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Old 01-07-2008, 11:16 PM
 
Location: finally made it back to DFW!
293 posts, read 803,288 times
Reputation: 210

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I was kind of a statistics geek in college and I like browsing things like the Census data and the unemployment statistics. I found this table: Current Unemployment Rates for States and Historical Highs/Lows from the Bureau of Labor Statistics about the historical high and low unemployment percentages for each state and when they occurred. According to the chart, Michigan is right behind W. Virginia for the record for the highest unemployment of any state, ever. Also, there are some states (both of the Dakotas, Nebraska, etc.) whose *highest* unemployment ever was lower than Michigan's *current* unemployment rate. Yikes.

I was reading the other day that Michigan is likely to have even more problems in the future, especially now that Toyota is poised to become the nation's #1 auto maker and now that gas prices are higher and are not expected to go back down. Basically because Michigan is so dependent on the "Big Three" and because the cars made by the Big 3 aren't known for being the most fuel-efficient for the most part, it's expected that our state will be further hurt by that. I believe I also read (maybe here?) that the number of people planning to buy a new car in '08 is the lowest it has been since some time in the 70s.

I'd really like to think that Michigan can be saved and am trying to brainstorm what can be done. Obviously looking at the historical unemployment trends, MI has been in trouble for a long time and it's not just a temporary slump. I personally think MI's problems are not due to government by either political party but are more likely structural due to the dependence on the auto industry and a few other factors. Does anyone have any ideas for how we can turn the state around?
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Old 01-08-2008, 04:53 AM
 
955 posts, read 2,041,479 times
Reputation: 404
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderer74 View Post
I personally think MI's problems are not due to government by either political party but are more likely structural due to the dependence on the auto industry and a few other factors. Does anyone have any ideas for how we can turn the state around?
Has anyone heard the word "change" lately coming from our political candidates? But in order to change, Mighigan must be willing to accept and embrace change. Our country's economy has shifted focus from maufacturing to service. Service companies are now the biggest part of our economy and employ over half of the workforce.

The U.S. Bureau of the Census thinks that technology and healthcare services will be the fastest growing sectors of our economy. Even manufactuing companies are changing their focus to sell more services.

With the handwriting on the wall, Michigan must actively pursue that avenue in order to compete. Change is tough to accept, but the alternative is much worse. Change requires dislocation - some people will decide to leave the state and others will decide to come. It all depends on the economic climate that we in Michigan can offer.
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Old 01-08-2008, 05:55 AM
 
4 posts, read 20,120 times
Reputation: 11
This is bogus, health care you can not outsource, but the tec. industry is being outsourced fast. I worked in the title industry in north Michigan, the woman that went to the court house to search out titles for a sale, her job was outsorced to INDIA. Believe it or not. I would have never thought that this type of job would have gone over seas. I am telling you other than a nurst wipping a dirty butt, you can not send that over seas, these so called tec jobs are not going to get here and if they do not for long.
We need change to stop the blood letting.
As long as you have the rich, and a pres. that is for the rich, I.E. bush aka [schrub] you will have this bleed off.
We need change and this is why hillary is loosing to the new kid on the block.
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Old 01-08-2008, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
29,448 posts, read 71,110,915 times
Reputation: 36479
Do you honestly believe that the identity of the president is going to alter world economic trends?

The facts are simple. people in India will work for 1/100th of what people in Michigan demand. Corporations exist to make profit. They have a duty to their shareholders to maximize profits. The result is obvious.

the solution is that we need to find things that cannot be done in countries with a lower standard of living. we will also have to lower our standard of living.
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,885 posts, read 18,488,002 times
Reputation: 3902
I'll probably get slammed for this for painting a "false" picture, but if you look at the states with lowest unemployment (actually, employment and income growth are much better indicators than unemployment figures), a lot of these states are also "high population growth" states in Southern warmer climates. These states have become more and more popular due to the outmigration of aging baby boom population seeking warmer climates for their achy bones and slip-n-fall fears (amongst other reasons). They don't necessarily need to move where there are plentiful GOOD PAYING jobs, as long as there is an IHOP on one corner, a Wal-Mart on another, and plenty of golf, shopping and movie theaters around. And it's not just hitting Michigan. New York and New Jersey and have lost nearly 2 Million people since 2001, yet you don't hear very much about that. These people are moving to Virginia, NC, SC, GA, AL and Florida (though Florida not as much now).

It's estimated that about 10% of an area's employment is due to population growth alone, because of the need for services for a growing population (real estate, appraisals, mortgages, schools, construction, government, roads, etc.). So rapid growth can take your unemployment from the 6 - 7% range down to 3 - 4%. Is that going to change for Michigan anytime soon? I don't know, are people going to stop getting old? Only when the GenX'ers reach middle age and baby boomers flip into nursing homes will that trend reverse. But with the thought that Michigan lost over 350,000 well paid manufacturing jobs over the last 6 years and still has a 93% of its workforce employed is astounding. Talk about stamina!

Michigan needs to stop obsessing about its population numbers and concentrate on helping businesses develop well paid and highly skilled workforces, so that the people who love Michigan can stay and live a good life.

Remember, Millions and Millions of Southerners moved to the Northern States all the way up to the 60's and 70's before the trend reversed, because of the industrial fuel being driven by automotive manufacturing, and the production of military components, planes, tanks and vehicles through two big world wars. Now that we have moved to a service economy, the trend has switched because the South had no choice but to embrace it. It's also very poorly publicized, but states like South Carolina and North Carolina have lost hundreds of thousands of jobs in textiles, tobacco and furniture manufacturing . But they have survived virtually unscathed I think more because they have maintained an "attitude" of prosperity and forward thinking.

I think that if you are thinking for ways for Michigan again to become a world economic power, you have to look at trends that are happening GLOBALLY and how Michigan and its thousands of small businesses can position itself to tap into emerging markets. Thinking for just a second about it, I can come up with:

) Exploding oil prices. This isn't going to improve, it will get worse. Countries like India and China (India has 3X the population of the U.S.) will continue to monopolize virtually every corner of the oil markets. Imagine as India becomes more prosperous as they receive more jobs, and just 20% more Indians start owning automobiles. And with automobiles being one of the largest users of petroleum, and seeing as how we still dominate the auto industry, could the Detroit Big 3 benefit from a shakeup in attitude about fuel-efficiencies and hybrid technology? Doesn't anyone else think that if 75 - 80% of cars were switched to hybrid technology, that the prices would come down a bit on that technology?
) Dwindling energy producing natural resources like coal and natural gas.
) Continued and heightened regulations on energy sources, pushing for more and more renewable and alternative energy resources. Put Michigan's manufacturing and tech people back to work building and innovating this technology.
) Water!! And water management technology. One of American's largest cities, Atlanta, is on the brink of a water crisis. Hmmmm, what is Michigan surrounded on five sides by? Do you think Michigan has any water experts around? Or could expand on?

It won't be the governor, it won't be General Motors, and it probably won't be any of our current largest employers on the scene now. It will be dudes and dudettes working out of their garages or basements feeling like they are in an environment where the State is cheering them on, through countless hours of sweat and failure, that will turn this state around. Where will the new Henry Ford's come from?

End rant for today.
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Tempe
83 posts, read 334,015 times
Reputation: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan View Post
...End rant for today.
Good observations; good rant. You'll get no slam from me. I think in many respects, you're right on the money. There are so many factors contributing to these issues, and a good look at history is as good a place to begin looking for solutions as any.

I spent the first 32 years of my life in Michigan, worked in the auto industry for eight of those, left in 1985 for Arizona, and will be back to Michigan for good within 5-10 years. Everything you've said about the migration back and forth across the country I've been able to see from both ends, and I can't add much to your comments.

I also agree, Joe and Joann six-pack are more likely to be the engines of recovery than anything else. All they've got to do is figure that out.
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:31 PM
 
447 posts, read 1,161,594 times
Reputation: 226
[quote=mileslong;2450532]As long as you have the rich, and a pres. that is for the rich, I.E. bush aka [schrub] you will have this bleed off.
QUOTE]

This type of socialist tripe isn't really necessary here in an educated discussion of issues.
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Old 01-08-2008, 03:17 PM
 
955 posts, read 2,041,479 times
Reputation: 404
Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan View Post
It won't be the governor, it won't be General Motors, and it probably won't be any of our current largest employers on the scene now. It will be dudes and dudettes working out of their garages or basements feeling like they are in an environment where the State is cheering them on, through countless hours of sweat and failure, that will turn this state around. Where will the new Henry Ford's come from?

End rant for today.
Your point about the State cheering them on is crucial. Look at the recent business environment. First the state decides at midnight to have a service tax. Then it decides it will not. Then the MBT, which replaced the SBT, adds a 22% surchage instead. The Treasury website did not have the tax calculator operational until this week on their site. I can't take too much more cheering on.

And I do like being called dudes and dudettes instead of Jo and Joanne six pack (just kidding - I know what you mean).
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Old 01-08-2008, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Tempe
83 posts, read 334,015 times
Reputation: 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by UpperPeninsulaRon View Post
And I do like being called dudes and dudettes instead of Jo and Joanne six pack (just kidding - I know what you mean).
I thought it might sound a little less "West Coast."
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Old 01-08-2008, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Somewhere extremely awesome
3,121 posts, read 2,768,760 times
Reputation: 2442
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderer74 View Post
I was kind of a statistics geek in college and I like browsing things like the Census data and the unemployment statistics. I found this table: Current Unemployment Rates for States and Historical Highs/Lows from the Bureau of Labor Statistics about the historical high and low unemployment percentages for each state and when they occurred. According to the chart, Michigan is right behind W. Virginia for the record for the highest unemployment of any state, ever. Also, there are some states (both of the Dakotas, Nebraska, etc.) whose *highest* unemployment ever was lower than Michigan's *current* unemployment rate. Yikes.

I was reading the other day that Michigan is likely to have even more problems in the future, especially now that Toyota is poised to become the nation's #1 auto maker and now that gas prices are higher and are not expected to go back down. Basically because Michigan is so dependent on the "Big Three" and because the cars made by the Big 3 aren't known for being the most fuel-efficient for the most part, it's expected that our state will be further hurt by that. I believe I also read (maybe here?) that the number of people planning to buy a new car in '08 is the lowest it has been since some time in the 70s.

I'd really like to think that Michigan can be saved and am trying to brainstorm what can be done. Obviously looking at the historical unemployment trends, MI has been in trouble for a long time and it's not just a temporary slump. I personally think MI's problems are not due to government by either political party but are more likely structural due to the dependence on the auto industry and a few other factors. Does anyone have any ideas for how we can turn the state around?
I think Michigan's worst unemployment occurred 25 years ago.
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