Labor Day aftergloom
The state's unemployment drop doesn't necessarily mean the good times have begun
Published: September 5, 2012
It's pretty simple, really. As a state, we can use tax money to help improve the lot of folks who are struggling to get by, and in doing so make things better for everyone.
Or, we can continue to impose austerity measures, including cuts to education funding, while at the same time handing out tax breaks to businesses. Do that, and our ship of state will no doubt continue hitting rough waters, with workers jumping to seek opportunity elsewhere or simply giving up completely.
Having just run the risk of seeing what's left of our brains explode from watching even bits of the Republican National Convention on the TV, we can tell you that the GOP is talking much about the need to grow jobs. But in their Ayn Randian worldview, the only way to do that is by cutting taxes, slashing the size of government and abolishing regulations.
Given the prevalence of this discredited philosophy on the right, the gloom and doomers here at News Hits have little faith that the conservatives now calling the shots in Lansing have either the will or the brains to put us on a course toward prosperity. That said, the authors of the Workforce Development Coalition report end things on a note of optimism:
"There is a growing consensus among policymakers, employers and service providers that Michigan must include addressing the skills needs of low-skilled adult learners in its strategy for building the workforce and turning the economy around. It is penny-wise and pound-foolish to cut funding for programs and strategies that facilitate basic skills development. On the other hand, investing in programs that build skills and reduce barriers to work will reap benefits down the road, as skilled workers have more disposable income to spend in the economy, pay more in taxes, and are less likely to need public assistance. These are investments in Michigan's future."
Gov. Snyder, are you listening?
News Hits is written by Curt Guyette. Contact the column at 313-202-8004 or NewsHits@metrotimes.com.
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