Friday, July 19, 2013

John Engler on Jansing & Co: The Republican Agenda to Destroy Detroit

John Engler appeared on the Jansing and Co. Show on the MSNBC Network as part of a panel, discussing Governor Snyder's decision to put Detroit into bankruptcy. In my opinion, Engler was just following the party line, which attacks the middle class and openly supports the upper 2%. These policies and the bad press that have result from them have made the people from Michigan look like ignorant Rednecks and drugged up gang bangers. .

The Emergency Manager is a prime example. Upon taking office. Snyder increased the scope of the position and activity started usurping the voters' rights. So far none of the cities with managers have recovered; however Snyder did give the public park land that the Ann Arbor City Council was protecting to the Whirlpool family for their golf course. During the last election, the people of the state voted to eliminate the Emergency Manager legislation. Within weeks, Snyder and the Republicans circumvented the public's will and reinstated the Emergency Manager legislation in such a way that that the citizens could not once again vote it away.

Snyder has made claims of creating jobs. It is an exaggeration. What few jobs his policies are responsible for creating are low paying without benefits. At the same time he has does his best to chase away two industries that bring with them new money and good paying jobs. The Entertainment and the Green Industries can't be out sourced and they pay living wages with benefits.

Within two years, the film industry went from a 2 million a year industry to over 600 million, It created thousands of good paying jobs not only for actors and tech people, but also for electricians, carpenters, drivers and office support staff along with all the jobs created by the production companies renting locations, rooms, car rentals, and buying meals for their cast and crew. This list doesn't include the jobs created by shopping the cast and crew did on their off time. Nor does it take into account the increase tourism that the films provided when their work was seen by the national and international audiences. Snyder attacked the film incentive when he came into office and within a week the state lost four big budget films, equaling hundreds of millions of new money and thousands of good paying jobs.

But more than just the money and the jobs, Snyder cost Michigan its reputation. The original agreement with the film industry was that it would have five years to establish itself. It actually had only two. Breaking the agreement make the state look unreliable as a place to do business. What industry would risk bring their business into a state that will not honor its contracts and obligations? What investor would risk their funds on such a state? Not many and the list is getting shorter all the time. Who would be willing to trust a person, company, or state once she or he had seen she, he or it screw over another?

On the last state ballet, the voters were given the opportunity of supporting green technology. However, the well funded misinformation campaign defeated the proposal, which would have held down the utility costs to a 2% increase a year and activity supporting wind, solar, geothermal technologies. Not only would it have lowered costs in the long run, but the industry also immediately created good paying jobs. Most new industries have start up costs, The misinformation campaign focused on how much a kilowatt hour would cost using only the start up figures. It ignorant the fact that once the systems were in place the wind and the sun supplied unlimited, healthy, and clean energy for free.

Republicans say can't afford to subsidize private industries, The oil and gas companies continually make billions of profits a year, yet they still receive billions in state and federal subsidies. What's the difference? Oil and gas primary support Republicans candidates. Therefore the Republicans protect their cash cows by suppressing industries that create competition in the marketplace and present alternative ideas. The Entertainment Industry leans is more likely to support progressive thinking and causes, by supporting change and innovation. Green Industries threaten the fossil fuel companies' bottom line. Back in the 1970's there was a cartoon in the local paper, which had five panels. The first three panels proclaimed the profitability of oil, natural gas, and coal. Each time the man bragged that he owned them. In the fourth, he said solar power. In the fifth, instead of saying and we own the sun, he declared that solar power was impossible.

Today Snyder started the bankruptcy process for Detroit. Although there have been great stride in the area, Snyder and his Emergency Manager made the area sound like a lost cause. It is in their best interest to do so. By devaluing the area and the people, they reinforce their power over them. It also opens the door for quick, cheap land deals, low paying jobs, and the displacement of the current population. The film industry could been a major saving grace for Detroit. It brings in new money and good paying jobs, while keeping the innovated people here and helping those who left to return. The wind, solar, and geothermal industries also could have brought new money and new jobs that could not be outsourced. Yet they were both activity attacked because they interfere with Snyder's and many other Republicans' agendas.

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