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Old 05-30-2012, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
7,226 posts, read 10,904,195 times
Reputation: 2531
Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
Michigan, in many ways, has been the poster child of how the old economy has failed. It seems that as the system started to break down, it was felt earlier and harder in Michigan than in other places. In Michigan, it would seem, when other places experience a recession (although this is no recession), in Michigan it is a depression.

Of course, many of your fellow (and quite smug) Americans didn't realize that Michigan was merely the canary in the coal mine: nobody is immune from the problems your state has faced. All states face the difficult issues today. And even the wealthiest among us will be affected more and more into the future.

If Michigan was, as I contend, "first in", when it came to the decline of the American economy, might it also be "first out", the place that has been in this mess the longest and might come up with new ways that could generate meaningful change?

More precisely, I'm wondering this:

Which parts of the state of Michigan do you think will take the leadership role in building a new economy and on what factors do you think this new economy will be based? What will become the strongest areas of the state and what do you see them looking like?
In answer to your last part, I'd say Detroit area particularly Oakland County and near Ann Arbor. Anywhere that has a strong R&D, design, engineering and advanced manufacturing base. There are still a tremendous amount of goods used in industry that just cannot be manufactured at the quality levels needed over in emerging countries. Oakland County particularly has 100,000 of thousands of professionals in engineering and design related occupations, one of the largest concentrations of its kind in the country.

After that, I'd say Grand Rapids/West Michigan and Lansing. GR is building a good base for medical research and medical care, which is only going to be more in demand in the next two decades. And West Michigan also has a very strong background in advanced manufacturing as well, that seems to weather the rough patches OK. Lansing because of Michigan State University and its strong research base, and State government.

I might add Traverse City because of it being a relocation destination for baby boomers and others looking for an outdoor/charm lifestyle.

Sadly other parts of the State are going to have a tough time redefining and reinventing themselves in any major meaningful way. I foresee a continued exodus of residents from other parts of Michigan to the ones forementioned. It's much like the coastal areas of North Carolina, which used to rely heavily on textiles and tobacco, which are now bleeding residents like crazy to the Charlotte and Raleigh areas, which not coincidentally also rely heavily on advanced manufacturing, technology, design, R&D and banking.
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Chicago
3,077 posts, read 2,882,263 times
Reputation: 2320
Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan View Post
In answer to your last part, I'd say Detroit area particularly Oakland County and near Ann Arbor. Anywhere that has a strong R&D, design, engineering and advanced manufacturing base. There are still a tremendous amount of goods used in industry that just cannot be manufactured at the quality levels needed over in emerging countries. Oakland County particularly has 100,000 of thousands of professionals in engineering and design related occupations, one of the largest concentrations of its kind in the country.

After that, I'd say Grand Rapids/West Michigan and Lansing. GR is building a good base for medical research and medical care, which is only going to be more in demand in the next two decades. And West Michigan also has a very strong background in advanced manufacturing as well, that seems to weather the rough patches OK. Lansing because of Michigan State University and its strong research base, and State government.

I might add Traverse City because of it being a relocation destination for baby boomers and others looking for an outdoor/charm lifestyle.

Sadly other parts of the State are going to have a tough time redefining and reinventing themselves in any major meaningful way. I foresee a continued exodus of residents from other parts of Michigan to the ones forementioned. It's much like the coastal areas of North Carolina, which used to rely heavily on textiles and tobacco, which are now bleeding residents like crazy to the Charlotte and Raleigh areas, which not coincidentally also rely heavily on advanced manufacturing, technology, design, R&D and banking.
For all that "Pure Michigan" out there, I'm not sure the state does the right job with the natural assets it has that you described above.

It would not be a difficult argument to make that Michigan is the most scenic of middle western states. It should be the type of destination you describe above and should attract even more tourists.

a few years back, we drove up to the Mackinac area. I found it spectacular. the scenery was almost east coast like in the roughed coastlines and hills surrounding them. I found the scenery more compelling than Door County, a place with its own special seaside charm.

but what thoroughly amazed me in this summer visit was the unbelievably high percentage of Michigan license plates I saw on cars. It made no sense. This area should have been loaded with out-of-state plates. Not just from the midwest....the scenery was worth the visit from the northeast or adjacent areas of the south. what gives?

along Michigan's southwest shoreline in Lake Michigan's Harbor Country, there is no question that Chicagoland has built itself a very nice playground. But even here, where development obviously takes place, there should be even more considering that this region is in Chicago's backyard and there is nothing comparable to the endless beaches on the western shore of the lake; Wisconsin has nothing to compete with this.

On another note, I'm aware of the state's Research Corridor. I'm not sure how wayne is the category of the other two, but it seems to me that the proximity of heavily research oriented U-M and MSU to each other would certainly suggest a high tech future in that portion of southeast and central Michigan that are abut each other. On this one, too, the proximity of these two huge institutions is unparalleled in any other midwestern state.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:03 AM
 
Location: Lansing Metro
2,726 posts, read 2,855,592 times
Reputation: 3428
Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
For all that "Pure Michigan" out there, I'm not sure the state does the right job with the natural assets it has that you described above.

It would not be a difficult argument to make that Michigan is the most scenic of middle western states. It should be the type of destination you describe above and should attract even more tourists.

a few years back, we drove up to the Mackinac area. I found it spectacular. the scenery was almost east coast like in the roughed coastlines and hills surrounding them. I found the scenery more compelling than Door County, a place with its own special seaside charm.

but what thoroughly amazed me in this summer visit was the unbelievably high percentage of Michigan license plates I saw on cars. It made no sense. This area should have been loaded with out-of-state plates. Not just from the midwest....the scenery was worth the visit from the northeast or adjacent areas of the south. what gives?

along Michigan's southwest shoreline in Lake Michigan's Harbor Country, there is no question that Chicagoland has built itself a very nice playground. But even here, where development obviously takes place, there should be even more considering that this region is in Chicago's backyard and there is nothing comparable to the endless beaches on the western shore of the lake; Wisconsin has nothing to compete with this.

On another note, I'm aware of the state's Research Corridor. I'm not sure how wayne is the category of the other two, but it seems to me that the proximity of heavily research oriented U-M and MSU to each other would certainly suggest a high tech future in that portion of southeast and central Michigan that are abut each other. On this one, too, the proximity of these two huge institutions is unparalleled in any other midwestern state.
I strongly agree with most of this. I am always amazed at how most of the license plates in these beautiful places are Michigan residents. Most of the out of state plates are from Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

But I disagree that the problem is a lack of effort by Michigan to promote these areas. There is a very strong sentiment from people on the east coast that there is nothing worthwhile to see here in Michigan or anywhere in the midwest. I have seen it first hand. It is a notion that is almost bred into everyone. It is only the very open-minded people over there, and those who stumble onto this place by chance due to friends, family, or career, who learn how beautiful it really is. No amount of advertising is going to undo years and years of culture on the east coast where people automatically think the midwest is boring.

But I'm not being critical of people from the east coast. It's just the way it is. It is natural to think you live in a great place, and to come up with a pecking order, and to think of other areas as "not as good." There are tons of people here who do the same thing with Ohio. "Ohio sucks, there is nothing there!" People say this kind of thing all of the time. Truth is, there are some beautiful places in Ohio. Impressive River valleys, hills, waterfalls, forests, fall colors, islands in Lake Erie.

Basically... people like to use stereotypes. It's human nature.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
7,226 posts, read 10,904,195 times
Reputation: 2531
Quote:
Originally Posted by edsg25 View Post
For all that "Pure Michigan" out there, I'm not sure the state does the right job with the natural assets it has that you described above.

It would not be a difficult argument to make that Michigan is the most scenic of middle western states. It should be the type of destination you describe above and should attract even more tourists.

a few years back, we drove up to the Mackinac area. I found it spectacular. the scenery was almost east coast like in the roughed coastlines and hills surrounding them. I found the scenery more compelling than Door County, a place with its own special seaside charm.

but what thoroughly amazed me in this summer visit was the unbelievably high percentage of Michigan license plates I saw on cars. It made no sense. This area should have been loaded with out-of-state plates. Not just from the midwest....the scenery was worth the visit from the northeast or adjacent areas of the south. what gives?

along Michigan's southwest shoreline in Lake Michigan's Harbor Country, there is no question that Chicagoland has built itself a very nice playground. But even here, where development obviously takes place, there should be even more considering that this region is in Chicago's backyard and there is nothing comparable to the endless beaches on the western shore of the lake; Wisconsin has nothing to compete with this.

On another note, I'm aware of the state's Research Corridor. I'm not sure how wayne is the category of the other two, but it seems to me that the proximity of heavily research oriented U-M and MSU to each other would certainly suggest a high tech future in that portion of southeast and central Michigan that are abut each other. On this one, too, the proximity of these two huge institutions is unparalleled in any other midwestern state.
The Pure Michigan campaign has been pretty strategic as to what markets it blankets, and pretty successful too. I believe it has been awarded as one of the strongest tourism campaigns in the U.S., ever (?) I think a lot of why people from outside of the Great Lakes region don't think of it as a destination is, much like michigan83 said, the Northeasterners don't know what Northern Michigan has to offer. It's also a peninsula and there's not an easy straight line to Northern Michigan.

It was hilarious when Kathy Lee Gifford was going on and on about Bay Harbor and Petoskey on her show. Seems like someone with that kind of money would get out of Manhattan a little, twit.

I have to say though, that I see a lot of out-of-state plates when we're up in Traverse area, particularly Ohio and Illinois. But maybe the percentage is not as high as I believe it to be. And I'm betting a lot of those people are visiting second homes. I'm surprised by the number of Missouri plates I see. That seems like a long drive. I read an article about a family with a cottage on Torch Lake who trek up from Cincinnati. Yowza.
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Chicago
3,077 posts, read 2,882,263 times
Reputation: 2320
Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
. No amount of advertising is going to undo years and years of culture on the east coast where people automatically think the midwest is boring.

But I'm not being critical of people from the east coast. It's just the way it is.
what these people on the east coast might not realize is that the endless beaches along many of Michigan's coastlines (Lake Michigan's southeast shore definitely come sot mind) run rings around many beaches along the Atlantic.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:22 PM
 
5,442 posts, read 5,852,517 times
Reputation: 5399
They have a choice. I can buy a cheap Ashley couch or I can buy a Stickley couch, made in America. Ashley is......800? IDK Stickley closer to 3,000 but will last and last and is worth recovering (although that's around 2,000). I don't personally know anyone that buys Stickley. I lust after it and would buy it if I were younger. But at 55 with no kids to pass it on to what's the point. Instead I got my pre-China Pennsylvania House couch rebuild/recovered. I hate cheap crap. But it is a losing proposition. You can never re sell it for anything reasonable. People won't even pay a reasonable. price for good used stuff. Stickley isn't the most expensive. You could probably find a simple good quality couch for around 2000. I work with people who can afford it but they would rather buy new cheap crap every 4 years.
For some things there are fewer choices but there are almost always some.

I'm not sure I understand your second point.
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Old 06-01-2012, 11:41 AM
 
5,442 posts, read 5,852,517 times
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I'll never understand why people rush to the desire to develop develop develop, and ultimately ruin something. Never seem to stop complaining that there aren't enough people using up Michigan's nature!
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Michigan
3,062 posts, read 2,552,608 times
Reputation: 2184
Stumbled upon this video. They use the word "New Economy" a lot (also with cool flashy graphics). Thought it might be relevant to this thread.


What is New Economy Initiative? - YouTube
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Old 06-10-2012, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
8,011 posts, read 5,502,030 times
Reputation: 7333
Michigan already has the infrastructure for manufacturing. In my opinion, manufacturers are wary of investing in the latest and greatest manufacturing technology in Michigan, so they are not effectively able to compete as well with manufacturers in other parts of the country. There is still money to be made in this sector, but it is ultra competitive in this day and age. Trying to bid on work with decade old technology means the work will simply go somewhere else.

Another problem is Michigan's young people do not view manufacturing as a worthy career any longer. Years of hardship for dad meant he told his sons to seek another line of work. The state has also abandon efforts to provide training for young people in vocational programs. Again, the work is out there, but it will not be coming back to Michigan I'm afraid. There needs to be renewed effort to encourage investment $$$ back into manufacturing in this state. Unfortunately, manufacturing was viewed as a lost cause quite a few years back, when they should have been investing in it more than ever to encourage competitiveness. That's like telling young people not to go to college because it's expensive... Other states rose to the challenge, while Michigan backed away in defeat before even showing up for the fight. And so, Michigan will continue to hemorrhage young people for lack of opportunities at home.

Unfortunately, when it comes to manufacturing, it's inundated with illegal migrant workers. This is something Michigan doesn't have in as great of abundance as other states. For better or worse, if you have to pay a forklift driver a couple bucks more an hour, that puts you at a disadvantage. Send all the illegals packing for the other side of the boarder, and Michigan's manufacturing base would be as strong and competitive as ever. It's very sad that the success of this sector regionally is often dependent on undermining prevailing wages for the workforce... What's worse is the owner who has to hire the illegals has to do it just to scrape by. Going about it the honest way would put you out of business these days.
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:35 PM
 
4,144 posts, read 2,870,593 times
Reputation: 1802
Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan View Post
I read an article about a family with a cottage on Torch Lake who trek up from Cincinnati. Yowza.


Must be Michigan natives. I used to live in Cincinnati. Down there, Michigan is off the radar (of course, Cincinnati is off the radar of most Michigan residents). The Cincy locals tend to go south for vacations. Lake Cumberland, Ky is the big boating area for them.
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