Saturday, April 19, 2008


Michigan and Detroit
A Case Study
--------- I would like to share some facts from a book I read called Real Change by Newt Gingrich about Michigan and Detroit. He has used Michigan and its political leadership as an example of the “impact of bad policies”. Detroit as an example of “bad outcome from bad policies”.
--------- He compares statistics between the Engler and the Granholm eras. Our bond rating of AAA the best there is was lost, hence more money needed to service the debt. “From 2000 to 2006, Michigan lost 336,000 jobs and is predicted to lose an additional 33,000 by the end of 2008” pp48. The unemployment rate has doubled. In 2007 a poll of the big 3 universities found that over half of the graduates were planning to leave the state. In the 2006 Census Michigan was the ONLY state to lose population.
--------- To help offset the extra cost to service the debt and loss of tax revenue due to the loss of business, Granholm raises taxes on those still making money. This would provide the needed monies for the state employee union and state government to keep happy at the expense of the rest of the state.
--------- Detroit is even a better example of a city run of by and for the government bureaucracies it represents. It has lost 50% of its pop. Since 1950. The public school system and the Detroit city government are the 2 largest employers in the city. Of the 25 biggest employers, 40% of the jobs are hired out by the city county and state government. The number of individuals per city employee is 50, Chicago is 68, LA is 108, Indianapolis is 223..
--------- I called the civil service department of Muskegon, Finance director of Muskegon and researched the 2005-2010 Consolidated Plan. For Muskegon I came up with the number of Muskegonites served by one city employee was 151. That’s counting every employee. Also found or figured out from the budget and # of employees ; one employee of Muskegon costs all told for the services and wages ect about $127,000 of the Budget. Seems reasonable to me. Remember that includes all the overhead a fraction of which is actual salaries.
--------- With the number of jobs in Detroit paid for by government almost even with the number of jobs in the private sector which provides the tax base, is it any wonder jobs are leaving Mi. or that Granholm has to raise the taxes of those in the private sector left behind to pay the wages of government? Of the people left. 1/3 are under the poverty level, and unemployment is higher than any other major Metropolitan city.
--------- The Detroit City school system is just as bad. It only graduated on time in 2006, 22%, the national average was 70% ( Critics say it’s because they need more money). They spent $7,469.00 per pupil. Teachers are paid the highest of all major metropolitan cities $47.28 per hour.
--------- I got hold of the Muskegon public schools and all I could dig up was that we graduated in 4 years around half of the kids. Again not good but better than 22% Twice as good. I think the amt. per pupil was around $7,200, This figure was an estimate.
--------- The whole deal is that bad policies don’t work as far as creating better education of the children. It has worked extremely well though for the enhancement of and funding for the bureaucracy (unionized). This dedicated focus on the betterment of the Bureaucracy is based upon the assumption that the bureaucracy is the best way to better the education of our youth. I believe the record speaks for itself. This approach has led to this top heavy and inefficient system at the expense of our children.
--------- It is time to start replacing the old with models from the private sector that have shown they work. Fed ex for example. Newt cited in Real Change the example of Katrina of bad policies on the National level run of by and for bureaucracy with little thought for the victims. One example was that Fed ex was on the ground and in business within 2 weeks, while the Post Office had an embargo on magazines, newspapers ect for 6 months. Then the tragically funny expenditure of $67 million by FEMA to buy ice which they did then they stored it around the country which after a time (but before it all melted) they decided it had lived past it’s shelf life and spent another 3.4 million to melt it. I try to compare what a private co. would do. They would distribute it I’m sure but I imagine a big deal would have been made about real or perceived irregularities. Gee the guy across the street got his earlier than I did and my children were thirsty and on and on. True grievances perhaps but the alternative is no water.
--------- The metric in my opinion then should be based on actual results. Not the Nirvana always promised before a new government program is started. There should always be built into each program a clear set of standards to judge performance and have the yearly funding tied to it.
That’s it for today
Regards, Live Dangerously


Anonymous said...

Good job, Dangeroously! Also consider the lifetime benefits that incompetant office holders receives when they retire. That must be reflected in your $127,000.00 per employee.

Suppose we, the people, insist that there be some means to measure the effectiveness(recognizing that a governors performance is affected y the legislature, and other factors...)
and competence of elected officials and determined the level of retirement benefits available? Also, if it becomes clear that politician lined his pockets (no matter if is's the ethical dimension that shall matter here)and he/she has become a millionaire, as a result of his election, there shall be heavy taxes levied and a reduction in benefits.
Let's make our local politicians accountable, and the nation will follow!

live dangerously said...

Thanks for the comment.
The $127,000 figure was not defined well. I don't know if benefits were included or not.
We the people do have a way to determine the effectiveness of our elected officials (common sense) and the means to enforce it (elections). However I frown upon either side, setting up a metric to judge them by. I'm currently posting my dismay at Democrat attempts to do just that on the private sector, calling it "Comparable Worth" or "Fair Pay"
Sorry to take so long to get back to you, but I have no means to quickly know when someone comments on an old post without looking back at the older posts and their comments one by one. If you know of a way please let me know.
Regards, Live Dangerously