As he signed GOP-sponsored bills that gutted One Fair Wage and Earned Paid Sick Time during this Lame Duck session, Gov. Rick Snyder said these grassroots proposals “were well intentioned but would have resulted in cost and compliance burdens for job providers that could have negatively impacted employment in Michigan.”
By doing so, Snyder joined a long-list of Republican – and Democratic – public officials since the 1970s who bought into the Building a Better Business Climate model for our economy promoted by corporate-sponsored right-wing think tanks. We might know BBBC best by its nickname, “Trickle Down Economics.”
Building a Better Business Climate meant a series of government policy proposals aimed at putting more money into the pockets of the Top 1%, including cutting taxes for them and corporations, cutting regulations especially for banks and other financial institutions, cutting government social spending for Social Security, Medicare, education, infrastructure, food stamps, etc., holding down the national minimum wage, and weakening labor unions.
Building a Better Business Climate was Corporate America’s rallying cry for its war against the New Deal and Great Society economic models that helped vast numbers of workers achieve the American Dream between the 1930s and 1970s. Creating a society of greater economic fair- ness and more racial/gender equality resulted in the Top 1% of Americans seeing their share of wealth fall from 40% in 1929 to 19% in 1973.
As a result of Corporate America’s war, the Top 1% share of wealth returned to pre-Great De- pression levels by 2008, with more Americans working harder and making less.
The real job creators in a market-based economy are not the handful of Super Rich who have more money than they could spend in lifetime. The real “job providers” are ordinary Americans whose combined mass purchasing power creates demand in the market and motivates businesses to hire workers to meet consumer demand.
Expanding mass purchasing power was the reason why New Deal and Great Society govern- ment policies worked so well for so long.
Raising Michigan’s minimum wage and protecting workers from loss of pay due to an illness puts more money into Michigan’s economy and that’s good for everybody, including business.
How do we get our elected representatives to respect the will of the people, 84% of whom supported Earned Paid Sick Time and 77% supported One Fair Wage?
By building a stronger, unified movement out of many smaller individual movements for social and economic justice and electing representatives who truly believe “We all do better when we all do better.”