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Username: Realitycheck

Post Number: 349
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2009 - 5:23 pm:   Edit PostDelete Post   Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

In late spring, our state hosts a pair of econ gabfests separated by 3 weeks, 300 miles . . . and widely divergent focus.

Granted, we've got plenty of public policy topics worth discussion by business, government, labor, academic and media leaders this May and June . . .

. . . and organizers of The National Summit and Mackinac Policy Conference are too polite for trash talk -- publicly, that is.

But with no pony in either production, I'll say what some whisper:

An upstart and a tradition are competing for attendees, media coverage, impact and prestige.

Oh sure, DetEconClub + DetChamber would dispute that -- but it's no stretch in this climate to suggest more than a few companies, assignment editors and even marketers see the Ford Field and Mackinac Island events as either/or rather than a double feature.

This comes to mind because Crain's Detroit Business publisher Mary Kramer blogs today about "a planning meeting for the Detroit Regional Chamber's Mackinac Conference in late May. The conversation was framed around the question: Why do people hate us, and what can we do about it?"

As in past years, that agenda lists sessions on the auto industry, regional growth, other Michcentric topics -- including a 2010 gubernatorial candidates' debate (?!)

Three weeks later, National Summit participants will discuss how to "improve America’s ability to compete for generations to come. . . . [with] debate and dialogue on four issues of vital importance to America’s future in a global economy:
Technology | Energy | Environment | Manufacturing

Yes, it's cool we host both. But I expect a 'Spring Showdown' scorecard by some media wag(s).

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