The Tea Party’s assault on workers

This Washington Post article below highlights some of the nationwide assaults on working people by the Tea Party and their billionaire backers,

For all the debate on the effects of the tea party's and the Republican party's march to the far right at the federal level, it’s their impact at the state level that will probably be with us the longest.

Back in 2010, 11 states — Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Wyoming — put Republicans in control of all branches of state government. Other states saw their center of gravity move much farther to the right. And in the years since, those states have pushed an all-out conservative agenda.

Some elements of this this fight are well-covered and understood, particularly on voting rights and abortion. As Norm Ornstein observes, we are seeing “a new era of voter suppression that parallels the pre-1960s era — this time affecting not just African-Americans but also Hispanic-Americans, women, and students, among others.” And, as the Guttmacher Institute notes, “issues related to reproductive health and rights at the state level received unprecedented attention in 2011."

Less well-covered has been the assault on workers' rights as part of a coordinated, strategic, national and ideological program. There’s been excellent coverage of efforts by individual state legislatures, particularly efforts to roll back unionization for public-sector workers in Wisconsin and Michigan. But there hasn’t been a solid overview of how all these efforts hang together and how extensive and coordinated they are.

That has changed with a remarkable paper by the University of Oregon’s Gordon Lafer for the Economic Policy Institute, titled "The Legislative Attack on American Wages and Labor Standards, 2011–2012." Lafer documents how extensive anti-labor efforts have been with the wave of newly conservative state governments, and he paints a picture of the forest that arises out of all these anti-labor trees.

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Be under no illusion that these assaults have ceased. In Ohio, Tea Party efforts continue to push so-called "right-to-work" laws so deceptive in a recent Plain Dealer editorial they stated that "Claiming Right to Work is about workplace freedom is like calling a slave owner a job creator.", meanwhile in the statehouse, Tea Party Republicans are pursuing yet more voter suppression laws, as detailed by Plunderbund.

working people simply cannot trust the Tea Party and their radical agenda.