. That’s why the right is trying to take labor down. The Nation’s Naomi Klein joined MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show last night to talk about how the GOP has manipulated the current financial situation to push through unpopular policies that would have never gotten them elected.
Wisconsin isn’t alone in their fight against the GOP’s attempt to end collective bargaining for public workers: sixteen states currently face similar assaults. A particularly egregious bill that recently got an OK from Michigan’s House of Representatives would allow the governor to declare a state of emergency on any city, town or school district, in which the governor could then appoint an emergency power that could dismantle contracts and dismiss elected officials. The most frightening thing about this proposal: it could be used to put a corporation in charge of a whole city. According to Klein, conservatives are trying to consolidate power so that they can begin auctioning off public services, and in Michigan’s case, entire municipalities.
“What this fight is really about is not unions vs. taxpayers, as we’ve been told. It’s a fight about who is going to pay for the crisis created by the wealthiest elite in this country,” Klein says. “Is it going to be regular working people? Or is it going to be the people who created this crisis? That’s the debate we need to have.”
Click here to read all of Klein’s articles for The Nation.