Unions find new asset-looting mechanism (MI)

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy does great work.  We’ve enjoyed hearing a few of their folks speak at various events and always find their perspective interesting from both policy and presentation standpoints.  This issue regarding SEIU and the state of Michigan is no exception:

Michigan Republicans are backing the SEIU’s bilking of parents of disabled children. And they’re getting paid to do it.

Here’s the whole story: In Michigan, many disabled people receive public subsidies, which they can then use to hire caretakers. Very often, those disabled people are cared for by their parents, who use the subsidies to ensure proper care for their children.

Thanks to former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm (D), back in 2005, the SEIU was able to rope these caretakers into a union in an unpublicized election in which 80 percent of the caretakers didn’t vote. But, you say, these people weren’t government employees. Why would they need a union? The answer is simple: they don’t. The SEIU simply wanted to unionize these folks to allow them to extract forced dues. Those dues are skimmed off of Medicaid payments, and handed over to the union. The result: $29 million poured into the SEIU’s coffers since 2007.

What do these caretakers get in return for being unionized? Virtually nothing.  Instead, as the following video shows, caretakers just get paid less:

The exclusive video from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy tells the story of Robert and Patricia Haynes, a couple who care for their severely disabled adult kids. As you’ll see, the SEIU’s unionization scheme has had serious effects on their ability to take care of those children.

In 2011, the Michigan House voted to stop this scam by stating that receiving government subsidies didn’t make one eligible for a union. That measure has now stalled in the Michigan Senate, thanks to Michigan Republicans. Why don’t they stop the SEIU? Maybe it’s because Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Sen. Roger Khan (R-Saginaw) took $5,000 from the SEIU … on the same day the House bill made its way to the Senate.

Michigan isn’t the only state with a problem. Illinois has a similar regime. Connecticut is considering one. This is a brilliant union scam, designed to redistribute taxpayer dollars into the pockets of the unions – and to burn newly-found union members in the process. It must stop now, and it must start with the Michigan Senate Republicans.


Michigan Senate Republicans Allow SEIU To Bully Home Caregivers
Ben Shapiro
March 7, 2012 BigGovernment


Is government making entrepreneurs do useless things?

The Institute for Justice is the nation’s only libertarian public interest law firm.  Per their web site:

…we engage in cutting-edge litigation and advocacy both in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion on behalf of individuals whose most basic rights are denied by the government–like the right to earn an honest living, private property rights, and the right to free speech, especially in the areas of commercial and Internet speech.

IJ produces great videos that educate the public regarding issues threatening individual liberties.  One of our favorites focused on civil asset forfeitures.

Illustrating the absurdity of certain government regulations is another effective IJ advocacy front.  Check out this video that asks Can the Government Make Entrepreneurs Do Useless Things For No Reason?


Video addresses ‘Cronyism in America’

Courtroom cronyism is certainly a frequent factor in the abusive probate cases discussed here at Estate of Denial® describes cronyism as follows:

Cronyism occurs when an individual or organization colludes with government officials to get forced benefits they could not have otherwise obtained voluntarily. Those benefits come at the expense of consumers, taxpayers, and everyone working hard to compete in the marketplace.

Sound familiar?  Sadly, that description fits increasing numbers of scenarios/situations that we follow.

This video gives additional perspective.  It features Professors Don Boudreaux (George Mason University), Susan Dudley (George Washington University) and Bradley Schiller (University of Nevada-Reno) discussing  the causes and solutions to Cronyism in America.

Thanks to our friends at Ramparts360 for tipping us off to this video!


‘The Puppet Court’ highlights former county official’s public corruption case (OH)

Walter Olson at the Cato Institute is always a great source of interesting content related to the legal industry or legal venues.  Today is no exception as he uses a post One Way to Get Around Courtroom Camera Ban to highlight an Ohio television station’s clever approach to covering the federal racketeering trial of former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora.

Local rules prohibit courtroom cameras so WOIO 19 Action News is recreating court transcripts “actual, word for word” in a series called The Puppet’s Court.

Click here for background on the case against Jimmy Dimora.

Not like every level of government can’t offer corruption opportunities, but it so seems to thrive at the county level!  With that, it comes as no surprise when the county impedes government transparency and further provides additional taxpayer disservice by prohibiting courtroom cameras.

But congrats to 19 Action News for not being deterred and finding a way to attract even more attention to a case of public corruption about which their audience has every right to know.


American economic freedom continues to decline

A recently-release video discusses economic freedom – how it’s faring today in the U.S. and how we’re measuring up to other countries.  Here’s the video’s description:

For years the United States has been a world leader in economic freedom. But runaway government spending and burdensome regulations have caused a decline in economic freedom in the United States. If our economic freedom continues to fall, how will it affect our quality of life?


Estate abuse is a major affront to economic freedom.  As the U.S. sees continual decline in this area, our property rights will continue to erode and assaults to remaining rights via abusive probate actions using wills, trusts, guardianships or powers of attorney aren’t likely to subside.

Here is the initial Economic Freedom and Quality of Life video that introduced this topic:

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