ALEC Helped Foster Corporate Greed That Has Kept Workers’ Wages Stagnant For Decades

As per the EPI Economic Policy Institute, “From WWII Until about 1973, when US corporations’ productivity numbers increased to about 95.65%, the average workers’ pay wages increased to about 91%. There was this consensus that as corporations increased its productivity, revenues, profits, the workers also participated in the division of the spoils.

But after 1973, corporate productivity increased by 77% but workers’ pay increased by only 12.4%.

What happened is that in 1973, corporate executives, the NRA, fossil fuel titans like Exxon-Mobil and the Koch brothers along with conservatives like Paul Weyrich, Henry Hyde, helped to found ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council.) At that point, corporate executives worked to end considering the sharing of any the increases of revenues, profits via increased productivity with their workers as they had in the past. This included the doing away with pension plans to save monies.
In short, the major reason for the American workers’ stagnant wages has to do mostly with corporate greed. But some other causes for decades-long stagnant wages have to do with more US goods being manufactured in other countries where the worker hourly pay is much less; corporations developing a greater reliance in technology; and there being changes in the culture, like a greater usage by utility companies of renewable sources of energy versus fossil fuel. In all of these cases, it is the corporate big brass making these decisions and NOT the other (immigrants) taking away jobs or keeping wages low.
From 1973 until 2012, ALEC pushed forward its conservative agenda in part by developing template type laws to be developed and enacted in states where the Republican Party’s elected officials were in the majority. These laws included the voter ID laws; ‘stand your ground’ gun laws; demolishing the power of unions; anti-immigration bills among many others.
It’s important to note that the consensus among ALEC members included being against any government healthcare delivery systems and any and all environmental regulations.
In 2012, ALEC lost some power because of the controversy over the ‘stand your ground’ gun laws and the Trayvon Martin case. Many corporations withdrew memberships.
Image result for MEMES FOR ALEC American Legislative Exchange Council
But the Koch brothers developed other conservative organizations to push its legislative agenda, some which are as follows:
Freedom Partners
Koch family foundations
Cato Institute
The Heritage Foundation
Mercatus Center
Institute for Humane Studies
Prominent groups the Koch Brothers have funded include:
  • Americans for Prosperity.
  • American Encore.
  • Freedom Partners.
  • Koch Family Foundations.
  • Cato Institute.
  • Heritage Foundation.
  • Mercatus Center at George Mason University.
  • Institute for Humane Studies.
GOP RAILED AGAINST INCREASING THE US DEFICIT UNTIL IT CAME TO CORPORATIONS GETTING THAT 2017 GOP TAX CUTS BILL

As per Investopedia, com, Koch Brothers own the following corporations:

Top 8 Companies Owned by the Koch Brothers
  • Flint Hills Resources. Flint Hills is a fuel-producing company. …
  • Georgia-Pacific. …
  • Guardian Industries. …
  • Invista. …
  • Molex. …
  • Koch Ag & Energy Solutions. …
  • Koch Pipeline Company. …
  • Time Inc.

SEE: List of members of the American Legislative Exchange Council

Notable policies and model bills (Wikipedia)

Related image

Here is the rest of the story…

On April 14, 2012, Nancy Scola of the Atlantic penned the following report, “Exposing ALEC: How Conservative-Backed State Laws Are All Connected” (“A shadowy organization uses corporate contributions to sell prepackaged conservative bills — such as Florida’s Stand Your Ground statute — to legislatures across the country.”) 

Excerpts:

“That’s why even if, as Politico reports, the gun debate isn’t happening in Washington, the N.R.A. shouldn’t be unconcerned.”

“To itself, ALEC is an organization dedicated to the advancement of free market and limited government principles through a unique “public-private partnership” between state legislators and the corporate sector. To its critics, it’s a shadowy back-room arrangement where corporations pay good money to get friendly legislators to introduce pre-packaged bills in state houses across the country. Started in the mid-1970s, ALEC’s existence has been long known but its practices, largely, have not; the group hasn’t been eager to tie its bills in Wisconsin to those in Ohio to those in North Carolina.”

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“Nine months ago, though, a website called ALEC Exposed went live, showcasing more than 800 so-called model bills contributed by, the site’s creators say, a still-anonymous whistleblower. Beyond the bills themselves, the group built out a wide-ranging, sometimes confusing wiki aimed at documenting which legislators take part in the group, which corporations support it, and where the bills go once they leave ALEC.”

“Lisa Graves is executive director of the Center for Media and Democracy, the group that built ALEC Exposed. She’s also a former Justice Department official in both the Clinton and Bush administrations. Said Graves on a call this week, “We built out the material using Google, the Internet Archive and the Wayback Machine, primary records that were previously on ALEC’s website, old old Lexis news clips, and the tobacco library,” as in the digital archive run by the University of California of San Francisco as part of the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement of the late ’90s. “There was a lot of material out there that was just not widely known.”

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“Having the bills all in one place painted a certain picture. “If it’s voter ID, it’s ALEC,” observed Doug Clopp, deputy director of programs at Common Cause. “If it’s anti-immigration bills written hand-in-glove with private prison corporations, it’s ALEC. If it’s working with the N.R.A. on ‘Shoot to Kill’ laws, it’s ALEC. When you start peeling back state efforts to opt out of the regional greenhouse gas initiative, it’s ALEC.” Adopted first in the states, by the time these laws bubble up to the national level, they’re the conventional wisdom on policy.”

“For years, political types had vague notions of the state-to-state connections, but it was difficult to see the whole picture. ALEC Exposed launched with a series of companion articles in The Nation, detailing not only the bills themselves but the involvement of the Koch brothers, early ALEC funders. Graves said she was eager to avoid the fate of past interest group reports that focused on ALEC then sat on shelves, unread. “I know the only way that we could possibly tell the story of this corporate bill mill across 50 states was to use, in essence, crowdsourcing that engaged other journalists, citizens, researchers, and writers.”

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One group that decided to jump into the mix was ColorofChange.org. Created in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the organization is known for its mastery of online organizing. The ALEC Exposed research was eye-opening, said ColorofChange.org executive director Rashad Robinson. ColorofChange.org took particular offense at the spate of voter ID laws that had originated within ALEC. It focused its efforts at peeling off the corporations taking part in the group.

“In early December, ColorofChange.org sent out an email to its membership list. “For years,” it read, “the right wing has been trying to stop Black people, other people of color, young people, and the elderly from voting for partisan gain — and now some of America’s biggest companies are helping them do it.” The missive introduced how ALEC works, detailing the spread of voter ID laws through dozens of states, including Rhode Island, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Texas. The lengthy email was footnoted, meant to be a teaching document.”

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“ColorofChange.org came up with a strategy. It would start by meeting face-to-face with corporations to explain to them why their participation in ALEC was troublesome. Some companies made the case, said Robinson, that they were simply dedicated to making sure all viewpoints were represented in public debates. “There’s no two sides to black people voting,” Robinson said he and his organizers countered. But always present was the cudgel: the tremendous public attention that ColorofChange.org could bring to bear with a few clicks. The group claims a membership of some 900,000 people.”

Robinson recalls one meeting with an executive from Kraft. “I told him there are a lot of ways we can elevate this issue,” said Robinson, laughing. “Black people buy a lot of macaroni and cheese.”

“As we got closer, we showed them the website that would go live if they didn’t pull out. That helped them understand that we were escalating these conversations from, ‘Let’s have a conversation about ALEC because we think you should be making a different choice’ to ‘We’re going to launch a public campaign if you don’t make a different choice.'” Those not familiar with ColorofChange.org, sad Robinson, could Google the group and read all about its role in getting Glenn Beck off the air.”

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“For months, things rolled along that way. Pepsi dropped out of ALEC. ColorofChange.org used that move to try to persuade Coca-Cola.”

“In January, the push against ALEC got a small bump when Republican Florida state legislator Rep. Rachel Burgin submitted a bill calling for the federal government to cut corporate tax rates. Burgin had forgotten to strip the ALEC boilerplate from its top. Whereas, it read, “it is the mission of the American Legislative Exchange Council,” so on and so forth. Burgin yanked the bill back a day later, but it was too late. Common Cause researcher Nick Surgey posted about it on the organization’s blog. It got picked up in social media and joked about on cable news.”

Then, on February 26th, 17 year-old Trayvon Martin was shot.

As Matt Stempeck, a researcher at MIT’s Center for Civic Media recently detailed, the work of getting attention for Martin’s case has been multi-pronged. The Martin family attorney approached the task with savvy, bringing Al Sharpton down to Florida to talk about the lack of charges against Martin’s shooter. Martin’s parents became vocal advocates, pushing law enforcement to bring charges in the case. A petition also went up on Change.org, the social organizing platform. Started in 2007, Change.org has gone through many permutations, cycling through being a fundraising hub and editorial hub before landing on being a straightforward petition platform.”

Image result for photos of governor jeb bush signing stand your ground law

“But this wasn’t just about Trayvon Martin. It has proven difficult to pinpoint how, exactly, it happened, but at some point the discussion pulled back from just Martin to the “Stand Your Ground” law that seemed to have let Zimmerman go home that night. Upon examination, it turned out that this wasn’t just Florida; Stand Your Ground had passed in recent years elsewhere. “There was a mystery that many people encountered,” said Graves. “How did this bill become a law in so many states? How does a bill that seems to immunize a shooter from even getting before a jury end up introduced across the country?”

“As they connect the dots,” she explained, “they see more and more dots.” As it turned out the traditional ‘Castle doctrine’ under U.S. law had been expanded in Ohio, in North Carolina, in Texas — all in all, more than two dozen states.”

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“Our members started asking what else could be done,” said Robinson.  It quickly became clear that these new guns laws had found their start in ALEC. Because of the work ColorofChange.org had done on voter ID laws, “our members were prepared. Our members knew who ALEC was.” The angle into the issue changed, but the end result was the same: the corporations backing ALEC started rethinking their support.”

“As so it has gone since. Recent days have seen major companies like Coca-Cola, Kraft, McDonalds, and Intuit back away from the group. The Gates Foundation has said that a contribution to ALEC targeted at education policy would be its last. The trick, says those leading the ALEC campaigns, was making what once happened behind closed doors public, one way or another. Publicity quickly changed the calculation of ALEC’s value.”

Or, as Common Causes’ Clopp put it, “for 40 years you couldn’t get the kind of accountability we’re seeing know because ALEC, its members, its legislators, its bills were secret.”

Link to entire report: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/04/exposing-alec-how-conservative-backed-state-laws-are-all-connected/255869/

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2 comments

    • Dear Keith,

      This is a subject along with climate control and gun control issues that can’t get enough coverage. Dark monies can no longer be allowed to be donated to politicians, anonymously.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Like

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