Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Taxation without representation in Benton Harbor

If you're upset about the destruction of democracy in Benton Harbor, you ought to be. AmericaBlog has a great explanation of what's going on. Not only have residents been deprived of representation, publicly owned land is being turned over to wealthy interests for their own luxury golf course. Here's the story in a nutshel:
Benton Harbor, 85% black, with an average income of $10,000/year, is home to Whirlpool. A Whirlpool heir, Fred Upton, represents Benton Harbor in the U.S. House, and his former staffer, Al Pscholka, represents Benton Harbor in the state house. Pscholka's the guy who introduced the "financial martial law" bill. And thanks to that law, Benton Harbor is first to get it in the neck. Full circle.
What do the big boys have their eye on? Fiscal health for Benton Harbor? Not quite. They want to turn Benton Harbor's beautiful lakefront park into part of a beautiful rich-man's golf course and housing development, and with sweeping dictatorial powers, they can do it in a blink. (Much more at this Daily Kos link and in this earlier Maddow segment on Benton Harbor.)
Oh, and guess where Whirlpool just moved its Benton Harbor plant? You got it. Mexico.