Monday, October 16, 2006

Michigan Economy, Election for Governor

From today's WSJ, an article about the Michigan economy and the upcoming election for governor - incumbent Jennifer Granhom (D) vs. the billionaire challenger Dick DeVos, who has spent $16 million of his own money from the Amway family fortune!

Ms. Granholm isn't considered particularly pro-business, having relied heavily in her first term, as do most Democratic politicians here, on union support. Her campaign against Mr. DeVos has included traditional Democratic business-bashing, with jabs at her opponent for decisions he made at Amway. In the 1990s, Mr. DeVos oversaw the elimination of about 1,400 jobs and turned the company toward the world's biggest potential market: China.

What's an anti-business Democratic governor to do to get re-elected when the job picture is so bleak (see graph above)?

While other states dispense incentives to companies, few governors have done as much and as fast as Ms. Granholm -- especially during a re-election campaign. In August and September, Granholm-controlled development boards doled out $315 million in tax breaks and loans.


At 10/17/2006 9:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You (or perhaps the WSJ) should have shown the same proportional growth in the scale for the left side Y-axis (Michigan jobs) as for the right side (US jobs). This would have been a fairer comparison. It also would reveal one more interesting fact -- that even during the better days in the late 1990s, Michigan's employment was growing more slowly than the country's as a whole.

At 10/17/2006 9:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The entire rustbelt, and especially Michigan and Ohio, have been dying a slow death since the implementation of NAFTA.

It really doesn't matter who is governor in Michigan or Ohio, the economic slide will continue until the federal government decides that killing US jobs is not good policy.

At 10/17/2006 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The graph shows the largest Michigan employment loss from the year 2000 to the third quarter of 2001. Who was the governor during that time frame?


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