Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Authoritarianism in Michigan

In the last couple of months, in the midst of protests in Wisconsin, we have been witnessing a rapid increase of authoritarianism in Michigan. This is yet another indication of a massive bear market unfolding. Authoritarianism is associated with bear markets of at least Cycle degree.

A short time back, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill into law that does the following:

1 -- Strip union rights and ends all forms of collective bargaining rights.
2 -- Imposes tax increases on the poor and middle class, while granting tax cuts for the rich.
3 -- Gives the state government the power to declare a city to be in a financial emergency, in which the governor has the power to appoint an EFP (Emergency Financial Person), who would effectively have power over the elected officials in the city, and for that matter, power over all the operations in the city.
4 -- Gives the state the power to dissolve any city it wishes.

Even as I write this, Benton Harbor became the first city to be affected by the new law as the newly appointed EFP effectively dissolved the city government and restricted the powers of the city mayor.

We are witnessing increasing authoritarianism in the United States, mostly at the state level. Already, there are a number of state governments in red states (states that are dominantly Republican) that are working on bills that are aimed at restricting abortion, voting rights, and collective bargaining rights. So far, we haven't seen any increase in authoritarianism in states whose governments are currently controlled by the Democratic Party.

In the months and years ahead, as Primary wave [3] down unfolds, expect the trend of increasing authoritarianism to accelerate in all the red states as social mood goes south and tax revenue rapidly dries up from rising unemployment. I do not see increasing authoritarianism in the United States unfolding at the federal level during "The Great Deflation", even during the Palin Administration Period. The purple states each could go either way, depending on which party manages to gain control over the state government.

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