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michaelskis

The Economy in Michigan

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New Development and Redevelopment is only a factor of a place

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There are probably a million different things that can be done... are you asking what can be done in terms of planning and land use, tax structure, health and education, the environment, regulation...?

I know its an unpopular idea, especially in southeast Michigan, but I would begin by making Michigan a right to work state. I don't want to disable unions altogether because I believe they have their uses, but I would like to limit the power they've attained - frequently I think they use it for their own purposes rather than their workers (I mean, what good is fighting for your worker's inflated salaries and benefits if the company folds and they lose their jobs?).

Also, I am of the opinion that we need to re-work our budgeting laws. I think that it should be ok to run a slight deficit (for a limited period of time) and even increase government spending during rough economic years so as to update infrastructure and help re-organize the economy and soften the blow to businesses and people. But then, it must be simultaneously necessary to run budget surpluses and cut government spending in economic boom years.

That might run counter to what most would think tell you, but I think it's good fiscal policy.

I think its good that the legislature cut the Single Business tax and I believe that only half of it should be replaced as long as it is accompanied by other pro-business policies.

Tax your businesses low, regulate them medium - regulate your people low and tax them medium.

If businesses come, people will follow.

Finally, in terms of land use planning:

We need to invest heavily in our cities - most especially in terms of infrastructure, education and health. I think Granholm is on the right track in seeking to insure every Michigan Resident, but I have been recently less than happy with her cuts to education. I voted for the ballot initiative to increase education spending annually - perhaps the wording and logisitcs weren't right, but I wanted to get it across that the idea was good.

I'm really sold on the idea of abolishing townships from the standpoint of reducing the size of government and eliminating redundancies. On top of that, it would reduce intra-regional infighting and aid regionalization.

We could start with these things.

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Enact a right to work law, and strengthen education standards.

Michigan has great natural beauty, maybe that could be promoted more.

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If I can't find a job here in Michigan, I'm leaving for Chicago.

But I did get a job in Saginaw, so I'm staying! For now.

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There are probably a million different things that can be done... are you asking what can be done in terms of planning and land use, tax structure, health and education, the environment, regulation...?

[sNIP]

We could start with these things.

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I think one of the easiest ways to control spending and harbor regionalism is to eliminate the township government and consolidate suburban cities. For example, Oakland County should eliminate all its townships and all of the "traditional" cities should annex their surroundings. In that way you'd have Oakland County (which would control several things such as elections, schools, emergency services, etc.) and cities such as Royal Oak, Pontiac, Birmingham, Farmington, Milford, South Lyon, Holly, Oxford, Rochester, etc. that would encompass areas closer to 50 sq. mi. Southfield Town Center would be a "neighborhood" in Royal Oak. Twelve Oaks Mall would be on Northville's north end. The Big Beaver Corridor would run through Birmingham. Chrysler would be headquartered in Pontiac, and so on.

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Repeal the minimum wage increase on the state level. The majority of people in Michigan who make minimum wage are high school students who don

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I think one of the easiest ways to control spending and harbor regionalism is to eliminate the township government and consolidate suburban cities. For example, Oakland County should eliminate all its townships and all of the "traditional" cities should annex their surroundings. In that way you'd have Oakland County (which would control several things such as elections, schools, emergency services, etc.) and cities such as Royal Oak, Pontiac, Birmingham, Farmington, Milford, South Lyon, Holly, Oxford, Rochester, etc. that would encompass areas closer to 50 sq. mi. Southfield Town Center would be a "neighborhood" in Royal Oak. Twelve Oaks Mall would be on Northville's north end. The Big Beaver Corridor would run through Birmingham. Chrysler would be headquartered in Pontiac, and so on.

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just a quick correction on something. Michigans economy is lagging, but it is still one of the higher states when it comes to median income I believe it's still in the top 20 although it has fallen a few spots from where it was. It takes more than a couple years of a dirty economy to lower the wages.

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just a quick correction on something. Michigans economy is lagging, but it is still one of the higher states when it comes to median income I believe it's still in the top 20 although it has fallen a few spots from where it was. It takes more than a couple years of a dirty economy to lower the wages.

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Michigan like Ohio put all of its eggs in the manufacturing basket.

The bogging down of the auto industry by outdated groups such as the UAW and other labor unions haven't helped either.

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Some unions may be muddying the waters, but they are hardly obsolete.

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I don't think we need to be racing towards the bottom, though. Outside of manufacturing, the economy is actually fairly healthy. I know manufacturing takes up alot of our economy, but I'm not sure that we need any of the radical changes being discussed. Despite popular belief, the sky is not falling. This is not to paint a glossy picture, but I think our focus needs to be on education to retool the economy. This idea of busting unions (who's numbers are declining on there own) and lowering taxes (without raising it somewhere else where it will hurt less) in a state with a shrinking tax base doesn't jive with me. I think the focus are on the wrong things when talking about the downsizing manufacturing economy.

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I will give you an outsider's perspective. Michigan is still a very fortunate state especially when you compare it to a states such as Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina. These are places that have never allowed unions to have any real power, there are few taxes and regulations on business, and local governments have relatively little control over property owners. These are the things that are being advocated in this thread that Michigan should follow.

What has happened in the states that I mention, and other parts of the rural South where this exists, is they have the appearance of high growth and prosperity where the reality is quite different. They have grown because businesses have shifted work there in order to exploit the low cost work force, the cheap land and taxes, and very forgiving regulations. Unfortunately this was a losing proposition for the people who lived in these states as the profits did not remain in the area, a strong middle class did not develop and their biggest advantage, cheap land and people, has completely disappeared now that the USA has entered into free trade agreements with the third world. These places are losing jobs quickly to Mexico and China, and big ghost towns are developing. Most of the growth these days in South Carolina for example are people locating to the coastal areas to either retire or they have a lot of money to move to build a McMansion on the beach.

What Michigan does have over places such as this is a large very well educated population, great infrastructure, and several large urban areas that have an easier time in attracting the right kind of development over the backwashes in the South. My recommendation is that the state needs to figure out how to leverage these advantages to diversify the economy beyond the automobile industry and forget trying to emulate what has appeared to make the South successful.

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My recommendation is that the state needs to figure out how to leverage these advantages to diversify the economy beyond the automobile industry and forget trying to emulate what has appeared to make the South successful.

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Boy, when it rains it pours:

Pfizer closing facilities, cutting jobs

Pfizer to shut down 3 Michigan plants

Not good for Ann Arbor, where 2100 jobs will be cut, and Kzoo, where another 250 will be cut. Really, not good for any of us in Michigan.

Pfizer's in a world of hurt, now that Lipitor is running out on its patent in 2010 and they had so many problems with their patient trials for the replacement drug, where 50 or 60 people died.

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Diversification of the economy is very important. Michigan has so many great opportunities, not only with its natural beauty, but with moving forward in the information economy.

One of the things that has made Minnesota very successful has been the relationships that our governors have formed all around the world. Rudy Perpich made many international trips during the 1980s, basically marketing Minnesota to the world, and a lot of companies bit. We now have a Swedish toilet manufacturer building a plant not too far from my city that will provide 200-300 jobs to the area.

The tradition was kept with Arne Carlson, and even more so with Jesse Ventura, who made trips to China and even to Cuba to expand trade. Tim Pawlenty has created relationships with Chinese officials for educational and vocational exchanges that increase interest in development within the state.

I really don't think Michigan should look to improve itself by trying to look more like the south, where there is an emphasis on low-paying service jobs that ultimately rely on the momentum of growth... once an area maxes out, the construction jobs leave and the market becomes saturated, leaving many places out in the cold.

Michigan should concentrate on attracting high paying, high-skill jobs even if it is delayed gratification. Our growth here in Minnesota has been phenominal with economic slowdowns lighter than the rest of the nation and economic booms bigger than the rest of the nation because the government focused on education, health care, and infrastructure. It has paid off tremendously.

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Our governor has already done the globetrotting game, and does it regularly. (i.e. her motto of "going anywhere, and doing anything for Michigan" or something to that effect). Even mayors of Michigan's larger cities do this. Lansing mayor Virg Bernero went to South Korea for a week, and Kwame Kilpatrick of Detroit has been to Dubai (and God knows where else), on these job searches.

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Our governor has already done the globetrotting game, and does it regularly. (i.e. her motto of "going anywhere, and doing anything for Michigan" or something to that effect). Even mayors of Michigan's larger cities do this. Lansing mayor Virg Bernero went to South Korea for a week, and Kwame Kilpatrick of Detroit has been to Dubai (and God knows where else), on these job searches.

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That's obvious. The state has been trying to do it for decades. It's easier said then done. Anyone can be critical and state that Michigan needs more jobs; people have been stating this for years. BTW, it was already stated above that Pfizer was closing down its operations in Michigan.

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...Michigan needs to attract some kind of new job industry...

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That's what makes the Pfizer announcement particularly sobering is that the loss, I believe, is in the high-tech sector, and worse yet, in a region that many Michiganians seem to believe is impervious to the economic storm that's been hanging over Michigan for many years.

But, let's put some perspective on today's announcement, this is not the fault of Michigan, at least not anywhere near a 50% blame. Pifzer is going through some rough times, and they are cutting 10,000 jobs, total. That means quite a few of their other centers around this country are going to bleed significantly, some of their centers that are just as qualified, economically, for those jobs as Ann Arbor, so this should not be taken as a Michigan-specific problem, especially considering that this is more of a fluke than anything else.

That said, this just further adds insult to injury, but I don't doubt for a minute that Ann Arbor won't have these jobs replaced in more than 5 years, and probably even sooner than that, especially with Google coming and growing in AA.

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Another interesting article about Michigan:

"Detroit will never be Chicago. Grand Rapids will never be Boston. Ann Arbor will never be Minneapolis. Perhaps they can be better? Clearly, they must become different places than they are today. As a state, we must commit to preserving what is great about our urban areas and work together, public and private sector alike, on programs and initiatives that will enable us to compete with cities in states that are already far ahead of Michigan on the path to prosperity in the new economy."

I'm very glad they emphasize transit in the article.

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High labor costs, regulation, fear of unionization, and burdensome business taxes are a factor. I have overseen Human Resources operations at a couple of very well known businesses, and these topics regularly come up when there are discussions of Michigan. When the auto industry (and the business environment as a whole) was stronger, the state could get away with this, but I think the economy will force a fundamental shift in the relationship between business, labor, and government...ZD

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