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Government Run Like a Business Poisons Children

Government Run Like a Business Poisons Children

Leo Gerard

The people of Michigan hired themselves a GOP businessman to be governor in 2011. And what they got was children poisoned by public water in Flint.

That is, what they got was a government run based on GOP business values.


This indeed is the business model pushed by Republican governors and funded by ALEC, the Koch Brothers, Pete Petersen and other sociopaths. It’s a basic blueprint:

"Michigan didn’t have to poison Flint’s children. That was a values choice. And Republican Gov. Rick Snyder values big business more than little children.

"Immediately after Snyder got elected, he gave his corporate buddies a big fat tax break and raised taxes on individuals, including poor people and pensioners. An analysis by the Detroit Free Press in 2014 showed individuals were forking over a total of $900 million more a year. By contrast, businesses paid $1.7 billion less annually after Snyder cut their tax bills.

“If corporations had paid their fair share in taxes over the five years that Snyder has been in charge, Michigan would have an additional $8.5 billion to help struggling cities like Flint afford clean water and struggling school districts like Detroit afford decent education. But giving businesses a tax break was more important to GOP businessman Snyder.”

The model is to steal from the poor and working classes to further pad the coffers of the very rich; and with a few hundred families already owning half the nation’s wealth, it’s not hard to see how “well” this model is doing.


To add to all of this the people are being charged for that poisoned water and those in arrears with payments will not be forgiven the debt. I am sure one of these “run it like a business types” will next claim that the residents were paying for WATER and the added lead and chemicals and bacteria is value added so they should pay a premium for getting stuff they did not pay for.

Those think tanks and libertarian types all feel we should leave our collective futures to the “wealth creator” types and something called “the market”. Flint is an example of where that road will lead us.


Right on Leo Gerard!!! Eloquent, with heart and facts to back it up…you help give unions a good rep. Thank you…I read this and felt like weeping, but also fired up once again, to DO SOMETHING about it.


Business types have been staking the claim that they are the most suited to run cities, counties and states because they understand money. And they do get elected. But they make so many really bone headed short sighted decisions that it soon becomes obvious that the only thing they understand about money is that if they manipulate events enough in their favor, whether ethically or not, they get to spend more on big ticket items for themselves and their friends.


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“Leo Gerard, is the International President of the United Steelworkers (USW) union.”

Mister Gerard,

Thanks for this hard-hitting expose of how “Government Of the People; By the Corporate Front-men; For the Corporations” hurts us all.

Did you see how, when a Steelworkers local was allowed to vote of its members, they backed Bernie Sanders for President?

Why did the leadership of the United Steelworkers Union - without a vote of its members - endorse corporate sell-out Hillary Clinton for President?


Since business interests and their shills/agents inside government run everything to maximize profits - money - over people, sustainability, safety, health and welfare, the Common Good and the health of our common environment this criminal act of poisoning Flint’s water supply to “save a buck”, then doing nothing about it for months then attempting to cover it up/sweep it under the rug and evade responsibility, should come as no surprise. I’m sure people are asking why when officials (or corporations/bankers) commit egregious acts against the public interest they almost never are charged with any criminal act and prosecuted - apparently the “little people” are the ones who must always pay at the bar of “justice” while the well-connected evade responsibility and accountability…


Thanks to your rank and file in Iowa. Nice piece–so true.

And yet, I want to give those people all that they need to thrive after such a blow to their bodies. What a sickening mess.

Not that Gerard will reply to me, but - leaving aside the important question of internal Union democracy - i’d really love to hear him genuinely try to explain why putting the USW name (and presumably some Union resources) behind the Clinton candidacy, makes any effing sense at all.

Separate from specific crimes carried out by corporate minions like Snyder: The Steelworkers KNOW the Clintons’ history with “free trade” agreements and the “financialization” of the economy, which devastated the industrial heartland of the US economy, and were frankly corporate “economic crimes” against the people of Flint, and millions of others. That sell-out, and those economic crimes, totally set the stage for Snyder and his “emergency financial manager” bullshit.

It’s great that Gerard wrote this article, and is involved in the Blue-Green Alliance seeking common ground with the environmental and Union movements. But the Union leadership HAS TO KNOW that the Clintons are absolutely key figures in the sell-out of the Democratic Party to corporate interests. i only imagine they think they are being “realist” by backing Clinton. i’m utterly sick of such blatantly ruinous “realism.”


And the country it claimed those terrorists hailed from would be bombed back into the stone age and trillions of dollars spent on the military to do so even as “there not enough money to upgrade water mains”

Absolutely horrific. The bottomless greed and Inhumanity of those in power. Snyder is a soulless prick, a 3-dimensional hologram of an actual human, but obviously without a soul. He should be relieved of duty immediately and charged with gross negligence and reckless endangerment of human life, just for starters. Michael Moore, you are right on once again on this. This governor and many others down the line have committed criminal acts and must be held accountable. Bastards. The hell on earth their greed has created for so many decent, innocent people.

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“The GOP businessman-governor also said in his state of the state address last week: ‘Government failed you.’ That’s exactly what Republicans want. They want government to fail so that they can justify crushing it, eliminating much of what it does for people and turning over the rest to private business, which profits by cutting corners the way Peanut Corporation of America did.”

Privatized, corporatized government, like the Snyder regime, is government by proxy. Proxy government fails the people because it’s not government of, by and for the people. It’s not government to benefit the people; it’s government to benefit the corporate interests that own the government. For a proxy government that values profits more than people, keeping corporate taxes down is much more important than providing costly public services, like safe water.

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Snyder is little different than Kasich and Walker. Republicans are unfit to hold office.

And never forget that Republicans posing as Democrats are also unfit to hold office.

To republicans Government is always bad it is the enemy of the state…Until it is not…Then Government is good…Republicans dont want to support Government they only want the tax payer freebies when things get bad or they admit failure. They always accouse everyone else of mooching but not when it is them…They will take tax payer dollars but they dont want to pay them back… No they expect us to pay for their mistakes…

Democrats TaX AND SPEND…Republicans just spend…and send the working man their bill.