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Michigan ‘czars’ strip away citizens’ rights


Imagine Gov. George Wallace of Alabama in 1963 appointing an emergency manager in Birmingham with broad powers to dismiss elected officials, renegotiate contracts, sell assets and become sole authority of the city’s pension funds a month after the voters rejected the emergency manager law in a statewide referendum? What would Dr. King have written from his Birmingham jail cell?

Emergencies can force people to come together. They can also be used by the powerful to impose policies that would otherwise be rejected. Author Naomi Klein called this the “shock doctrine,” using a crisis to overcome democratic resistance...