Monday, March 9, 2009
Detroit Automakers, Michigan Politicians Ignored Ailing Vital Signs
Michigan’s manufacturing sector is losing jobs due to “high labor costs and a business tax structure that discourages new investment,” according to a bi-partisan report completed with the oversight of two lawmakers.
“Michigan has lost jobs to neighboring states and will continue to as long as the current tax structure and organized labor policies are in place,” the report reads.
This is NOT a report that is being provided to four federal government appointees visiting Detroit today to check out the demise of the Detroit Three.
It is the crux of a report that was issued in 1972, compiled at a cost of $135,000. Really. How smart are we?
Michigan has learned nothing in the 37 years since that study. So we can ponder whether the inability of politicians to face reality – a free market does not include an artificially overpaid labor force – is simply the way business has to be done, or are these elected officials just ignorant of a business economy.
All of today’s auto panel members are true blue Democrats, immersed over the years with three of the four providing fairly decent donor money to Democrats. Ron Bloom, in particular, appears to be a man who would not let the country’s interests get in the way of a decent deal for his union cronies. Diana Farrell, also part of the team, is a veteran economist who has donated to Kerry, Dean and all the rest during her storied career.
Meanwhile, the majority of Americans are fully against additional bailout money for the automakers. While this Quinnipiac University survey finds 65% of those polled do not believe the government has a responsibility to help the automakers, A USA Today poll in February found 75% opposed giving more money to the poorly-run General Motors and Chrysler.