"Sometimes, privatization is no fun" Actually sometimes privatization is not necessary. The helium supply system run by the government had been working just fine. In the quest for more profits has this system been rendered inept. Another example of the ideology of the tea party republicans (with some dems too) -- the 1% -- running roughshod over reality.
Big fail Independent!
Your embarrassing and tortured logic here on the Corporate referendum misses the forest for the trees. Before the rise of corporate "personhood" in the late 1800's - and its eventual overwhelming influence in our political system today - this country managed to have a lively and free press, speech and association. Organizations were able to vigorously participate in our democracy. But our system has been grotesquely deformed by equating dollars with free speech.
Let me say that again -- the more dollars you have the more free speech you can have under Citizens United and other Supreme Court cases.
The referendum is not about silencing certain speech, its about reforming and saving our democracy. Your position undermines the very right to a free press you claim to be concerned about. Which of course is your right, but it is increasingly meaningless as our political system devolves into a corporate-run state, where those "groups" with the most money game the system.
This referendum is a huge uphill battle, but it is certainly worth a "YES" vote.
Fritman your prescriptions "to improve the % of people who can purchase homes or keep our sons and daughters in Montana" is mostly what brought us to the point we are at now. Call your economic world view "trickle-down," "pro-corporate" or "neo-liberal:" all will doom Montana to low wages, high income gaps between rich and poor, and continued corporate dominance over our political life.
One can't prescribe the right therapy if you don't at least somewhat understand the disease. Our society will not reflect the truth of Lincoln's quote (which I have quoted twice to you, but you seem to avoid it) until labor is sufficiently organized to stand up for its interests, just like corporations do all the time.
And my reference to corporate dominance of Montana is not to that of WR Grace, as bad as that corporation is, but to the 50 year dominance by the Anaconda Company over Montana's economics and politics. You don't know Montana, if you don't know about "the Company."
Sorry to cast aspersions. You're just an old-fashioned corporate conservative I guess.
However, I take issue with some of your "facts."
First, consistently in polls of corporations (like that done by Area Development) so-called "right-to-work" laws aren't considered a major consideration to relocate. Far more important are transportation, quality of labor, quality of life, access to markets, cost of labor and rent, civic infrastructure. It's a marginal business that needs to erode the rights of workers (or get tax "incentives" for that matter) to make a go of it.
Second, you need to bone up on your history fritman. Government rules and laws have been won by worker organizations. And they have been defended and expanded too by them. Further, programs that help working people like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, were created and expanded by government under the pressure and support of unions.
Government rules and laws only protect a surprisingly few rights and benefits workers now enjoy and mostly take for granted. For example: vacation pay, breaks, health insurance, sick leave, pensions, holiday pay, etc. are not created or protected by government, but exist because unions fought and continue to fight to set them as standards. Without unions, it is obvious that these rights and benefits will bit by bit disappear.
The level of private sector workers belonging to unions is the same today as in 1932. When workers continue to lose more and more, as we have on average since the mid-1970's, at some point most will realize that they need to organize together to advocate for their interests. Somewhat like the Chamber of Commerce advocates for the interests of business.
Third, ULTIMATELY workers provide the means to create the jobs.
"Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. Nor is it denied that there is, and probably always will be, a relation between labor and capital producing mutual benefits. The error is in assuming that the whole labor of community exists within that relation."
--- Pres. Abraham Lincoln, 1st State of the Union speech, 1861.
If Lincoln is right -- and he is -- then our nation has strayed far from reality. You baldly accuse "NW Montana" (you're a recent arrival, aren't you?) of being insufficiently slavish to corporations. You are entitled to your own opinion (but not to your own "facts") and I to mine. My opinion is in part represented among political leaders here in "NW Montana." I appreciate that most of them, much of the time, struggle to not accept the either/or decisions that bullies and would-be dictators offer. And because many people in this part of the world wouldn't have it any other way, we are an attractive place to do business for certain kinds of business people. Montana's history since white people settled has been one large with corporate domination over most of our political and economic life. Some of remember and choose never again.
I share some of the frustration that Fritman expresses at some in our community who hypocritically oppose local industrial operations while enjoying the fruits of that work. I don't at all share in Fritman's either/or attitude toward jobs and the environment. It is not a zero-sum game. Nor do I agree with his view, shared by the corporation-led tea party, that so-called "right-to-work" and other efforts to reduce the rights of all working people are necessary for job development. I have not seen the black and white picture Fritman paints in terms of local government looking down their nose at industrial concerns. My experience has been that by and large local government has struggled to keep both good paying jobs (with workers' rights intact) and environmental integrity. With tea partiers like Fritman who like to move the discussion to the extremes, and the opposite extremes of environmental absolutists, the majority of the heat generated locally reflects a very small and narrow band of thought in western Montana. Now is the time for us not to lose our heads to the extremists, and speak up!
The name of this event was (A)Wake for the Working Class. Working people: Wake up to the assault on your wages, your organizations, your dignity, your lives. Or else lets have a wake.
fritman's analysis is reality turned on its head. Our first Republican President even knew this:
"Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."
--- Abraham Lincoln in his first State of the Union Address to Congress, 1861.
Fritman somehow believes that capital should boss all of us around. Sorry chum, capital should be grateful that workers give their time, talent and effort to create the wealth that corporations are now assuming to be their divine right.
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