“Ricktatorship is Dictatorship” was one of the slogans of the 1500 folks protesting Public Act 4 January 16, 2012. This protest descended on the Ann Arbor, Michigan neighborhood of Gov. Rick Snyder to rally against the state’s emergency manager law. Protesters from southeast Michigan and other parts of the state began to march at 4 P.M. from Washtenaw Community College to Parker Mill Park, less than half a mile from the governor’s Ann Arbor home. They were joined by civil rights and clergy leaders who led marchers in chant and song on the annual holiday honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
Rick Snyder’s strategy is to reorganize Michigan based on the new corporate state. The Emergency Manager system is one of the most serious threats to political liberty faced by our working class since slavery. In this corporate-state vision of a New America, the citizens no longer have political rights and are reduced to the status of a customer. Public Act 4 destroys the heart of democracy allowing an Emergency Manager to shut down all elected officials in a city, nullifying their power as political representatives, which means effectively destroying political democracy.
Public Act 4 also allows an appointed Emergency Manager to take over public assets and sell them to the highest bidder; sell off our public water, our public beach fronts, our Great Lakes, our public libraries, our public hospitals, shut down schools, break union contracts and fire public employees. The 141 Emergency Managers (EM) Governor Synder trained reveal his strategy to occupy government as a dictator—the new corporate Hitler, working for the corporate class.
The Emergency Manager system cannot solve the crisis of financing for cities. The tax base on major cities has been destroyed as corporations down size and relocate to other areas of the country and world. Collection of property tax based on home ownership is shrinking as default rises and the value of homes falls. The EM purpose is to privatize every aspect of our life and public services so that corporations can make a buck.
This transfer of public money to corporations comes at a time of change in the economy. New technology is destroying the old industrial workforce. The new workforce using modern technology is so productive there is no way to employ all of us, or our children, in the new economy. The corporate class is in total control. Either we fight to control the corporations and government or the corporations will control us.