Many of today's "red" states have historically had strong trade union movements -- think of Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin -- but after Citizens United opened the floodgates to dark money from the super-rich in state politics, the states saw their legislatures fill up with ideologue Republicans who passed anti-union laws designed to weaken labor and allow employers to pay their workers less, cut their benefits, fire them more easily, and subject them to less safe, less dignified working conditions.
Read the rest “Missouri voters kill the state's anti-union law with a massively successful ballot initiative”
The telcoms industry has aggressively lobbied state legislatures to pass laws banning cities from setting up their own internet infrastructure, even in places where there is no broadband, exacerbating the high prices and poor service that Americans pay for their internet.
Read the rest “Despite Comcast's "misinformation campaign," Colorodans vote en masse to reject ban on municipal internet”
In 1978, California ballot initiative Proposition 13 capped property taxes at 1% of assessed value and increases at 2% per year, creating a massive hole in the ability of cities to fund their operations, which has only been partially plugged by hiking sales taxes and utility rates, regressive moves that disproportionately shift the burden of civic services to low-income households. Read the rest “California's 40-year-old ban on property tax raises has made the rich a lot richer”