Sunday, June 23, 2013

ALEC and the Corporate World

I didn't see this when it first aired, but I'm listening to the show as I type. This is Moyers and Company on ALEC: the American Legislative Exchange Council. This is one of the most significant ways that corporations re-shape the laws of a country to favour their pet projects--like charter schools and the disbanding of public education, or the carry of concealed weapons , tort "reform", or taking away the right to collective bargaining--anything that allows the 1% to become richer and strip the wealth and rights of the public at large.

Until there was a whistleblower, no one really knew how deep into the legislative process this outfit had penetrated. The development of model laws and the work on getting them passed state by state is detailed. One area which particularly concerns me is the work done to stop renewable energy research and purchase.

Moyers and Co. did a follow up to the original report (above).  It is all very interesting, and does help to explain the insanity that is apparent south of the border. But it also helps explain the insanity north of the border as well. Alberta enshrining charter schools and the rights of parents to take their kids out of the public school system. The progressive control over public policy exerted by Big Oil. The inability of our Prime Minister to even say the words "global warming." With a smaller "elite" to draw from, the links between Bay Street and the Hill are even tighter here than they are in the State legislatures in the US. rankly, it's time to Occupy democracy. We don't actually need an "elite" to make our decisions for us--we are perfectly capable, both individually and together, to understand the problems facing us and to make our own damned decisions. And it's time to talk about an 80% corporate tax rate and an even higher one on personal wealth.

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