Michigan is an economic disaster zone. No surprise there. Its auto dependent economy has taken a huge hit and the state has a 15.2 unemployment rate.

Also not surprising is that both the state and many local municipalities are running big time budget deficits. Years of Republican tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations (Former Republican Governor John Engler alone passed 32 such tax cuts) and the state’s revenues don’t begin to cover its expenses.

However what is surprising – or should I say outrageous – is the solution Republican State Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop has to offer.

In an October 6, Washington Post story he is quoted as saying Michigan needs to change its image and “create an environment where taxes are low, labor costs are low, and not send so many negative vibes.”

We need to send this guy packing and let him find out how great life can be on the subsistence wages he wants us to compete with.

Before the loss of almost a million industrial jobs and when many workers still earned union rates, those union wages fueled the demand that kept many businesses humming. If the Republican Majority Leader has his way, Michigan’s misery and job loss will increase, not decline.

Wednesday in Detroit, one day after Bishop’s comments in the Post, 50,000 of the city’s residents snaked around the outside of Detroit’s Cobo Hall desperately attempting to get inside to fill out a Federal homeless prevention application. It is a good program that came with the Federal stimulus but it is far too limited. A maximum housing assistance of $3000 will be available to less than 3500 of the applicants.

Many of those attempting to get applications were out of work but many were also “the working poor.”

They were paid the subsistence wages that Bishop wants all of us to work for but those wages don’t go far enough to pay the mortgage, utility, and taxes needed to keep a home – 80,000 now sit vacant in the city.

More tax cuts for the wealthy and lower wages for workers are not solutions for moving Michigan forward; they are solutions for digging our hole deeper. Negative vibes? The loudest ones I hear are from the Majority Leaders mouth.

 

 

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CONTRIBUTOR

John Rummel
John Rummel

John Rummel covers events in Michigan for the People's World. Following politics from a young age, John grew up in the Midwest, moved east and has now returned to his "roots." It's not politics-only for John; he loves sports, the outdoors and a cold beer or two!

 

 

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