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Rick Snyder: Signs of Burke?

April 18, 2011

State-appointed Emergency Financial Managers (EFMs) in our great State of Michigan have new, unprecedented powers thanks to Rick Snyder. For those who are unaware of the legislation that has recently been passed, they have the ability to do things that they have never been able to do before. They can essentially “fire” a municipality’s government. The elected officials who make up the city government still hold their specific positions, but they have essentially no power. The Emergency Financial Manager basically takes over. Well, according to the Daily Kos, an online blog, on April 15th the first instance of this very exact thing happened. Our financially downtrodden city of Benton Harbor had its entire government relieved of its power. Here’s the post from the Daily Kos: Emergency Financial Planner Fires Entire City Government

Joseph Harris, EFM of Benton Harbor

Do we see some Burkean influence in our governor, Rick Snyder? Burke believed that not all people should hold positions in regards to the governmental “caste,” if you will. A good fisherman should be content to be a good fisherman and not involve him or herself in the affairs of government because he or she does not know what’s best. Those matters should be left to the select individuals who carry the proper intellect and state of mind to lead the government. So, ultimately, do we see here Snyder believing that the prior city council was not capable of bringing Benton Harbor out of its majority poverty-stricken state, and so it is up to the more capable Emergency Financial Planner to find the solution? Burke did not necessarily believe it is about democracy but that it is about the elites knowing what is best for the people.

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