Looters “Getting Along” Not the Solution to Michigan’s Ills



Referring to an economist’s projection that Michigan’s decline will continue until at least 2012, today’s Detroit News opines that, “It’s almost impossible to imagine Michigan must endure another three years that will be as economically devastating as the past seven years have been.”


Here’s something almost as hard to imagine: If this state adopted decisively different public policies that fundamentally overhauled our labor, tax and regulatory environment, Michigan could start adding jobs almost immediately. Absent that, our business climate will continue to stink, and the economy and population will keep declining – through 2012 and beyond.


In their diagnosis the News chides Gov. Granholm and the legislature for excessive “political gamesmanship” and blame-shifting, which is true enough. But I think the rot is actually deeper, and was described by Chester Finn in a Wall Street Journal article about Ohio, beset by the same challenges and dysfunctions. Here’s the key passage:


“In both the public and private sectors, what one witnesses are the most senior employees clinging to what’s left of the economy, fending off change, demanding ever more burdensome contracts and costlier benefits. The ship is slowly sinking, but as the more agile passengers and crew take to the lifeboats and sail off, those who remain on board climb to the upper decks, determined to grab whatever plunder they can, confident that the rising waters won’t reach them.”


He’s describing what I’ve called “Detroitification”: A vicious cycle of hollowing out the private economy to prop up an unsustainable government (and rent-seeking business) establishment.


It doesn’t have to be this way, but the solution is not for members of the current political establishment and the special interests they represent – unions, environmentalists, and a certain set of rent-seeking business entitities – to all “just get along” in the process of looting what plunder remains on the sinking ship.


I’m thinking out loud here, but perhaps what’s needed is a new class of leadership that combines the tough “take no prisoners” politics of a Gov. John Engler with the “overturn an inbred, self-serving, self-perpetuating political establishment that’s escaped the people’s control” of another popular governor.



One Response to “Looters “Getting Along” Not the Solution to Michigan’s Ills”

  1. Jason Gillman Says:

    Take no prisoners is EXACTLY what we need Jack. Someone who goes for the throat of the problem and CRIPPLES the socialist organization that has been building like a creeping black mold.

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