You know that term “States’ Rights” being bandied about by the Tea Party and Romney himself? The theory that legislation is best handled by each state has been around since the founding of the US. It has been used as a tool for restricting racial and civil rights.
Until recently, it was still possible to see our country as a whole, though often divided organization dedicated to the same rights and liberties across state borders. But with the outing of the Stand Your Ground law, something I would call far more sinister has come to light and you should be aware of it before you cast your vote in this election.
In late September of this year, Bill Moyers presented this special report on how the secretive American Legislative Exchange Council has helped corporate America propose and even draft legislation for states across the country:
United States of ALEC from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.
The United States of ALEC: Bill Moyers on the Secretive Corporate-Legislative Body Writing Our Laws
The Washington Post explains: and ALEC’s own web site gives more “insight” into its supposedly non-partisan positions.
Why should you be worried? Ask instead: Why are corporations pushing so hard for privatization? Could it be that regulations designed to keep pricing in check are being set aside in the interest of feathering the nests of these already rich companies?
To understand why our country is in the mess it’s in right now, watch Bill Moyers’ video and/or read the transcript. You should wonder why we aren’t hearing more about ALEC.
Remember that Romney and Ryan represent business first, individuals second. If these candidates have their way, they will drive our country right over a cliff and ALEC will sit back and reap the profits. The only losers will be our civil society.
“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.”
4 thoughts on “Do you know ALEC? If not, you should. And you should be afraid.”
I disagree with none of your concerns about ALEC.
But as a Federalist, I strongly disagree with “thinking of our country as a whole”. States’ Rights are very important; ask any cancer patient in a medical marijuana state where the DEA has been shutting down dispensaries.
As you say, those who promote racist or rent-seeking policies like to use “States’ Rights” as a shield, but one of the primary purposes of the Federal level of government is to protect the people from the power of their States.
As for the pseudo-privatization schemes written by ALEC’s sponsors, these do call for more attention. Even as I support real privatization plans which would throw some services to a competitive market, simply selling a government monopoly to a single private monopoly provider would be disastrous.
Choosing this specific point (medical marijuana) or other subjects (death with dignity, marriage equality, etc.) we would waste considerably less money and be much farther along if these things were handled by the SCOTUS and were made unified throughout the country. That a married couple in one state could be unmarried in another is simply wrong.
The legalization of marijuana was stopped by the tobacco and pharmaceutical lobbies because the plant can be grown at home and the effect of putting control under the individual instead of the regulators takes money out of the pockets of the corporations who want us to keep paying them.
I have a hard time imagining any benefit to privatization because inevitably it leads to monopolies which must then be busted (if the controls are there to do so).
Imagine Standard Oil’s grip on our country not being broken by T. Roosevelt back in the day. In our economic model, the best benefits go to the ones who hold the most control. It scares me to death that we are headed in this direction and that some of us are okay with that.