Diary

New Michigan Census Data: Don't Blame the Big 3

Cross-posted on Right Michigan at www.RightMichigan.com.

We know we’ve got a pretty rough set of economic conditions here in Michigan.  We have a broken budget, a corrupt and criminal leadership in Detroit, an ineffective (bordering on goofy) (lack of) leadership in Lansing and a Governor who seems more interested in shooting economic recovery in the foot than in giving it a welcoming home.  Oh, and we’ve got the auto industry.  

If you listen to the Democrats that’s all we’ve got.  It isn’t ineffective leadership.  It isn’t last year’s massive, $1.5 billion tax hike on working Michigan moms and dads and the men and women struggling to make jobs (the biggest tax hike in the state’s history, for the record).  It isn’t the “me-first” mentality of government offices and organizations everywhere from the Capitol City to the Motor City.  It’s the auto industry.  That’s all.

Take away the auto industry and everything in Michigan is just peachy.  Except that it is not.  Thinking folks understand that that’s just an easy scapegoat for the party that perfected pass-the-buck.  And new census estimates provide a little punch to reality, deflating Michigan Democrats’ “it’s not us” mantra.  The Associated Press reports, for example:

Just 1.3 percent of Michigan’s residents came from other states during the 2006-07 year, while 2.5 percent of all U.S. residents migrated from one state to another in that period.

Among the highly prized 25-to-34 age group, 2.5 percent of those in Michigan moved from other states in 2006-07 — about 31,100 people. Meanwhile, North Carolina drew 70,400 newcomers in the same age bracket — 5.9 percent of that state’s total.

Michigan is losing the battle to attract young newcomers with four-year college degrees and to retain graduates from its own colleges and universities, said Lou Glazer, president of Michigan Future Inc., a nonpartisan research organization in Ann Arbor.

“We’re just getting clobbered,” he said.

Two things are happening here.

Read on…

  1. You’ve got young Michigan college graduates leaving.  Because, tragically, it is in their best family and financial interest to leave.  Presumably, none of these college graduates pursued masters degrees in “Assembly Line Work.”  These are not auto workers losing auto jobs.  These are highly educated young families pursuing other things.  Things they can’t find in Michigan.
  2. As a rule, college graduates from OTHER states aren’t giving Michigan a second look.  Same principle applies.  These are not young people who received their college degree and went looking for union work putting parts together for General Motors.  

These census report findings have less than zero (Jami Gertz… mmmmmmm…)  to do with the flailing and failing American automobile industry.  In fact, they specifically speak to non-auto related problems.  They aren’t auto related and they aren’t new, either.  The Governor has had six years now, and she’s even had a legislature at her beck and call the last two.  Things just keep getting worse.  

Now comes news of more tough times in unlikely places in South East Michigan.  Bloomfield Hills for example, one of the wealthiest school districts in the state, may be forced to shutter two to three schools because families are leaving.  The Ivory Tower reports:

…Many families are leaving Michigan to search for jobs. Census data show that Bloomfield Hills and Bloomfield Township have among the highest percentages of older residents in the state.

Even Detroit Renaissance, a group of business and industry leaders in and around Motown, are sounding alarm bells.  According to the Detroit News:

The state budget deficit will continue to spiral — to nearly $10 billion by 2017 — unless spending reductions… are enacted, according to the private, nonprofit leadership group.

“These actions are needed to restore the state’s fiscal health over the next decade and lay the foundation for future economic prosperity,” said Doug Rothwell, president of Detroit Renaissance.

Most of the proposed cuts have been debated in the state capital for years, but lawmakers and the governor have failed to strike agreement due to policy and political differences.

The report details $800 million in spending cuts they suggest Lansing make somewhere around the day before yesterday.  They are not popular with the Governor’s office.  She immediately sent her press flack Liz Boyd out to poke holes in the nonpartisan report:

“(It) raises questions that have been both asked and answered by the Granholm administration. We’ve proposed corrections reform. State employees and retirees are paying more for their health care. The governor has said she could support 401(k) plans for new teachers.

“And our Medicaid program is one of the most efficient in the nation, because over a million of our beneficiaries are in managed care.”

I think if you translate Boyd’s Dem-speak back into English it comes out something like “go screw.”  The Governor isn’t interested in making budget cuts and fixing a chronic deficit.  Not when she can simply raise taxes.  Again.  And again.  

And we’ve got her for another two years, three months and eight days.  The only question left for voters to answer is how much help we’re going to let her have in the Michigan House of Representatives.  To that end, allow me to gently direct you to yesterday’s Urgent Action Alert.