From Corey Doctorow at BoingBoing:
Republican Michigan governor Rick Snyder, along with the state's Republican house and senate, have passed a controversial bill that allows the governor to dissolve the elected governments of Michigan's towns and cities, replacing them with unaccountable "emergency financial managers" who can eliminate services, merge or eliminate school boards, and lay off or renegotiate unionized public employees without recourse. Republican senator Jack Brandenburg -- who supported the measure -- calls it "financial martial law."I think it is wonderful how modern industry finds "labour saving" devices like "emergency financial advisors" who can get rid of that old-fashioned, boring, labour-intensive, long-winded democracy and replace it with the "new & improved" government by billionaires.
While local governments are subject to electoral recall by residents, the "managers" the governor appoints will answer only to the state legislature. There are no limits to the salary "managers" may draw (an amendment that would have limited their compensation to $159,000, which is the governor's own salary, was defeated).
"Managers" will be able to govern as they see fit. Practically speaking, this opens the door to the kind of "governance" we've seen in occupied Iraq, where high-paid appointees who don't answer to the governed get to award no-bid contracts to their pals, with little or no oversight or control.
Michigan Senate passes emergency manager bills (via Reddit)
Oh, and I'm sure this will solve that headache about taxes each year. I've been worried since the ultra-rich have pretty well scraped the bottom of the barrel in terms of off-loading their tax headaches onto the middle class and working class. With this new system, the tax man will no longer require you to fill out forms in April. Instead, you just hand over your first born. Oh... and there will be labour levees where every fourth person will be swept off the street and put in the military to help rid the country of crime. Just like Great Britain used impressment to man their ships, the ultra-rich will simply sweep up men, women, and children to be put into a new Brown Shirt militia who will be responsible for guarding the nation, keeping hooligans off the streets, and beating up little old ladies who forget that they are not to sully the streets with their presence.
It is a brave new world, and America's ultra-rich are leading the way, showing us to the promised land of deregulation, no taxation, and a government shrunk down to one "enhanced" unitary executive (aka Supreme Overlord) with a mandate to issue laws and edicts without the messy details of democracy. I'm told by Republicans that this will open up the era of the Thousand Year Reich, the promised land of the political right!