The real agenda: unfettered capitalism

Billionaires want Brett Kavanaugh because he’ll vote in favor of business interests, not because of Roe v. Wade

The author, a Chico resident, is a Chico State alum and former small-business owner.

The threat to Roe v. Wade by Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, is simply a smoke screen to appease the religious right. The real agenda: codify the assault on workers’ rights in favor of unfettered capitalism free from government interference. Those who control the nation’s wealth will control the legislative process, and laws will favor capitalism, not democracy.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a shadowy back-room arrangement where corporations pay good money to get friendly legislators to introduce prepackaged bills in state houses across the country. Started in the mid-1970s, it is an organization dedicated to the advancement of free market and limited government principles through a unique “public-private partnership” between state legislators and the corporate sector.

Early funders of ALEC were Charles and David Koch. Hundreds of the organization’s model bills and resolutions bear traces of Koch DNA: raw ideas that were once at the fringes but have been carved into “mainstream” policy through the wealth and will of Charles and David Koch. Of all the Kochs’ investments in right-wing organizations, ALEC provides some of the best returns: It gives them a way to make their brand of free-market fundamentalism legally binding.

Charles Koch has long sought to have influence in judicial appointments—judges who would rule favorably on behalf of corporations over workers’ rights, environmental damage, pay inequality and gender discrimination. Their money has been instrumental in determining the makeup of today’s judicial courts, especially the Supreme Court, and the placement of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh on its bench.

The Kochs have worked to shape legislation that touches every state. For example: The Furthering Asbestos Transparency Act of 2017 (FACT Act), a bill that, if passed and signed into law, will directly impede support and compensation to asbestos victims and their families.

An ALEC darling, Gorsuch wrote the Supreme Court’s 5-4 opinion in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, requiring employees to surrender their right to pursue class-action litigation as a condition of their employment—a blow to collective bargaining, a slap in the face of 25 million workers. Money well-spent.