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Posts Tagged ‘JOB-CREATION’

BUREAUCRACIES AND THEIR PRIORITIES

In Bureaucracy, History, Law, Politics on May 20, 2011 at 9:45 am
The quickest way of opening the eyes of the people is to find the means of making them descend to particulars, seeing that to look at things only in a general way deceives them.…
-Niccolo Machiavelli, The Discourses
 
Florida Republicans would do well to heed Machiavelli’s advice.
 
When he ran for Governor of Florida in 2010, venture capitalist Richard “Rick” Scott promised to focus his energies on creating jobs. 
 
That strongly resonated with voters–and for solid reasons:  The unemployment rate in Florida now hovers at 11.1 percent, notably higher than the 9 percent national average.
 
The state has about 1,029,664 unemployed citizens and one of the worst foreclosure rates since the start of the housing crisis. 
 
But rather than concentrate their energies on creating jobs for willing-to-work Floridians,  Scott and the Florida legislature have focused their attention on attacking the right of women to obtain a legal abortion.
 

In the legislative session that ended on May 16, lawmakers did not pass a single job creation bill for Scott to sign. But they did pass five bills restricting abortion rights and a state budget that cuts nearly 4,500 public sector jobs.

The five bills, which Scott is expected to sign:

  • force women to undergo ultrasounds prior to having an abortion;
  • prohibit private insurance coverage of abortion care in the new state health-insurance exchange;
  • require young women to prove the medical necessity of their abortions before a judge in order to bypass parental permission;
  • establish state-sanctioned license plates that funnel money to anti-choice “crisis pregnancy centers”; and
  • starts the process of amending the state constitution to prohibit the government funding of abortion.

Florida Republicans filed a total of 18 anti-abortion bills during the session, the third most in the country, according to the ACLU.  It was also twice the number of anti-abortion laws introduced last year in the state, according to NARAL Pro-Choice America.

During the same session, Florida lawmakers also:

  • cut jobless benefits;
  • cut Medicaid reimbursement rates;
  • strengthened gun rights; and
  • passed nearly $4 billion in budget cuts that will effectively lay off thousands of teachers and government employees.

The focus on abortion rights has caused some lawmakers –including some fellow Republicans –to question how they got so far off-track.

“I came up here to help put food on the table,” said state Sen. Evelyn Lynn (R-Ormond Beach) during debate on the ultrasound bill. “I came up here to get people jobs. I came up here to protect people from the kinds of safety issues that fire and police take care of. I came up here to protect education.”

Actually, it should not come as such a surprise.  When a bureaucracy’s leaders turn increasingly radical, their real priorities –as opposed to their stated ones–become all too obvious. 

Thus, in the final months of the Third Reich, prisoner-loaded trains rushed from Germany toward the death-camps in Poland.  So great was Adolf Hitler’s desire to leave a “Jew free” Europe as his legacy that schedules for these trains took priority over those bringing reinforcements and supplies to his desperately struggling armies.

Similarly, Florida’s Talibanistic leaders of the Republican Party have decided that gaining control over the private lives of women overrides the needs of tens of thousands of Floridians to find productive work to support themselves and their families.

It was under Hitler and the Third Reich that abortion was ruled a crime.  German mothers were encouraged to have at least four children.  A woman who gave birth to sons was especially prized–since Hitler needed all the cannonfodder he could get for the endless wars he was planning.

Which brings up another similarity between yesterday’s Original Nazis and their counterparts in the Republican Party:  Both organizations consider themselves pro-life–so long as death

(1) happens outside the womb; 

 (2) targets their political opponents and anyone who disagrees with them; and

(3) can be inflicted violently, preferably by the military.

No person is ever so rich and/or powerful that he can have everything he wants.  He must choose which of his needs/desires are most important, and which ones must be at least temporarily put on hold.

What is true for an individual is equally true for a state like Florida or a nation like our own.   So every choice made becomes a statement of what is truly most important to those making that choice.   And what they value as important is not necessarily what they claim to be important.

Ironically, Ronald Reagan–the man the Tea Party stalwarts pushing this anti-abortion drive claim to revere–might well come under their attack if he held office today. 

As Governor of California, he signed into law one of the most liberal pieces of abortion legislation in the nation in 1971.  So liberal, in fact, that it was one of the few laws not overturned by the landmark 1972 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, legalizing abortion.

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