Discuss Detroit Ľ Archives - January 2008 Ľ Food for Thought - Manny Lopez' Blog Entry "Coincidence or culture?" ę Previous Next Ľ
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Detx
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Post Number: 145
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 6:35 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Coincidence or culture?

News that Kalamazoo has landed a business expansion that will bring 3,300 jobs to the western Michigan community is good for them, and for the state.

Gov. Jennifer Granholm will get lots of publicity out of it, and tout it as part of her economic plan, that remember, "is working" and ostensibly part of the "five years" being blown away promise.

But how about this take on it. Private business, led by, gasp, conservative business people, is turning around western Michigan while southeastern Michigan, with a focus from the governor and others on bigger government, continues sinking.

The Kalamazoo Promise, created by anonymous private donors, has changed attitudes and lured people back to the community. Now MPI is committing to the city.

Perhaps that guy whose family runs a little business north of Kalamazoo and whose business background was dismissed widely by the governor and others, was right.

http://forums.detnews.com/rede sign/blogs/politicsblog/index. cfm?blogid=11949
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Bigb23
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Post Number: 1304
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Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 6:59 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Perhaps that guy whose family runs a little business north of Kalamazoo....



Jon Stryker at Stryker Corp.?
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Alan55
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Post Number: 1579
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Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 7:15 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Nope -

The reason S.E. Michigan is suffering so badly, and S.W. Micigan isn't, is summed up in one phrase - auto industry.

Metro Detroit's economy has been almost entirely auto related for the last 90 years. Now with the massive auto cutbacks in the last 10 years, the area in reeling. S.W. Michigan (whose economy is a tiny fraction of Metro Detroit) has always been diversified, with a bit of auto, furniture, chemicals, etc.

As far as 3,300 jobs - nice, but hardly earth-shaking.

Now, where did you get this brilliant piece of reasoning:

"...with a focus from the governor {Granholm} and others on bigger government..."

Hello? Either you have been napping for the last 5 years, or you actually live in Utah. Michigan State government has been SHRINKING every since Granholm came to office. (If you want to see an example of credit card government, look at Engler's last several years in office. That financial genius closed the yearly deficits and balanced the state budget by spending down the "Rainy Day" Fund, spending the last dollar just before his term expired.)

As far as "...that guy whose family runs a little business north of Kalamazoo..." - a far-right-wing religious fanatic who got everything in life thru his daddy's efforts - uh, no thanks. We've already got one of those on the nation level - the national economy is shitty, the U.S. is the laughingstock of the world, oil is bumping $120 per barrel, and the country can't wait to see the last of him. You may as well try to re-introduce Joe McCarthy as Dick DeVos.

Lousy take - try again.
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Daytwa
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Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 7:38 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"The reason S.E. Michigan is suffering so badly, and S.W. Micigan isn't, is summed up in one phrase - auto industry."

I agree - I would have to also add a lack of regional cooperation. As a native of Kzoo, this is the most striking contrast to me when I go back. The Detroit area seems to compete against itself to our own detriment - we just don't seem to understand that.
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Wood
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Post Number: 39
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Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 7:45 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

another kazoo native here.

"Private business, led by, gasp, conservative business people, is turning around western Michigan while southeastern Michigan. . ."

the major "anonymous" kalamazoo promise donor jon stryker *cough* *cough* is far from a conservative detx. nice try.
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 1788
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 7:54 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm interested to hear how one could assume Dick DeVos has anything to do with Kalamazoo's well-being.
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Detx
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Post Number: 146
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Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 9:01 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It appears as if some of you are under the impression that I authored this article. It was written by Manny Lopez of the Detroit News and posted on his blog, as noted in the thread title.

"The reason S.E. Michigan is suffering so badly, and S.W. Micigan isn't, is summed up in one phrase - auto industry."

Is it that simple? The U.S. auto industry has been dying for at least forty years now. Didn't anyone in charge happen to notice?

"the national economy is shitty, the U.S. is the laughingstock of the world,"

The U.S. economy is slowing but it's hardly doom and gloom as many Detroit pessimists have already subscribed to. The economy lapses and renews in macroeconomic cycles. We are in a lapse phase now, but it will renew and grow again, as it has done before in the past. To say the U.S. is the laughingstock of the world is extreme exaggeration. Have you traveled abroad recently? Our quality of life and access to upward mobility is unrivaled, even in Europe.

ďAs far as 3,300 jobs - nice, but hardly earth-shaking.Ē

Not good enough for you? If it were happening in Detroit, Iím sure many posters here would feel the Earth move under their feet.

The replies Iíve read are not very well thought out. This article isnít about the liberals vs. conservatives debate, which most read into it. Itís about pointing how successful economic policy is being done somewhere else (and, believe it or not, itís actually happening in Michigan). Just because business growth is being initiated in Republican/conservative way doesnít mean itís wrong. You all are avoiding the bigger picture here like it is a communicable disease. The economic and leadership model in Michigan, for the most part, is broken, and thatís what Manny is getting at.

We need to look at what other states are doing and emulate that as much as we can. Forbes just issued their annual Fortune 500 list. Houston has 26 Fortune 500 HQed there. Thatís more than any other place in the entire U.S. Furthermore, Texas has more Fortune 500 companies than any other state (including the newest arrival, Comerica Bank, which should ring a bell). The economy in Texas is outpacing that of the U.S. economy. And it doesnít end in Texas. Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Nevada, Tennessee, and Arizona have similar growth. These are all red states that have simple, low tax structures, small governments, and conservative leadership that is focused more on the bottom line.

Itís NOT about the warm weather.

Does Michigan need to become a red state to have this kind of growth and investment? NO. But it sure as hell could learn a lot from what the red states are doing.
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 1790
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Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 9:56 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Forbes just issued their annual Fortune 500 list. Houston has 26 Fortune 500 HQed there. Thatís more than any other place in the entire U.S


Hmm...I think New York City would beg to differ. I think Fortune magazine would also take issue with you claiming that Forbes published the Fortune 500 list.

Aside from that, Houston's mayor is a Democrat, so I'm completely unclear what kind of point you're trying to make.

(Message edited by focusonthed on April 22, 2008)
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Jimaz
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Post Number: 5178
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Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 10:14 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Also, Arizona's Governor is Janet Napolitano, a member of the Democratic Party.

Janet Napolitano has been doing a pretty good job too. When Arizona faced some tough problems recently, she made sure bigwigs get called to the carpet until those problems get solved. And she does get them solved.
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Detx
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Username: Detx

Post Number: 147
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Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 10:51 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://www.chron.com/disp/stor y.mpl/business/5719475.html

My mistake, I misread some of the facts in the article above.

Focusonthed, youíve provided the best example of the point Iím trying to make with Bill White. Heís a Democrat (known more as a moderate really) but his economic policies are purely Republican. Low taxes, small, part time local governments and little city regulation.

Napolitano is another great example of what Iím getting at. Sheís a Democrat but is well known and celebrated by Republicans for cutting taxes (and being tough on terror and illegal immigration at that). Sheís also big on shrinking government.

Michigan doesnít have to start electing Republican leaders to see these sorts of changes. We need to elect smart leaders who can learn from whatís happening in high growth, high investment areas of the nation. What we have now clearly isnít working.
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 1791
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 10:53 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well, I don't want to distract from the topic by focusing only on one point you made, but we can't model ourselves after Florida. Citizens and businesses have low taxes only because they rape the tourists instead. Michigan doesn't have that luxury. I would bet some of the other sun belt states are the same way.

Other than that, carry on.
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Detx
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Post Number: 148
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Posted on Tuesday, April 22, 2008 - 11:02 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Focusonthed, is it your position that Michigan cannot change its tax structure because it doesn't have... tourists???
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Umcs
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Post Number: 502
Registered: 06-2007
Posted on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 9:51 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Detx,

Manny Lopez is not what I would consider an astute economic observer. His commentaries are political columns that attempt to support his ideological positions with economics.

In this instance, Manny gets his business owner confused, as others have noted, but also ignores the tremendous financial support that business owners in the metro Detroit region exercise behind the scenes.

Didn't I just read something about private donations for light rail in the millions of dollars? Manny must have missed that, the Grand Prix, and a multitude of other things. Not surprising for him.
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Nainrouge
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Username: Nainrouge

Post Number: 1453
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 10:42 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Have you traveled abroad recently? Our quality of life and access to upward mobility is unrivaled, even in Europe


Yes, I have. No, you are wrong - on both points.
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Nainrouge
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Username: Nainrouge

Post Number: 1454
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Posted on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 11:11 am: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Quality of Life:

Rankings for overall quality of life

Mercerís overall quality of life survey has revealed Zurich as the worldís city
with the best quality of life, with 106.5 points. Last yearís top scoring city,
Vancouver, slips to joint second place with Vienna, with a rating of 106 points.

Cities in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand continue to dominate the top of
the table with Sydney and Geneva sharing joint fourth place with 105.5 points,
and Auckland, Frankfurt, Copenhagen, and Helsinki being ranked sixth,
scoring 105.


The analysis was based on an evaluation of 39 quality of life criteria for each
city including political, social, economic, and environmental factors; personal
safety and health; education; transport; and other public services. The survey
was conducted to assist multinational companies in assessing international
hardship allowances for their expatriate workers.

The worldís least appealing city remains Brazzaville in Congo, despite its
score at the bottom of the table rising by one point from last year to 27.5.
Other poor-scoring cities for overall quality of life include Bangui in the Central
African Republic (29), Khartoum in Sudan (31.5), and Pointe Noire in Congo
(32.5).

http://www.expat.or.id/info/qu alityofliving.html

Social Mobility:

According to numerous studies, the United States has the highest level of income inequality among all rich nations. For example, low-income households, or those at the 10th percentile of the income distribution, spend approximately $8,900 per year per child, while high-income families, or those at the 90th percentile, spend $50,000 per child.

ďPeople like to think of America as the land of opportunities,Ē says Dr. Kathryn Wilson, associate professor of economics at Kent State University. ďThe irony is that our country actually has less social mobility and more inequality than most developed countries.Ē
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_ releases/2007-10/ksu-mou100107 .php
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 1793
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 - 8:01 pm: ††Edit PostDelete Post†††Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Focusonthed, is it your position that Michigan cannot change its tax structure because it doesn't have... tourists???


Not exactly, but essentially.

My position: Michigan cannot model its tax structure on Florida's, because it does not have the volume of tourists, particularly tourists staying at hotels for extended periods, renting cars, etc. I'm too lazy to look up the facts, only because I'm sure I'm right. Tourism is big in Michigan, but many "tourists" already live in the state.

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