Monday, April 09, 2007

Painless Recovery?

More and more I'm hearing talk about Michigan's mess.

Yes we have a problem.

Now here's how I see it.

We do not have the economic ability to meet our needs. We have two options: cut spending, even if it hurts or increase taxes, even if it hurts.

There is no painless solution.

Some are thinking, "Raise other peoples' taxes, but not mine." Others are saying "Cut other peoples' programs, but not mine." Too many people, all too understandably, want a painless answer, but there isn't one. We cannot save our state without suffering; that's a reality we must face.

I favor cutting expenses because we have to draw industry back into this state. Without that there is no permanent answer.

13 Comments:

Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Shoprat: how is it that you think Michigan fell into its predicament? Does it revolve around Detroit and the automakers or is it much more prevalent than just that?

Additionally, how do you feel about Michigan apparently becoming an Islamic haven, or have I overstated the question?

BZ

9:36 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

You somewhat overstate it. There are a couple of cities where they are concentrating but it is more a local than statewide problem at the moment.

9:48 PM  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

1. But is is expanding and
2. Is Detroit the sole sore source of Michigan's downturn?

BZ

10:52 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

It amazes me that Jeff Daniels does those commercials trying to encourage businesses to come to Michigan here in Missouri. It says a lot about the condition you guys are in.

11:55 PM  
Blogger pete in Midland said...

No, it isn't just Detroit, although it is a huge part of the problem.
The main problem areas appear to be: Detroit, Flint, Saginaw.
Check out the demographics. Check out where the Big 3 have moved away from. Check to see where the UAW is strongest.

Detroit certainly has an extra problem with the concentration of Muslims.

The reason why we're in the situation is the demographics, again. With a huge population of people who think that government is the solution to all problems, and not supporting the government with tax dollars - it makes the solution pretty hard to implement.

Adding taxation will increase the downward spiral, since tax dollars remove funds from the economy.

Decreasing the size of government, and the money that the government wastes (of course, my definition is spending it on stuff I do not value) is the only way to both grow the economy and attract business. Business moves to places where they can make a profit. The business has to be able to pay wages, cover the overhead and pay taxes ... AND make a profit for the owners and/or stockholders. Very basic stuff, but it seems like an awful lot of people just can't see that basic stuff. The doofi in governments don't understand (or care?). The adversarial position of unions against businesses leads me to believe the union folks (leadership?) either don't understand the relationship or don't care.

I don't understand the Democrat propensity for cutting off their hand to spite their back ... putting a company out of business rather than accepting a return to being paid commensurate with their contribution. Allowing government to control your access to health care ... allowing them to dictate what you can drive, where you can live, what programs you can watch or listen to ... we already know how that works. Russia - with it's current situation (Russian men have a lower life expectancy than most of Africa) show us the end result of full blown socialism.

11:53 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Pete in Midland cleared my questions up as well as those of BZ's.

I hope the citizenry there will wake up, but it's very doubtful. Like you said, everyone wants everyone else to make sacrifices. With that sort of mindset nothing will be accomplished. I keep the situation, not only in Michigan, but in the entire country, in my prayers. The selfish American mindset can ruin all of us.

3:55 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

BZ
While the state is not prospering, the cities Pete pointed are much worse off than the rest of the state and things aren't nearly as bad in the western half of the state as they are the south-eastern part. Detroit is a big part of the problem but not its entirety.

Is Islam expanding. I don't see it at all where I live, but there is a large Arab community in the Detroit area, but they are largely Christian Arabs. There is a significant Islamic community in Dearborn and a couple of other cities but I don't see it spreading like a plague . . . yet.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

SR- I feel that some tax increase is unavoidable. You can't slice 1/3 of your tax revenue at one fell swoop and then just cut the budget to balance it. I thought Grandholm's solution was horrible though. 2% on services would be a nightmare. I favor cutting spending and increasing the income tax by 1-2%. This would increase my personal state tax bill by $500 to $1000. I can afford it, and I don't want to cut things so bad that we don 't have good schools for all of our kids. We could also use more federal dollars, which is an indictment of the congressmen from our state not bringing it back Why, when we are in such bad shape, are we a donor state? Texas, by contrast is thriving and they get 10% more back from the feds and we get 10% less than we send to Washington.
Then you get the elimination of the SBT (which, hopfully will attract business) and at least a partial replacement of the revenue. I think that's really not what is holding us back. I think it is the lack of an educated workforce and the presence of the UAW. I hate to say it, but if they were gone, we might have gotten a couple of Toyota plants instead of Indiana or Kentucky. In Minnesota, they have a 3.8% unemployment rate, but they also have twice as many degree holding (4yr) workers than we do. They have 1 in 2 and we have 1 in 4. This has got to change.
As far as Muslims in Dearborn, I like their food, and they really don't stir up any trouble. They own most of the gas stations in the area and I figure that since they pump it out of the ground, they may as well sell it to me. Personally I have no issue with them anymore than any other group. They usually keep to themselves and are civil in public.
"Allowing government to control your access to health care ... allowing them to dictate what you can drive, where you can live, what programs you can watch or listen to ... "
This is already the case in America. They tell you what, when, and where you can do whatever it is you want to do. Really, it's the case everywhere in the world. We are more free than other nations and not as free as others.

Would you put someone in charge of a business who believed that all business was inefficient, uncompeteitive and unable to fulfill it's basic purpose?
That's what we did with the current batch in the White House and we are surprized that they are failing to provide competant governance.

Government is a needed thing, and so is private enterprize. I think that they can work hand in hand instead of fighting hand to hand.

Finally-Detroit (groan). I think that the only way to solve this problem is to have blacks stop calling whites racist every time we try to do something about the corruption and cronyism there. Why do you think everyone who can has moved out? The crime rate is not as bad as the rest of the problems. I say the worst thing is the lack of a functioning public school system that is up to snuff with the rest of the state. Until they fix that they are just re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Unfortunately Shoprat, I think you're going to get another dose of "hit the businesses" in the end, and then be left to wonder why more left, and more money is needed for those unemployed when they did. It just seems to be the way Michigan runs lately.

8:21 PM  
Blogger pete in Midland said...

The absolute biggest problem I have with the "raise the taxes" evangelists - which would somewhat include Tim - is this notion that we need to spend yet more money on education.
I'm not against education.
I am 100% (since there is no possible higher fugure, even uin liberal math) against the idea that education - true education - has anything to do with the cost of supplying it. Look at Kansas City for proof absolute. More money equals more money to be spent on teachers who are complete failures and so utterly overpaid it is past the point of ludicrosity. If we pay them more, will they teach better? Give me a break.
And the schools? Whose fault is it that the ever increasing amount of funding went, not to maintaining these white elephants, but everything else except! Everytime the issue comes up, the clowns whine about leaky roofs and proclaim that we need to build a new school "for the children". BS. BS. BS. All they want is to be able to send tax dollars to their cronies in unionized construction companies.
I remember education. It had domwthing to do with teaching life skills, and critical things like reading, balancing your chequebook (checkbook), and getting you ready for higher education or a trade. They didn't build a little school with a huge gymn and auditorium .. they built classrooms. Heck, I remember a two-room country school where 2 teachers taught 6 grades in those two rooms. Our exercise was recess. The rest of our day was learning. That year, I learned to love reading (I've never stopped ... my library excceds 1800 hardcover books at present) I also learned to help those kids who didn't pick something up as quick as I may have ... because we had 3 grades together in that classroom. I didn't learn, however, that my feelings are all trhat important to the world around me. I didn't learn that there was no such thing as a winner. I didn't learn that it was better to just be one of the faceless herd than being the best speller, prolific reader, math whiz, etc (I'm not claiming I was).

Yeah, we need to throw money at schools in Detroit, where they're closing down HUNDREDS due to lack of students. And the students that bother to go to school? Well, just read the lyrics to any rap song to find out what they learned.

One of the old-timers in a town near where my mom and stepdad lived before he passed away had been a teacher in his (much) younger days. I think that his story should be required reading for those masquerading as teachers nowadays. He was paid $30 a month to be the only teacher at the Cherry Grove school - 9 grades. He'd get there before school to muck out the attached stable (kids rode their horses their, walked, or were driven in horse-drawn wagons), carry coal and water into the schoolhouse, fire up the stove, and sweep the floors before class started. Then a full day of teaching all the students in their various grades. Then banking the stove, turning off the lanterns and checking the outbuildings (stable and outhouse) to make sure all the kids had left. In the wintertime, he also had to shovel snow so the kids could get into the stable and schoolhouse.
He recalled those were some of the best days of his life as he really felt useful and necessary.

Contrast that with our modern "teachers" who are constantly whining about how hard their jobs are ... and also contrast how educated those kids were back in the '20's compared with todays youth. The average kid today learns more off the internet (with it's dubious truth) than in public school.

Money? Nah, that ain't the solution. Disband the eachers union, enforce standards, and pay them based on their output ... like the rest of us are paid. (they'd starve!)

ps SR .. I love that word verification thing ... the current word is xwhankr ... what does that verification program know that I don't? LOL

10:50 AM  
Blogger shoprat said...

Pete
I will strongly agree with Tim on one point. You should have your own blog.

9:20 PM  
Blogger pete in Midland said...

Sorry, SR, I do have a propensity to get wordy. It's a consequence of being the guy that is supposed to ensure the information we send out (at work, of course) is complete and understandable.
Feel free to tell me to shut up. ;-)

8:36 AM  
Blogger shoprat said...

Nothing to do with wordiness. You just have a lot to say.

9:07 AM  

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