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Old 06-01-2011, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,870 posts, read 17,737,702 times
Reputation: 3828

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Quote:
Originally Posted by northstar22 View Post
We cannot base our economy on the auto industry again. Any place that bases its economy on one industry is doomed to economic failure -- not just Michigan. Look at Las Vegas and Orlando, which based their economies around the construction industry, and are now deeply depressed. If Michigan is to become one of the most economically vital states in the country, it cannot rely on the Big Three.
The only problem with that theory is, Michigan is the global center of the automotive world. Much like (and even moreso) Silicon Valley is the center of the technology world. Would people suggest that Silicon Valley branch out into other industries?

Plus, the government does not do a very good job of dictating to the business community what it should specialize in. Even incentives to attract other businesses and clusters only works to an extent, and in very small increments (way slower process than Michigan taxpayers have the patience for).

Michigan should do everything it can to foster small businesses and startups, and just see where it leads. Some of it might be supplying automotive companies.

But we certainly shouldn't fall into the trap of making automotive companies and manufacturers feel like they're not appreciated here (ever again). That is a fool's game that will cost us big time.
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Old 06-01-2011, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Northwest Lower Michigan
271 posts, read 585,600 times
Reputation: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Indentured Servant View Post
The goal is NOT or SHOULD NOT be to limit mfg growth in the state because we don't want to be dominated by MFG again. I don't see this as being an either or issue. Furthermore, if mfg dies in America AMERICA DIES.....PERIOD. We cannot be a finance based, real estate, internet based economy. We thought it was ok to transition from the old economy to the new economy, like when we went from agrarian to industrial. However, the agrarian economy never went away.....the labor just became obsolete due to innovation. In fact, that automation has caused America and Michigan more factory jobs than any other factor. However, you cannot be a great nation and a world power without a strong manufacturing sector.
There is one industry that seems to dominate Michigan more than manufacturing and that's tourism. Many places shoo out industries and spend our tax dollars on bike paths and other pretty things to maintain tourist friendly places but there's no guarantee they will come. Get a cold rainy summer or a winter with little snow, and tourist dollars take a major hit. We've seen both of those in the last couple years. But we don't try to limit tourism even though for many parts of the the state, it's all their eggs in one basket, it's all they got.

So I don't see a reason to limit manufacturing because it could dominate. Seems backwards to me. Use it for all we can while we can. Same with the cornfields of the plains, sure they can be wrecked by floods or drought but that's no reason to quit growing corn. I agree to try to diversify by ADDING industries but no reason to hold back those that could be successful. Do what you're good at. If it takes a dive then so be it but so can any industry.
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 11,854,461 times
Reputation: 3264
Michigan has an image problem.

Even though it's one of the nation's most beautiful states, most people think only of rusted-out factories and decaying cities when they think of Michigan. We're "Midwest" and "Rust Belt." That image is hard to shake. "Rust Belt" is a loser -- no one wants to move to a place with that label. What's more, it is hard to attract new industry to a place seen as decaying "Rust Belt," which many people see as backwards, ignorant, undiverse and dead. Michigan is a place that people move FROM, not one that people move TO. College graduates and educated, experienced professionals are leaving the state in droves.

This is a problem that we need to fix, and I really don't think encouraging more automotive manufacturing activity is going to fix that problem. Michigan needs a makeover, a rebranding. One huge part of that is attracting industries other than manufacturing to the state. I'm not saying eliminate the automotive industry, I'm saying add other industries, particularly ones that can't be outsourced. All it takes is one oil spike, major hurricane or fuel shortage and the auto industry is dead and thousands of Michiganders are laid off. We can't put all of our eggs in one basket. Places that have truly strong economies (NY, Chicago, Texas, Massachusetts, Toronto, Montreal, Seattle) have a variety of industries, boomtowns (and busttowns) (Las Vegas, Orlando, Atlanta, Phoenix, Detroit) are known for one industry. The same thing that made Michigan boom in the 1940s and 1950s caused its downfall in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. Industry diversity is a must for a strong economy.
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:10 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 11,854,461 times
Reputation: 3264
Quote:
Originally Posted by wagonman76 View Post
Do what you're good at. If it takes a dive then so be it but so can any industry.
No offense, but this is the same attitude Michiganders had in the 1950s and 60s, and look where it got us. We have to think outside the box. Adapt or go extinct.
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:24 PM
 
166 posts, read 334,710 times
Reputation: 264
$14-$15 sounds great. It's an appropriate wage, and encourages folks to educate themselves to advance. . .unlike the six figure factory workers in years past who only managed to fill their garages with atv's and boats. It's called an "honest living", and will do a lot for the common riffraff out there.

As long as the dollar keeps sliding, expect more & more manufacturing work to drift our way.
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Old 06-01-2011, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 11,854,461 times
Reputation: 3264
Quote:
Originally Posted by TaylorRothschild View Post
$14-$15 sounds great. It's an appropriate wage, and encourages folks to educate themselves to advance. . .unlike the six figure factory workers in years past who only managed to fill their garages with atv's and boats. It's called an "honest living", and will do a lot for the common riffraff out there.

As long as the dollar keeps sliding, expect more & more manufacturing work to drift our way.
I'm sorry, but I strongly disagree. When CEOs are raking in billions, I think it's more than fair to pay the little guy a living wage. Besides the obvious humanitarian reasons, when the "common riffraff" make a decent living, they spend their money on goods and services, which helps stimulate our economy. If the "common riffraff" (working class) are living in poverty, they can't spend any money on goods or services, which puts other "common riffraff" people out of work and drives jobs to other states.
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Ocqueoc, MI - Extreme N.E. Lower Peninsula
275 posts, read 394,179 times
Reputation: 276
Quote:
Originally Posted by northstar22 View Post
I'm sorry, but I strongly disagree. When CEOs are raking in billions, I think it's more than fair to pay the little guy a living wage. Besides the obvious humanitarian reasons, when the "common riffraff" make a decent living, they spend their money on goods and services, which helps stimulate our economy. If the "common riffraff" (working class) are living in poverty, they can't spend any money on goods or services, which puts other "common riffraff" people out of work and drives jobs to other states.
The humanitarian in me agrees with you, but the realist in me looks at it differently. The Big Three are competing in a world market, where labor rates are far less costly for their competition. I don't think that $14/hour as a starting wage is such a bad thing for an assembly line worker, provided there are opportunities for wage growth and advancement for those employees that perform at a high level. I just can't see how the 2,500 jobs recently announced would have been targeted for Detroit area plants if the wages were where they were prior to concessions being made. My take, at best they would have been targeted for factories in right to work states, or at worst moved overseas and/or outsourced.
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Pure Michigan!
4,486 posts, read 7,745,733 times
Reputation: 7065
My understanding is that the foreign auto makers that operate assembly plants here in the U.S. such as Honda, Toyota, BMW, and Volkswagen, all pay their line workers around $14/hr. If the Big Three are to be competitive and make high quality vehicles that rival those brands in both quality and price, then they have to cut their labor costs, there's no other way around it. I'm all for someone making a living wage, but here's one example where it's just out of control: I know someone who has worked at the Jeep plant (aka Chrysler) in Toledo, Ohio for several years. We ran into him a couple of years ago and he was laughing and telling us that he had just gotten off work and that he had made $91/hr. () that day because it was election day, one of many, many union sanctioned "holidays" for UAW workers so he had been given the option of either getting paid straight time to stay home, or getting paid double time PLUS his straight time pay for coming in to work on a "holiday". Seriously. Time to get real, people. And people wonder why the Big Three were in trouble and almost folded up?
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Old 06-01-2011, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 11,854,461 times
Reputation: 3264
Ninety-one dollars an hour is excessive, but I still think the Big Three should pay more than $14 an hour. I agree that the unions needed to make concessions on pay, but I still support a living wage for automotive employees. Paying your workers more leads to increased quality -- I don't see anything wrong with paying people a little more than market rates. I don't see $14 an hour as a living wage for some people. A single, childless person would do fine, but a person with kids, mortgage payments, etc. would struggle to get by on that pay.

Also, why don't CEOs and executives ever consider cutting their own salaries when their businesses are in trouble? Why do they always have to screw the little guy over?
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Pure Michigan!
4,486 posts, read 7,745,733 times
Reputation: 7065
Quote:
Originally Posted by northstar22 View Post
Also, why don't CEOs and executives ever consider cutting their own salaries when their businesses are in trouble? Why do they always have to screw the little guy over?
Because they can.
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