Archive for May, 2008

What’s wrong with Michigan…

I often feel like a loner in Michigan when it comes to discussions of what’s wrong with Michigan. Mainly because I don’t subscribe to any particular political lines of thought. This article about the Detroit Regional Chamber Mackinac Conference, reminds that I’m not way off base.

One day when I went to the Post Office, a man outside asked me to sign something regarding lowering taxes. When I said no he became angry, saying, “what…you don’t want lower taxes!” Of course that’s not it at all. I do want lower taxes. Who doesn’t? He followed me to the door of the Post Office ranting about our economy. On the way back to the car he accosted me again, stating, “This state’s in big trouble because of people like you!” Wow! I didn’t realize it was me… I thought perhaps it had something to do with our over reliance on one dying industry, or perhaps our refusal to build a decent transit system. Or could it be our lack of a decent city center…or maybe our refusal to put a high priority higher education (heck, many in Michigan look upon higher education with disdain). It could have been many things, but I didn’t think it was me.

Not one to accept responsibility for the state of the economy, I pointed out that the top states have arguably higher, and less pro business tax structures. How did he respond. Well, he mentioned something about socialism, which meant he’d been listening to a little too much talk radio. I suggested he do a little research on his own and left it at that.

I had the same argument with someone who over borrowed for their business, and moved it to a poor location, just as the economy took a downturn. This person used the same, old, tired, “Michigan has too high a tax rate” argument, that simply holds no water, but that’s the danger of letting others do the thinking for you. No, immigrants are the problem. It’s not Michigan’s tax structure, and neither are “liberals” to blame, as the forum posters on Freep.com are fond of saying. No it’s a fairly simple issue. Michigan has ignored the rest of the world, and often times, the rest of the country. Times are changing. Always have been, and always will. I know, from experience, that Michigan breeds a certain type of personality. One that is adverse to change. “If it ain’t broke…” the saying goes. Well, if you can’t change ahead of time, to keep up with the times, you’re going to be left behind. And guess what happened to Michigan?

Even more abandoned houses!

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Anyone else see a problem with this?

Health Michigan: hospitals vie for affluent…

Basically Michigan’s putting all of its new eggs in the health care basket, and all of the large hospitals are vying for a larger piece of a shrinking pie. Too many beds, large expenditures, a declining population, and the population that’s being left behind is going to have a harder time paying for all of this expensive new health care. It’s looking to be another shoe to drop…

A lot of people are looking to health care to be Michigan’s saving grace, but unless other sectors of the economy pick up, who’s going to buy all of this new health care? If less people can afford it, or less are here to buy it, it will eventually lead to cut backs in the health care sector.

Seems to me many are being overly optimistic about what the health care industry can do for Michigan’s economy. I certainly hope Michigan would have learned that relying on one industry is a bad idea.

Snow White and the Six(?) Dwarves

Only in Detroit? Maybe not, but certainly symbolic of the state of the Metro Detroit area.

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The direction Detroit needs to go…

This is the kind of thing Detroit, and Michigan, needs to do. We need less of the status quo, and more of anything different…

And typical of the commenters on the Detroit Free Press site, many state how they feel that reusing shipping containers for housing is really stupid, because:

  1. They are smarter than everyone else…
  2. They know all about reusing things in manners they weren’t originally intended…
  3. Architects and engineers don’t really know what they’re talking about, and your average joe knows how it really should be done…
  4. Metro Detroit is so much better than those “other places” where they do dumb things like make housing out of shipping containers…
  5. Like to poo poo anything beyond the status quo…
  6. Like the status quo…

*All but the last two are very sarcastic comments.

Shipping containers could become condos…
Detroit condo project puts discarded containers to use
Container City

Abandoned house of the day…

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Abandoned house of the day (week?)

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Peeling Paint

A wall with many years, and layers of paint, cracked and peeling…

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