Paul Krugman on ALEC
3.29.2012 2 Comments
ALEC is the acronym of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a self-proclaimed non-partisan think tank which drafts legislation which is often made into law by the various states. For instance, ALEC wrote for and promoted the “kill at will” or “stand your ground” legislation that recently resulted in the Trayvon Martin killing. As a consequence of its efforts in this matter, ALEC has become a focal point for the Justice for Trayvon Martin movement. ALEC has earned this critical attention for the Martin killing and for much else, including Scott Walker‘s attack on the state of Wisconisn.
Krugman’s description of ALEC is both accurate and critical in intent:
What is ALEC? Despite claims that it’s nonpartisan, it’s very much a movement-conservative organization, funded by the usual suspects: the Kochs, Exxon Mobil, and so on. Unlike other such groups, however, it doesn’t just influence laws, it literally writes them, supplying fully drafted bills to state legislators. In Virginia, for example, more than 50 ALEC-written bills have been introduced, many almost word for word. And these bills often become law.
Many ALEC-drafted bills pursue standard conservative goals: union-busting, undermining environmental protection, tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy. ALEC seems, however, to have a special interest in privatization — that is, on turning the provision of public services, from schools to prisons, over to for-profit corporations. And some of the most prominent beneficiaries of privatization, such as the online education company K12 Inc. and the prison operator Corrections Corporation of America, are, not surprisingly, very much involved with the organization.
What this tells us, in turn, is that ALEC’s claim to stand for limited government and free markets is deeply misleading. To a large extent the organization seeks not limited government but privatized government, in which corporations get their profits from taxpayer dollars, dollars steered their way by friendly politicians. In short, ALEC isn’t so much about promoting free markets as it is about expanding crony capitalism.
ALEC — the well-funded defender and promoter of crony capitalism, desiccated democracy, political opacity and unaccountability as well as the socio-political environment which nurtures economic predation. In the last instance, it appears that Trayvon Martin was just unlucky prey for ALEC and some of its tools (George Zimmerman, the Florida state legislators linked to ALEC who passed
Florida’s Stand Your Ground law, etc.). But it is wise to keep one’s attention on the fact that Trayvon Martin was prey because the most Americans are prey.
- Shining A Light On ALEC (themoderatevoice.com)
- Paul Krugman on Lobbyists, Guns, and Money (polentical.com)
- Lobbyists, Guns and Money – NYTimes.com (elmsprogressivemedia.wordpress.com)
- The Role ALEC Played in Trayvon Martin’s Death (crooksandliars.com)
- Paul Krugman: Lobbyists, Guns and Money (economistsview.typepad.com)
- The Corporations Bankrolling ALEC, which Has Promoted the “Stand Your Ground” Gun Law as a “Model” Bill | Center for Media and Democracy (aboriginalpress.wordpress.com)
- Progressive Groups Ask ALEC Funders to Drop Out in Wake of Martin Death and ‘Shoot First’ Laws (crooksandliars.com)
- Paul Krugman: ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws Increase Incarceration by Reducing It (reason.com)
- Trayvon Martin’s shooter may go free because of corporate shenanigans (thegrio.com)
- Exposed: The Corporations Behind the Law That May Let Trayvon Martin’s Killer Go Free (the2012scenario.com)
- Rally for Trayvon Martin Tomorrow in Front of ALEC Headquarters | Center for Media and Democracy (aboriginalpress.wordpress.com)
- ALEC Politicians – SourceWatch (therealwithdarylanddevon.wordpress.com)
- ALEC Exposed in Wisconsin (seattleducation2010.wordpress.com)
- Occupy movement targets corporate interest group with ties to legislators (guardian.co.uk)
- Florida Republican Submits Anti-Corporate Tax Bill Without Removing ALEC Mission Statement (browardsblog.blogspot.com)
- Occupy Rallies Against Powerful Right-Wing Group You’ve Never Heard Of. (isellerfinance.wordpress.com)
- “ALEC: Exposed” Wins September Sidney Award (bigthink.com)
- F29: National Day of Action in Protest of ALEC (occupynewbrunswick.org)
- Lawmakers Propose ALEC Accountability Act In Arizona And Wisconsin (huffingtonpost.com)
- ALEC Climate Change Denial Model Bill Passes in Tennessee (desmogblog.com)
- Oops: Florida Republican Forgets To Remove ALEC Mission Statement From Boilerplate Anti-Tax Bill (kaystreet.wordpress.com)
- A Video Tutorial For Sunday Morning Political Talk Show Hosts (bigthink.com)
- Oops: Florida Republican Forgets To Remove ALEC Mission Statement From Boilerplate Anti-Tax Bill (thinkprogress.org)
- Corporations Wrote a Law Requiring Climate Denial be Taught in School. Tennessee Just Passed It. (treehugger.com)
- Yet Another Reason to Defeat the GOP Across the Board (beavercountyblue.org)
- Blocking the Vote: A Look at Who Is Behind Republican Efforts to Erect Voting Barriers in America (jonathanturley.org)
- ALEC Model Bill Behind Push To Require Climate Denial Instruction In Schools (desmogblog.com)
- Occupy Takes Bolder Actions Against Unjust Immigration Policies (alternet.org)