Monday, October 28, 2013

United States of ALEC

1973 was a watershed year in American history as it marked the end of the greatest prolonged boom in the history of capitalism and the beginning of a  punitive, neoconservative era of gradual decline.  In 1973, the Nixon administration started dismantling many of the social programs launched in the 1960s, while calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty.  That year also gave birth to the Rockefeller drug laws and the passage of draconian sentencing laws, not to mention a little known entity called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), now 40-years old, which is essentially a corporate funded legislation factory, much more powerful than any lobby or front group.

Through membership in ALEC, global captains of industry and state legislators,  overwhelmingly Republican, work together to change the law so that it benefits the corporation's bottom line. Corporations and legislators alike  pay for a seat on ALEC task forces where corporate lobbyists and special interest reps vote with elected officials to approve “model” bills."

Forty years later, ALEC legislators seem to be hankering for this bygone era. In this report, the Center for Media and Democracy identifies hundreds of ALEC “model” bills introduced in 2013, yet pursuing a retrograde agenda. At the top of the heap, bills to roll back wages, worker rights, access to paid sick leave, and even renewable energy standards.

ALEC’s education agenda is geared almost entirely toward starving the public education system to fund private schools and returning us to the days when rich and poor were safely segregated. ALEC’s corporate agenda would turn back the clock to the time when consumers had no recourse when they were injured or killed by dangerous products or services."


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