Thursday, June 23, 2011

ALEC vs. the American worker

If you've ever had to do real work for a living, ALEC hates you.

As you may know from past reports here, ALEC is the American Legislative Exchange Council - a nationwide secret society of right-wing legislators and corporate big shots. They write much of the legislation introduced in statehouses from coast to coast, for roughly 25% of America's state lawmakers are members.

When ALEC came to Cincinnati in April, I was among the hundreds who participated in the public protest and march against ALEC.

ALEC tries keeping the text of its bills a secret. But did you know that ALEC is behind efforts to completely gut the minimum wage? It's true, it's true, it's all true!

One of ALEC's "model bills" is called the Starting (Minimum) Wage Repeal Act. It would not only repeal minimum wage laws, but it also "preempts localities" from enacting a minimum wage of their own.

See, ALEC isn't for big government. They're for GIGANTIC government! Conservatives' babblings about "states' rights" notwithstanding, ALEC proves with this bill that they're against local autonomy.

This is the same ALEC that has backed legislation to expand workplace drug testing and prohibit workers from suing over it. This despite the fact that a majority of workplace drug tests have been ruled unconstitutional.

Let's get this straight once and for all: A higher minimum wage does not worsen unemployment. The notion that it does was debunked decades ago. States with minimum wages higher than the national minimum actually have less unemployment. Perhaps an equally important issue here though is ALEC's calculated disdain for the basics of federalism. Local control is alien to ALEC. It has to be their way or the highway.

It also typifies how ALEC thinks they're better than everybody else.

If ALEC's "model bill" to bar the cities from having minimum wage laws passes in any state, that would justify swift and tough police action by the cities. The cities should continue to enforce the minimum wage, and subject to arrest any official within their borders who tries to prevent it. Legislators who would try to rob the cities of the power to shore up the duties neglected by Congress or the states are the most wicked of criminals. They are as bad as almost anybody on death row.

I also find it rather interesting that Anthony Weiner's so-called scandal broke at just the right time to divert attention away from both the takedown of Osama bin Laden and the exposure of ALEC. The Media choosing that particular time to make an issue of Weiner's travails is another indicator that The Media doesn't have your interests or those of the country in mind.