Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A new future for Michigan

Michigan Future Inc.
Note to Michigan Future: If you want credibility in talking about high-tech jobs, invest in a better-looking Web site.
A new study by Michigan Future Inc. finds that Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing are falling behind the rest of the country in creating high-level jobs. The report argues that recent MIchigan government policies, such as cutting corporate taxes and dis-investing in higher education, are the wrong medicine for what ails us.

It is sad that The Detroit News, the Republican business paper, embraces the know-nothing strategies that actually drive good jobs from Michigan. There's the cut-taxes mantra. Equally as short-sighted is the rigid orthodoxy that lowering CAFE standards is bad for the car business.

Sorry, Henry, but the lesson of the Seventies was that smart car companies should focus on building fuel-efficient, reliable cars. Detroit's Big Three instead invested in manufacturing pickup trucks on steroids they sold to insecure males desperate to flaunt something big. Or SUVs/Hummers for soccer moms who mistakenly think they're safer. These gas-guzzling monsters are simply this era's equivalent of the fin-tailed, chrome-clotted land-monsters that put Detroit and Flint into the economic dumper the first time that gas prices spiked as a result of Middle East misadventures.

The first time is tragedy, the second time farce. So why aren't we laughing?

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