This article is right on the money.
Yeah, sounds about right. The states' 21st century fund is “investing” in buggy whips … advanced manufacturing, homeland security, energy, and biotech. Which are things that this state is not know for.
But the “investments” are poorly done, which might even be an optimistic view of them, with the focus areas, and investment process being … well … not well thought out. Politically, it plays well to various interests. But in the final analysis, investing any money into processes which, by their very nature will immediately subsequently seek the lowest cost of operations, is a complete waste of time for a high cost of operations location.
Michigan’s economy has largely cratered. 15+ % unemployment in June. And rising.
The only way to reverse this trend is to invest in concerted and rapid job creation. Which means, start at the place where jobs are created. This is not at the large company, with the large group of politically powerful unions, and politically connected execs. This is at the small company level.
You won’t grow jobs by throwing tax breaks at large companies. Someday my state government will realize this, but we will likely need a change of party in control to have this go into effect.
You create jobs by creating demand. Buying stuff. Buy enough stuff so your manufacturer has to build more stuff. So that the company has to provide more support. So that they need to purchase things from other companies.
Tax breaks for large companies will be (and have been) pocketed by said large companies. Hasn’t helped Ann Arbor much, those tax breaks to Pfizer? How about Warren with GM, Auburn Hills with Chrysler?
What we need to do is hard, and won’t be popular. Taking strong medicine never is. It will be political suicide to do what needs to be done. So no politician will do it.