I’m sure the insurgent conservatives who call themselves the
What I wonder about, though, is whether they really understand who it is that they are supporting. They claim to represent the interest of average Americans -- the upright, hardworking men and women who pay the taxes, rear the next generation and struggle to make ends meet. But it looks to me as though the main beneficiaries of the tea party's efforts are the big-money folks who live privileged lives built on screwing the little guy.
The biggest share of the funding that supports formal tea party organizations, such as
Why do the corporations care about the tea party? Is it a pure patriotic impulse that drives them? Or does it have to do with their interest in avoiding government regulations, shielding their profits from taxation and diminishing the power of employees to push for better pay?
In the New York Times, Corey Robin, a professor of political science at
Robin cites a study of this pro-business lawmaking that affects unemployment insurance, the minimum wage, child labor, collective bargaining, sick days and meal breaks. Contrary to Republican claims that they are defending the liberty of individuals with the laws, the study showed a "cookie-cutter" pattern to the measures -- meaning all the changes were being fed to the legislators in these states by national pro-business lobbyists.
"Not only did [the legislation] consistently favor employers over workers, it also tilted toward big government over local government," Robin said. "And it often abridged the economic rights of individuals."
One of the most egregious examples of this phenomenon is the way Republican legislators have looked kindly on the practice of wage theft, wherein employers pocket service charges and redistribute tip money that rightly belongs to underpaid service workers.