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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ignorance is Bliss, but What is it Costing YOU?

Again, I am writing about ALEC - the American Legislative Exchange Council. That secretive organization.

Again - and I will continue to do so.

People, we need to be aware of this organization - I don't care what your political leanings are; you need to know this. It HAS IMPACTED YOU - your finances, your life. IT WILL IMPACT YOU.

I have provided the source of this information below - THEIR OWN WEB SITE from 1999, which is still available courtesy of the Wayback Machine, a web archive service.

You will recognize much of this legislation, its effects on you, and its effects on the corporations heavily vested in getting this legislation enacted (read: huge, some would say obscene, profits).
This was 1999, and some of the "model legislation" was proposed, and in many cases enacted, in earlier years, though this is the earliest web archive I could find.

Much of this legislation has been enacted or is on the table.

You need to be aware, and I know I am being repetitive, that:

ALEC is an organization comprised of corporations AND (virtually all Republican)state legislators, who write these proposals for legislation. It will not take a mental giant to figure out that these corporations - those who provide privatized services, those who sell anything related to health care, and many others - HAVE, ARE, or WILL PROFIT from these legislative proposals.

Many of these state legislators are later/have been/will be elected to federal office or appointed to federal positions and continue to propose/vote for these and similar pieces of legislation on a federal level. Their campaigns are financed by these corporations!

Individuals (you and I)are NOT allowed to join ALEC, and thus cannot be privy to all of this "model legislation".

CURRENT "model legislation" disclosure on their web site is much more limited - only members can access it.
So, the year was 1999, and their proposals included (but were by NO MEANS LIMITED TO)the following:

Tort reform, limiting damages individuals can receive in suits (chiefly against corporations)

Product safety reform, making it more difficult for individuals to recover damages due to injuries sustained from consumer products

At-will employment act, meaning employers can fire employees for "any reason or no reason"

Civil rights act, negating Affirmative Action

Minimum wage repeal act - enough said

Resolution Opposing Ergonomic Regulations Based on Unsound Science - eliminating requirements for businesses to provide equipment that prevents repetitive strain injuries; calls it "unsound science"

Resolution In Opposition To Any Increase In the Starting (Minimum) Wage - obvious

Numerous pieces of legislation that serve to make it more difficult for unions to operate (essentially  this led to destroying private-sector unions, lowering wages and benefits for ALL of us, and now of course public-sector unions are being attacked)

Resolution on the State Regulation of Insurance - opposes any federal legislation that regulates insurance companies

School Board Freedom to Contract Act - encourages outsourcing of school services - crossing guards, food services, custodial services, etc. to for-profit companies

The Environmental Buffer Disclosure Act - negates obligation of companies whose facilities lower property values to reimburse homeowners, etc. for "alleged" said property values

Environmental Audit Privilege and Qualified Disclosure Act - companies that self-audit to correct environmental harm their practices are/will cause are not required to disclose any reports of damage or corrective measures taken

The Environmental Laboratory Privatization Act This Act requires that the state contract its routine environmental testing to private laboratories. It prohibits this state from using taxpayer dollars for the construction of new laboratories.

Interstate Ozone Transport Oversight Act - essentially eliminates corporations' liability for practices that result in harm to the ozone layer in other states

Property Owner Disclosure Act - eliminates requirements of environmental agencies to provide identification of land/owners when violations of environmental damage protections are discovered. Also prohibits action if an environmental violation is discovered which is not related to original reason for investigation.

Wildlife Information Disclosure Act - This Act limits the disclosure of environmental information, specifically data on fish and wildlife, that is collected on private property. (In other words, if a company owns land - and its practices (pollution) kill off all the fish or wildlife - that information will not be disclosed to the public.)

Resolution to Freeze CAFE Standards - Freezes fuel economy requirements for cars/light trucks at current (as of that time) levels. (Check availability of vehicles in other countries that get MUCH better mileage than those available here in the US - you may be amazed and likely, mad as the dickens, given current fuel prices.
As an aside, I'll tell you that if you believe the lie that the Democratic Party is the cause of these high fuel prices, you are being duped.)

Resolution on Global Climate Change-Eliminates requirements to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Medical Savings Account Bill - promotes use of pre-tax dollars for medical savings accounts. (Studies show that this is of benefit chiefly to those who don't really need it, presumably not your nor I)

Resolution Calling for the Reform of the Food and Drug Administration - cutting down time required for research into long-term effects of drugs - allowing pharmaceutical companies to release new drugs earlier. (We have seen the results of that - individuals have suffered and died due to inadequate testing of drugs and devices)

Resolution on Federal Health Insurance Reform Legislation - prevents federal government from interfering with insurance company policies that allow them to deny coverage for any reason, like pre-existing conditions, and to impose higher rates based on location

Resolution on Stop-Loss Insurance Prevents interference with ability of employers' self-funded insurance to set a cap on lifetime limits (now extending to non-self-funded insurance companies as well)

Time Limits on AFDC Benefits Act - Limits AFDC and all other welfare benefits to 24 months.

Resolution on Federal Medicaid and Welfare Block Grants - Issues "block grants" to states to use as they determine best to implement their own Medicaid/welfare programs.

Super-Majority Act Makes it much more difficult to raise taxes - not only on individuals, but on corporations, by requiring congressional super-majority vote for passage (think your congressperson is going to promote tax increases for corporations, when corporations have such leeway in making campaign contributions?)

And so much more, which, were I not in danger of exacerbating my carpal tunnel syndrome, I'd type here... but if you care, you can access it at the link I'm providing - IF ALEC does not get wind of it and attempt to "scrub" it from the 'net. . 

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