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They’re moving fast in Columbus



Published: Thu, March 10, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

They’re moving fast in Columbus

There is real danger in the body politic in the state of Ohio. The danger I am speaking of is the arrogance by which our governor and Statehouse have forged ahead to rewrite the rules governing both the private and public sector work force without thorough debate, or at lease debate that would give the public an opportunity to be well informed about the long-term consequences of the legislation found in House Bill 1 and the legislation in Senate Bill 5.

With the passage of House Bill 1, Gov. Kasich is quoted as saying “It is an historic day ... It will allow us to move at the speed of business ... and it is important that we move at the speed of business for one reason: People need jobs; with jobs comes hope.” We all want jobs, we all want prosperity for ourselves, our loved ones and our neighbors. What we do not want is to wake up one morning to find that House Bill 1 that sounded so hopeful is full of draconian measures that limit our ability to prosper and to be part of a meaningful conversation about work in this state. The nonprofit JobsOhio and its nine-member oversight board appointed by the governor may be the best thing in a generation for the working people in this state, but may also be the worst. The real danger is that this legislation is the first step in transferring public policy making away from free, open and accountable debate to that of private, corporate decision making that has no accountability to the people of this state. More pointedly, this legislature and the direction the governor seems to be taking us in is one in which the very foundations of public democracy is replaced by the privatization of elected governance. This is a danger like one we have never seen in this state and one in which the outcome appears inevitable.

With the passage of House Bill 1, Gov. Kasich is quoted as saying “It is an historic day ... It will allow us to move at the speed of business ... and it is important that we move at the speed of business for one reason: People need jobs; with jobs comes hope.” We all want jobs, we all want prosperity for ourselves, our loved ones and our neighbors. What we do not want is to wake up one morning to find that House Bill 1 that sounded so hopeful is full of draconian measures that limit our ability to prosper and to be part of a meaningful conversation about work in this state. The nonprofit JobsOhio and its nine-member oversight board appointed by the governor may be the best thing in a generation for the working people in this state, but may also be the worst. The real danger is that this legislation is the first step in transferring public policy making away from free, open and accountable debate to that of private, corporate decision making that has no accountability to the people of this state. More pointedly, this legislature and the direction the governor seems to be taking us in is one in which the very foundations of public democracy is replaced by the privatization of elected governance. This is a danger like one we have never seen in this state and one in which the outcome appears inevitable.

One short comment on the direction Ohio citizens can be sure is in their future is simply this, one of the cornerstones in the proposed Senate Bill 5 legislation is the dismantling of collective bargaining for public employees. If this governor would be elected president in 2012 (though he professes no such ambition), he would most assuredly push for federal legislation rescinding as much of the collective bargaining rights of private sector workers as he possibly could and with the make-up of the current Supreme Court he would no doubt be able to do the unthinkable.


Comments

1notdownandout(7 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Why are public employees the evil cause of Ohio's budgeting problems. Why are teachers, cops and firefighters being portrayed as greedy and selfish. Your kids teachers?? The cops who chase down the murders?? The firemen who run into burning houses to save your kids/wife/YOU??
They're the states financial problem?
Those workers been paying into their pension systems for years. What this legislation and legislators have in mind is a 1. money grab for the pension like it was done to the steel mill worker's pensions. 2. take all workers to the same pay level, all low levels.
But in jealousy you blame the worker/the laborer because it's that group of people you can get to and never the rich.

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2observer2011(1 comment)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Democracy was recently hijacked in Wisconsin when Governor Walker and the Republicans in the legislature decided that they would interpret the results of the election. They ran on fiscal conservatism but took the opportunity to translate this election to mean they should eliminate unions. It is clear that this had nothing to do with reducing the budget because the unions had already agreed to the Republican proposals. Instead Walker and his cohorts decided that they would consider their election a mandate to shape government to suit their poltical agenda instead of the interests of the people. If you eliminate unions you eliminate the opposition. The polls indicate that the majority of the voters do not support this. Ohio seems to be headed in the same direction, along with Michigan, Indiana, New Jersey, Florida, and New Jersey. Coincidence? I don't think so. Whatever happened to democracy?

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3tnmartin(312 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

to respond to observer2011,
there are several references in your post to 'democracy'. Perhaps, having been handicapped by living so long in the Valley, you are blissfully unaware that the United States of America is not, has never been, and was never intended to BE a 'democracy'. We are a constitutional republic.
There is a difference. Actually, there are several differences.
One of them is that the government at various levels is limited by law. Otherwise, we get the classic example of democracy: three wolves and a lamb voting on the dinner menu.
And we avoid also, hopefully, the sort of 'mobocracy' seen up in Wisconsin, as imported busloads of union thugs attempted to intimidate the elected members of the state legislature. That is reminiscent of Benito Mussolini's Black Shirts,a group that incidentally had more than a slight resemblance to its Marxist counterparts. Or the SEIU.
The legality of public employee unions is relatively recent, and experience shows us that allowing them was A Bad Idea. Time to end that experiment.

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