GOP candidates don't get Michigan (and manufacturing)
February 25th, 2012
06:30 AM ET

GOP candidates don't get Michigan (and manufacturing)

Editor's Note: Bruce J. Katz is a vice president at the Brookings Institution and founding Director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. Follow him @bruce_katzJennifer Bradley is a fellow and co-director of the Great Lakes Economic Initiative at the Metropolitan Policy Program.

By Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley - Special to CNN

Politics and economic policy are intersecting right now in Michigan, with important lessons for the rest of the country. Against the backdrop of the federal government’s rescue of the auto industry, presidential candidates are campaigning in a state that took a huge hit in the recession but has since rallied to post one of the strongest recoveries of any place in the nation.

Michigan is ground zero for the ferment in U.S. manufacturing, the sector that has done so much to power the recovery and a surge in overseas demand for American products.  The resilience of the auto industry has played a significant role.  American vehicle sales rose to 12.8 million in 2011.  The Big Three claimed 47 percent of market share, their best showing since 2008.

Ford earned $20 billion, its best earnings since 1998 and its second-biggest annual profit in the company’s 109-year history.  GM regained its position as the world’s largest-volume automaker and notched a record profit of $7.6 billion.  Chrysler rebounded from a $652 million loss in 2010 to post a $183 million profit last year, its first full year of positive earnings since 2005.

Even if manufacturing does not regain the outsized share of GDP and employment it once had, it remains powerful engine of innovation, a driver of exports that are taming our trade deficit, and a source of good-paying jobs.  Successful manufacturers, from giant auto companies to small machine shops, are pivoting to new lines of business like clean energy, adapting to new technology, and embracing a culture of continuous learning.

In states like Michigan leaders are looking to the future, one driven by innovation.  By contrast, our national politics is still stuck in the past.  Michigan’s GOP primary contest makes this all too clear.

When the leading GOP candidates talk about manufacturing in Michigan, they are usually squabbling over the wisdom of the auto industry bailout.  This argument over counterfactuals (would the industry have bounced back without the bailout?  How fast?) misses the point - what will the candidates do to make sure that American manufacturing stays strong?

When they do get around to answering that question, Governor Romney and Senator Santorum put forward proposals that show they are only partly listening to what the makers and innovators really need now.

In a speech last week to the Detroit Economic Club, Senator Santorum pledged to eliminate taxes on manufacturers and allow companies to repatriate profits tax free if they invest that money in plants and equipment.  He also promised a 20%, permanent R&D tax credit.  Governor Romney followed essentially the same script at his own DEC speech this past Friday, although he alluded to the need for greater private-sector investment and the importance of our institutions of higher learning. But, fundamentally, the focus of both candidates’ announced plans is on lowering taxes.

Certainly, manufacturers are very happy to pay lower taxes and welcome more support for research.  But 21st century manufacturing needs a lot more to flourish - and some of that has to come from government.

At a forum on innovation in Washington earlier this month, the chief executives of GE, Dow Chemical and Boeing mentioned tax policy, but they also pointed out the importance of immigration, education (especially in science, technology, engineering and math), attracting foreign direct investment, and the cut-and-invest policies in the deficit commission report.  They also stressed the importance of learning from Germany and its interplay of universities, research centers, firms, and workers.

The federal government should be asking the important questions:  What do companies and workers need to flourish in an economy driven by production and exports?  What are the market gaps in providing capital, or applied innovation, or worker training?  How can federal policies galvanize the talents of states and metros where industries are located?

Manufacturers know you can’t get into overdrive if you’re stuck in reverse.   As Governor Romney and Senator Santorum travel through Michigan and other states, they should focus on what matters to the people who are driving the recovery and explain how they will deliver.  They should aspire to collect ideas, not just delegates.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley.


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soundoff (191 Responses)
  1. Matt

    none of the people in washington get the middle class....the only way the middle class will ever be represented will be if millionaires are banned from public office but that will never happen

    February 25, 2012 at 7:05 am | Reply
    • Kevin

      Or they could just stop being jealous of rich people, and focus on their own success.

      February 25, 2012 at 8:57 am | Reply
      • Gabe

        Yes, putting your head in the sand is a great idea.

        February 25, 2012 at 9:24 am |
      • Kevin

        I hardly put my head in the sand my friend. There is nothing wrong with bettering yourself with "self" education. It's a mentality.

        February 25, 2012 at 9:47 am |
      • Wes Scott

        Kevin, your head is buried so deep in the sand that you do not even know it! Education is meaningless unless there is REAL job opportunity. In the previous administration most jobs "created" were at McDonald's or Burger King rather than high-paying jobs that would support a family. There are a LOT of very well educated people who cannot find jobs utilizing their talents and knowledge because those jobs do not exist in sufficient numbers, and where they do they are awarded to people who will work for the lowest wages, which is usually the same people who have lesser knowledge and skill.

        You act like some sort of self-important guy because you have "bettered" yourself. Yet, you demonstrate a complete lack of understanding about economic cycles and the problems this country has faced since the days of the Reagan Administration when companies were allowed to use leveraged buyouts to acquire companies, lay off workers, sell off assets and ship our jobs overseas. THAT is the GOP legacy!

        February 25, 2012 at 10:14 am |
      • AutumnskyD

        Gabe is right. Your head is in the sand. The rich need to pay their fair share in taxes and have their influence cut off at the knees through campaign finance reform. And changing the name of rich to "job creators" is just wordplay propaganda. The middle class needs representation which we no longer get from either party. I loved the way you patronized him with the old "my friend" routine.

        February 25, 2012 at 10:16 am |
      • Kevin

        But Wes why admit defeat? Believe in yourself, no matter how stupid you are. It's a mentality. The Repubs have a golden opportunity to take their core belief and make the corporate cuts based on a condition of AMERICAN job creation/continued production. This will address the market gaps and education issues. If they don't, the Dems will rule the vote, and then we could go right back to where we were. Yes! I expect an under qualified low educated person to use technology! i will teach them personally!

        February 25, 2012 at 10:22 am |
      • Kevin

        Autumn, then my head is in the sand as much as you are brain washed. Go ahead, keep following the heard. There's my patronization for you!

        February 25, 2012 at 10:26 am |
      • DeTamble

        Folks, this is what is wrong with this country.
        Just like Cain said....If you aint rich, or dont have a job,
        its your own fault.
        People like Kevin have baught into the Republican "myth"
        that we are jelous of the rich.
        The problem is that they "buy" legislation that makes them richer, at the expense
        of the middle class.
        Kevin drank the kool aid. TOO BAD.
        ---------------------------------------
        Kevin

        Or they could just stop being jealous of rich people, and focus on their own success

        February 25, 2012 at 11:15 am |
      • Robyn

        When America was a country where everyone played by the same rules,
        everyone was responsible for paying a fair share of the costs, and
        everyone reaped a fair share of the benefits.
        People were able to focus on their own success.

        But as a wealthy class has increasingly purchased the Republican Party
        and used them as a tool to to socialize the economy of the United States
        for the benefit of a tiny minority. The system breaks down and becomes
        non-functional.

        Ultimately, the long term effect of this socialization of the economy,
        where the rich receive an ever greater share of the economic benefit,
        and the middle class pays an ever greater share of the burden to
        produce economic success is unsustainable and detrimental to everyone.

        However, it does create a short term illusion of wealth.
        A bubble for a small number who have profiteered from the
        Republican Party's war on America. This illusion will not last.

        We can either recognize the economic truth that costs and benefits
        must be balanced out and transition back to a sustainable economic
        path to the future.

        Or we can take the Republican position, that Reality is something
        you can ignore if you just believe hard enough and let the system
        come crashing down in violence and horrible political, economic
        and social disruptions for us all. I think the original Great Depression
        should have taught us how well that works out.

        The choice is ours. Prosperity for all, or suffering for all.
        Personally, I choose prosperity. The Republican Party does not.

        February 25, 2012 at 11:19 am |
      • KC Yankee

        By the way, you haven't said a word to counter Matt's claim that extremely wealthy people cannot represent the interests of the middle class because they don't understand them or their lives. Instead, you have resorted to the old trick of countering an argument that was never made in the first place.

        February 25, 2012 at 11:35 am |
      • angryoldguy

        Oh, Kevin, no one cares how much you make or have, only you. Your twisted thinking is that the rest of us are "jealous" when the problem is that the rest of us want to paid a living wage, not just a minimum wage. I know you won't understand, because you are convinced that you are right, no matter what anyone else says. At least I tried.

        February 25, 2012 at 11:44 am |
      • Obi Wan

        Kevin, you need to go home and re-evaluate your life.

        February 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
      • Kevin

        Folks, I'm not supporting any political party myth or any party in general. I just want people to believe in THEMSELVES, to contribute to the greater good. Partisian politics ALWAYS gets in the way. Sorry to disappoint. If anyone has a better solution in economics, I'm all eyes and ears. Stop the outsourcing, stop Union greed, keep production here.

        February 25, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
      • Kevin

        Robyn. I'm with you.

        February 25, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
      • Kevin

        Obi.. I am at home. And I have evaluated. BELIEVE!

        February 25, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
      • Kevin

        Angry old fella.. That could not be further from the truth. I did not base my "jealous" argument for any political party. Incentive has to be provided to give people a chance to fight your fight. I'm with ya on that.

        February 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
      • toad

        the republicans have socialized the economy.?..you truly have no grasp of anything you have said...talk about drinking kool-aid

        February 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
      • TonyKo

        Yes, Kevin, your head is in the sand. And for all of your "self" education (why the scare quotes?) it's herd, not heard, and what the heck is "mentality"? You just made that one up, as the GOP does this whole "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps" nonsense. And for the record, I am not jealous of the wealthy–they seem a by and large miserable lot.

        February 25, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
      • Mike

        The 5 Essential Truths of Life
        The Principles of Detachment that are the Secret to Freedom and Internal Peace.
        1. Life is hard.
        2. You are not that important.
        3. Your life is not about you.
        4. You are not in control.
        5. You are going to die.

        Yes, Kevin is correct.

        February 25, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
      • Kevin

        I don't completely agree with the Repubs, but they are not totally wrong. Obama advocates what I want, and maybe an agreement can take place. I would like to see a reduction in the Corporate tax code based on keeping jobs in America. Especially a place like Detroit.

        February 25, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
      • Aaron

        Nothing like a cross between a Fox News nut and a rich by association guy. They'll spend the whole day on the internet arguing with complete strangers.

        February 25, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
      • Bart

        Kevin, if we stop union greed then who is going to stop the corporations' greed? If every union worker started working for free tomorrow no corporation is suddenly going to start hiring more people than it needs or selling it;s goods cheaper than it has too, they take what they can get away with taking.

        February 25, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
      • Brian

        Two thirds of you replying to Kevin toe the Democratic Party line religiously; that's hardly a surprise. What is a surprise is that you expect to be taken seriously when you are naive enough to buy into the failed Leftist dogma. Get out, get around the world some, then come back home. I'll bet it will make you a lot more conservative like it does most people who broaden their horizons and learn that what we have is the best available form of government and opportunity, and whatever problems you think you have trying to make it here, you are still many times better off than most humans. Go spend some time where the whole government, including law enforcement, is both incompetent and corrupt, watch the strong prey on the weak with nobody there to slow them down, then come back here, sit down, shut up, and be thankful for what you have here.

        February 25, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
      • Brian

        All of you hypocrites whining about corporate greed should go live in a cave, eat grubs and roots, wipe with leaves and wear grass clothes for a couple of years, and give up all medical and dental care or medications. Then come back and complain about corporate greed with a little bit of credibility. In the meantime, while you live in their houses, wear their clothes, drive their cars, burn their gas and oil, eat their foods, and use their toilet paper and feminine hygiene products, real thinking Americans don't want to hear your baloney. If you don't want to pay a corporation to do it for you, and charge more than it costs them so that they make a profit and have a reason to exist, then do it yourself.

        February 25, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
      • Debby

        Kevin after reading all the comments to you I come to realize these people are just plain stupid and don't care to better themselves just blame society.

        February 25, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
      • Brian

        Exactly, Debby. Well said!!!

        February 25, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
      • mochica

        You infuriate me. This whole idea that it is even possible for many people to be successful is completely false. There can never be more than a tiny percentage of the population that is successful. The Right says that we are a nation of haves and soon-to-haves. That is a complete lie. No matter how hard you work, even if you are extremely intelligent and talented you will likely only earn just enough money to get by and you will struggle until the day you die. The chance of becoming successful is extremely unlikely, especially if (unlike Romney) you were not born wealthy. The point is that we cannot just abandon the working poor who fight every day to keep from drowning. Tax breaks for the wealthy hurt the most vulnerable and give even more to those that won't even notice it.

        February 25, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
      • Anthony

        Kevin...you get a F, when it comes to economics. Corporate rates are the lowest they have been in years, yet jobs are not returning esp. in the manufacturing sector. Your like one of those right wing drones, whining about taxes, yet no matter how low you cut taxes...slave labor in Asia is going to win out everytime. Its right wing financial policy that put us on this colliision course in the first place. Deregulation was a great right wing idea...I think I've had enough of right wing business philosphy to last a lifetime..and my childrens lifetime.

        February 25, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
      • Sarah

        What is there to be jealous of? Haven't you heard of the saying that money doesn't buy happiness? I think what the middle class and poor are trying to say is that they want a steady paycheck, in order to put food on the table and provide the basics for their families.

        As a native Michigander, who left the state eight years ago to find better opportunities than what were available at the time, I can honestly say that there is a long way to go before the real unemployment rates drop. Why?! There are a few reasons........

        1. Michigan focused all of its industry on autos, which of course has steadily been heading to other countries. This includes degree based professions.
        2. Last I recalled, Michigan is losing its workforce to other states, that have opportunities of employment.
        3. Most companies will consider a potential employee unhireable, if they have been unemployed for more than six months, regardless of education.
        4. For every job opening, there are over a thousand applicants submitting resumes for that position. Which makes it virtually impossible to find a job.

        Sounds pretty grim eh? I'm not even going to discuss the unions........ They have their place, for historical purposes, but over the years have become greedy, but so have the corporations, you know the so called job creators haha. Neither party has a clue on the middle clas or their every day struggles to keep afloat. Not the repubs or the dems. They all thrive on those lovely sales pitches to get votes and we are desperate enough to believe them. I'm not trying to bring you down, but instead give you a whopping dose of reality. Hopefully Kevin, you will understand..........

        February 25, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
      • Hugo

        Kevin, how in the world does the Middle Class, focusing on their own success, change how they are represented?

        Let's say the entire Middle Class managed to raise their net worth by 100%. What does that do? We still have a Middle Class. Perhaps some people the Middle Class would swap places with people in the Upper Class but we still have a Middle Class (that's in the **middle**).

        February 25, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
      • Mike

        Ron Paul is the only candidate with the solution. Recognize the Fed's over production of money causing erosion of the middle class. Cut government. Privative health care, and eliminate income taxes.

        February 26, 2012 at 12:21 am |
      • Stephanie

        Kevin, we are not jealous of the rich. We are tired of applying for jobs that pay $15k LESS than they did 10 years ago. We are tired of being laid off, so some poor schmuck has to do twice as much work, gets a pay cut, while the higher ups get bonuses, and investors are raking in cash by the tons. We are not jealous, we are angry. An honest day"s work no longer gets you an honest day's pay. It gets you much less, makes you sick, while someone else can buy another vacation home, another expensive vehicle, inflate their portfolio so they can continue to play the "mine is bigger than yours game". The country is starting to see a new form of slavery developing. one where you work, and work, and work, and get nothing for it. One that though a person gets a job, due to their education, the pay that they receive leaves them in dent for a decade or more.

        People like you say "Get a job and work your way!". How is someone supposed to pay their rent, bills, food, transportation, and pay the shy rocketing price of college, on $9 an hour? Then they get an education, and guess what? Get a job that pays just a little more than $9 an hour, and hope you hit $15 an hour in 2 or 3 years. That is what it is like out there now. So take your head out of the sand.

        February 26, 2012 at 12:26 am |
      • responder

        lol..all you can think is stop being jelous of rich people? what about some "Rich" people getting some brains and stop being lazy about thinking skills and try and really REALLY CONTRIBUTE to what is going on instead of paying people off and thinking you are winning over middle class..Most of middle class is wayyyy smarter then the average rich person..most people rich these days are sitting on old money they did not even really earn...so why dont you try again? Like this article says...try some real ideas..not just lets lower taxes bs..cuz lowering taxes is not going to fix this economy..and make it move forward..

        February 26, 2012 at 12:27 am |
      • Mark

        Kevin

        Kevin said-Autumn, then my head is in the sand as much as you are brain washed. Go ahead, keep following the heard. There's my patronization for you!

        Mark said-*Herd

        February 26, 2012 at 12:49 am |
      • kateslate

        When you have enough money that you can actually buy politicians and make them vote in favor of laws and regs that help you earn even MORE money, unearned money that is, none of that "sweat o' the brow" stuff.....when you can sit behind a desk and direct your minions to buy politicians' favor and reap profits beyond your wildest dreams...heck ANYBODY'S wildest dreams, well then, your name is Mitt Romney.
        It is an unfair system and something has to change. He started at the five yard line, for Pete's sake!

        February 27, 2012 at 12:51 am |
    • WhatchaTalkin'BoutWillis

      Ya, that makes sense...I want to ban people that have been successful from holding office. I want the person who holds a $15 per hour job running the most powerful country in the world. I want them to have little knowledge or drive...if they show up late to work for their current job or complain about working conditions, what are they going to do once they get to Congress or the White House???

      No thanks, I want the person with the best ideals AND the best proven resume to be running our country. While you might find the best ideals in anyone in any class...you are not going to find the best "proven" resume in the middle class. You also will find that many of these self made millionaires are just wired different. I know they are because my sister is a self made millionaire. We are the children of a coal miner's daughter and a farmer's son...we learned hard work and challenges. I have become a physician and my sister has become a multi-millionaire by leading a large corporation...I might be successful, but I noticed at a young age, that my sister was just wired for success. She is a perfectionist and is able to resist procrastination far more than most people, that's what makes her so good...let alone she is extremely smart...the is not in the middle class and she is the type of person I would want to run the country.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:47 am | Reply
      • Dance This Mess Around

        Yup, i want some rich guy who doesnt know what the price is for a pound of beef,
        telling me why i cant pay my bills, and put food on the table.
        If i cant pay my bills working three jobs, maybe i should get a fourth.
        BULL !

        February 25, 2012 at 11:18 am |
      • Will S

        Success in business (make money at expense of others) does not equate to success in government (maximize fairness and justice for all).

        February 25, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
      • Nrog

        If your only measure of success is counted in dollars, your ideology is bankrupt. For one thing, the drive for wealth often comes at the expense of other core principles that many would consider more important. For another, most great wealth is inherited. It is not difficult to build wealthy when you are wealthy from day one. Being wealthy by fate of birth is no virtue. And building wealth through unethical acts, which is common on Wall Street, is arguably the last trait you want in a president.

        February 25, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
      • Brian

        WTBWillis is right. You three that have replied are spouting nothing but false dilemmas. It CAN be somewhere in between. Every person who is rich didn't get that way by being dishonest or greedy; some are just successful because they do things right, have vision, self discipline, and drive. I know those are foreign concepts for Liberals in the "gimmeee" society who think everything is about "fairness." All things are not equal, and never will be. It is what it is. Deal with it. I am not rich, but I did work my own way through college and have been gainfully employed for most of my life, because I understand the above concepts that are so foreign to Liberals. Old fashioned virtues really do make a difference. Too bad you naive Libs threw the baby out with the bathwater. Until you catch a clue, you'll never be happy. There is no way Uncle Sam is going to be able to carry all of you as freeloaders.

        February 25, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
      • mochica

        Is your mother by any chance Loretta Lynn? She has tons of money. Social mobility is largely a thing of the past and even then it was an unlikelihood. When you have tax breaks for the wealthiest, loans are harder to come by for the working class, and college is increasingly unaffordable you are making social mobility impossible. Basically those who have climbed the social ladder, no matter how they did it, are now cutting off the rungs and sticking up their middle finger to those below them.

        February 25, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
      • mochica

        I don't want a handout from anyone. I want to work hard but know that I have job security and that I can earn a living wage so that I can see a doctor when I get sick. It would also be nice to buy a house instead of giving money to someone else in a rental property. I am not jealous of the wealthy, I don't want what they have, but they feel like they need millions while the rest of us would be happy to keep from drowning. Stop pushing us under!

        February 25, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
      • responder

        everybody is a genius at something, and everyone is an idiot about something..there are NO perfect people in this world..and yea, you may have worked hard but honestly? Just because you are wired different doesnt make you money. Just because you are a perfectionist, that doesnt make money either..Most people in middle class are NOT BELOW YOU OR YOUR SISTER and from your comment about that, makes me understadn that you are not too bright..some of the smartest , good natured, humble people i know are in middle class..and guess what? It doesnt take money or a high paying job to make one smart..nor is there anything wrong with being in the middle class..the issue is, there is less and less middle class..but you are not bright enough to understadn what is going on because you are too detached from the real world to get it..when people have money and sink into their own world so selfishly much they dont see truth in what is happeneing around them in the world..and i'm sorry you just dont get it..

        February 26, 2012 at 12:33 am |
    • Kevin

      Yankee... If you are talking about me.. I never said they couldn't.

      February 25, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply
    • jimbo

      Kevin is absolutely right in saying that posters who are complaining are just jealous. Look in the mirror. How many of you are educated in today's global world where it counts? Companies are looking for skilled tech workers. Those looking for assembly line work as in years gone by will suffer. Educate yourself to what is required today, otherwise go back to flipping burgers as some have already noted.

      February 25, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Reply
      • Damikco

        There are thousands of educated workers looking for work problem is, businesses see workers as an expense instead of part of the actual company and do not pay well or the position is usually temporary.

        February 25, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
      • Kevin

        BS Damiko.. there are sooo many jobs out there that require what most people don't have. Recruiters constantly call me, asking If i know somebody or anybody for such and such tech, business, med tech/nursing related position to fill. I can feed them some people once in awhile, but for the most part I can't. I would love to start my own side recruiting business, but I won't, and it's not because of the lack of positions.

        February 25, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
      • Debby

        Jealous I called them stupid. lol

        February 25, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • whatever

      Try being poor, they don't even talk about us...... unless it helps them politically.

      February 25, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Reply
      • Debby

        You can't be that poor you have a computer.

        February 25, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
  2. AB

    So let's allow the government to decide what's best for the industry. In fact, let's let the government LEAD the industry. It seems to work well for China.

    February 25, 2012 at 7:05 am | Reply
    • StevieT

      Yes it is working well for China.

      February 25, 2012 at 8:09 am | Reply
      • j. von hettlingen

        Indeed the bailout of the three car manufacturers – GM, Chrysler and Ford in January 2009 did save the automobile industry from collapsings. Not only have the three borrowers paid the bailout back, they also recovered and create jobs.

        February 25, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
      • Debby

        Ford wasn't bailed out and they made a profit. GM cut their throats because of high prices and the Humdee which was total junk.

        February 25, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
      • Debby

        Yeah and now we owe them trillions of dollars.

        February 25, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • JacinJax

      Reread the column. He saying the candidates should be asking business what they need instead of telling how the old failed ways would make it better. It's these candidates who are telling instead of listening.

      February 25, 2012 at 8:34 am | Reply
    • Thezel

      Kind of how we pulled out of the Great Depression in the 30s. Pretty much how we've done it ever since. Industry needs work and profits? government goes to war. Nothin new here folks.

      February 25, 2012 at 9:13 am | Reply
    • BD70

      The big picture...government offers incentives for corporations to keep supplying jobs by making things here. There is no such thing as a corporation without help from the government. Be that local or federal...that company you work for? Tax breaks to keep those jobs in your area. I am sure the people who work at these auto industries are eternally grateful for the bailouts and that the company used them to keep those people employed.

      February 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  3. Iceaxdave

    There goes Bruce Katz again...His ultra-liberal bias blinds him to the underpinning fact that Obambi WANTS unemployment to be high....Obambi WANTS more government dependence...Obambi WANTS high gas prices...Obambi WANTS a weak foreign policy that destabilizes the Middle East...Bruce Katz has a terminal case of Obambimania.

    February 25, 2012 at 7:32 am | Reply
    • wallybobble

      take your meds

      February 25, 2012 at 7:48 am | Reply
    • clarke

      Obama doesn't want anyone of the things you mentioned.

      February 25, 2012 at 7:56 am | Reply
    • BrianBkyn

      Exactly. I mean how else do you win elections unless unemployment is high, gas prices are high and you have a weak foreign policy. Why can't people understand this obvious fact. To truly cement his re-election though Obama is hoping that drug use increases, the murder rate jumps, more celebrities die, everyone loses their home, locusts wipe out our crops and Christianity is banned. Why can't everyone be as wise as Iceaxdave. It would be a better world if they did.

      February 25, 2012 at 7:57 am | Reply
      • Wes Scott

        Truer words were never spoken! I could not have said it better myself.

        February 25, 2012 at 10:18 am |
      • cg

        The use of childish, taunting nicknames for the President in message boards is generally an indication that you're dealing with someone who has lost the ability to make a logical argument.

        February 25, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Mike P.

      Eh' there "Dave". Let me guess. You have 6 TV's in the house, and there all tuned to Fox "News" 24/7. I nailed it , didn't I Dave.

      February 25, 2012 at 8:27 am | Reply
    • Kevin

      Watching Cable news of any sort is a waste of valuable brain cells. Just stick to these websites to open your political mind, if you must.

      February 25, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
    • Dance This Mess Around

      You have a terminal case of stupidity.
      Republicans want high unemployment
      so they can win back the white house.

      Obama ran for president and won,
      just so he could destroy the country ?
      You have been juicing on the faux teet too long.

      February 25, 2012 at 11:22 am | Reply
    • the times are changin

      You are just envious that you don't have a candidate who can win an election. A sore looser if I have ever seen one.

      February 25, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • steven harnack

      Oh yeah, you've nailed it! Because??????

      February 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Reply
    • Sarah

      Isn't that what ALL of the candidates want? If everything was peaches and cream, then Obama or the GOP candidates wouldn't have a snowball chance to sell us their ideas on how we are gonna be saved....... No president can save us, we have to save ourselves.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Reply
  4. wgf

    So, this starts to get to the heart of the GOP economics problem.

    They want open and free global markets. They want lower taxes, and to reduce education funding in the process. They also want to severely restrict immigration. But in order to compete in global markets we will need an educated and trained work force. You can attain this 2 ways: (1) Investing in education, which is admittedly expensive, but has a long standing history of enabling our country to compete in the world, and (2) Immigration.

    So GOP policies conflict with GOP goals. But that's OK, because at least they're doing what Grover Norquist tells them tyo do.

    February 25, 2012 at 7:42 am | Reply
    • toogaloom

      Good post. I definitely think government needs to get out of the way in many regards, but there are aspects that business can't effectively support and still maintain its bottom line and that includes education and infrastructure.

      February 25, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
    • Dance This Mess Around

      WGF, that was great.
      I remember early on when Cain was running, and he couldnt answer a question,
      his response was that he didnt need to know the answer,
      he would just do as he is told.
      Seems to be the same with the rest of this group.

      What will you do for education ?
      Bash Obama.

      What will you do with taxes ?
      Bash Obama.

      What will you do about the debt?
      Ignore the fact that it was Republicans that got us here,
      and Bash Obama.

      Rinse – repeat.

      February 25, 2012 at 11:26 am | Reply
    • Will S

      The only thing "business" does for you is pay your wages if you have a job. Do you want an entire country run on that principle?

      February 25, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  5. ML

    I would argue its not that the GOP DOESN'T get Michigan, its that Michigan GETS the GOP.

    Since Reagan the GOP has been telling us all we need to do is reduce taxes on the Rich and let the Capitalist banks (Mitts favorite charity) look after us. Look where is has gotten us...trillions in debt and no way out. We don't need MORE of the same...we need LESS of the GOP crap that has bogged us down since 2008.

    February 25, 2012 at 7:55 am | Reply
    • Wes Scott

      We need LESS of the GOP crap that has bogged us down since 1980!

      Except for the years of the Clinton Administration, this nation has steadily fallen since Reagan due to the GOP's trickle down theory. I, for one, am tired of being "trickled down" on. Even Reagan economist David Stockman, who invented the "Trickle Down" theory has denounced it as a fraud, but apparently the brain-dead far right never got the memo.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
    • Michresident

      To Wes,

      Wow. Interesting statement re. the Clinton administration. I just watched the PBS show on Clinton and as a result recommend you do too. Some people did well, some did not. Making it a we/they exercise is too simplistic.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:30 am | Reply
      • shamdog

        I seem to remember the Clinton Era having a budget surplus...which GeeDub used to cut taxes (buy votes) and drive us deep into debt. You tell me who did well and who did not. At the time I hated Clinton because of his personal flaws (and his use of the military as a smoke screen every time his penis got him into trouble), but he did a good job as President.

        February 25, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  6. clarke

    I am finding the GOP to be a huge stone around my neck, and I just can't carry them anymore.

    February 25, 2012 at 7:59 am | Reply
  7. Chedar

    For Romney to do well with his rhetoric, he needs to spend a few days and nights with the homeless. This way he can bet his bottom dollar instead of $10,000. And mention about using his foot to go from one end to another to do errant rather than saying how many American cars they have and how many houses they got

    February 25, 2012 at 8:07 am | Reply
  8. Geo

    It seems the countries that are most successful with preserving and increasing their manufacturing base have governments that fight to keep these industries alive, work to improve and increase education and job skills of its workers and invest in infrastructure. The Republican idealogy of no government simply and obviously doesn't work. The path to failure.

    If you look back in history, governments have always worked to protect and enhance their industry and other wealth producing capacities with maybe the exception of America during the 19th century because of the vast open lands and mass immigration – wasn't needed. But that era is long past. Germany and China are just doing what governments of successful societies have always done.

    At some point, maybe it's happening now, most Americans will reject this Right Wing idealogy of hate and divisiveness and move on to build a better society. The world changes and we cannot stay like we were or go back to some "simpler" time, we must move forward. The generation of 1776 looked to the future and built something new. They weren't stuck on how wonderfull the world was in 1700.

    February 25, 2012 at 8:13 am | Reply
  9. Bart

    I am happy for the auto bailout, the resurgance of the auto industry is definitely leading the way to the recovery in Michigan and doing a big part in the recovery for the country overall. However, the bankruptcy laws in this country are broken, it's sickening to see a company like GM walk away from billions in debt to shareholders and creditors and just a couple years later thay are making billions and putting it in their executive's pockets and building overseas factories with it.

    February 25, 2012 at 8:20 am | Reply
    • Kevin

      Too big to fail.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:02 am | Reply
  10. TownC

    We all know that all politicians, including Obama, talk in generalities. Some of the things that the author is talking about are so nuanced that they would not sound good on the campaign trail. Saying you are for lower taxes on business is easy to understand and attractive to businesses and people who are interested in the American manufacturing sector. I'm sure a comprehensive plan to help business would be part of any Republican fiscal plan for our manufacturing sector.

    February 25, 2012 at 8:29 am | Reply
    • Taapa

      I somewhat support what you say about campaigns and high level messaging. But there are ways to send messages without boring e voters with the details. I knew George Bush was going to focus on education without having to hear every detail of No Child Left Behind. I knew Bill Clinton wanted to move the Democrats towards the middle without having to hear every detail of Welfare reform. With these guys, I have no clue what they think about manufacturing in the 21st century in Michigan,p. So I appreciate you saying they will have a detailed policy (and they will) but they need to do a much better job commenting their strategy. Or most of us will conclude they just don't have a plan outside of lowering corporate taxes.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
    • Dance This Mess Around

      *** Republican fiscal plan ?

      So far the plan has been, JUST SAY NO.
      Screw America,

      February 25, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
      • Tom

        And yet despite saying NO, Obama has still managed to increase the debt 4X over Bush.

        February 25, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
      • memyself

        @Tom ... but only because he didn't cook the books on the budget like Bush did

        February 26, 2012 at 2:17 am |
  11. Marlee

    Right now in Michigan unemployed workers who have reached the limit on unemploy. insurance are struggling to heat their homes and feed their families. Seniors try their best to manage the rising costs and cuts to health coverage, and they too, are facing a freezing winter. Poor children going hungry and cold. Their schools robbed by corrupt public servants and gang violence. Things are hard here, but we are blessed in many ways. We already have the right to work! Michiganders need good jobs and public education needs to be a top priority. Government needs to step out of the way of building the new bridges, small business and farming. Ron Paul's foreign and domestic policy would generate American jobs.

    February 25, 2012 at 8:35 am | Reply
    • StevieT

      You are most confused american. Ron Paul would 'experiment' with dismantling our economic system and return us to the gold standard that didn't work in the 18th century and would be devastating to a Nation as large and complex as ours.
      Yes we need to eliminate corruption and rid ourselves of gangs and the like, but we need prosperity that can only come from living in a country that can compete globally, and that will take the COOPERATION of business and GOVERNMENT to accomplish.
      .

      February 25, 2012 at 8:51 am | Reply
      • Kevin

        True, but my worry with Obama and his progressive ways is their support for the corrupt union movement that led to the outsourcing that crushed the middle class.

        February 25, 2012 at 9:04 am |
      • Bart

        The corrupt unions that fought with their lives so moral free and corrupt corporations would stop killing and maiming it's workers and forced them to pay a decent wage. You are also void of morals if you believe it's OK for these companies to go overseas and maim and kill those foreign workers for pay that keeps them in squalor.

        February 25, 2012 at 9:18 am |
      • Kevin

        Hey, worker's rights and safe working conditions is important, but a delusional corrupt subsidized system won't work.

        February 25, 2012 at 9:25 am |
      • Rico

        Uh, actually we were on the gold standard until 1971. His 'experiment' would put us back on monetary policy of the post WWII era, which many would consider the golden age of the United States in terms of power and economic might.

        February 25, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Parkite

      Government needs to get out of the way of building new bridges??? Since when has the private sector been in the business to raise money to build a bridge? They do the construction but it is the government, you & me, that pay those private contractors to build our infrastructure. Or do you want to pay massive tolls for the privilege to ride on them? Do you private Militias to take care of gangs & order in our cities? The rising cost of health care for seniors & everyone else is because the system is run by the private, for profit sector. The private sector is extremely important, but it is NOT the be all and end all. We need to get corruption out of government, but a lot of that corruption comes from the private sector, looking for favorable treatment.

      February 25, 2012 at 9:13 am | Reply
      • Kevin

        It's also the government leadership looking for kick backs from the private sector.

        February 25, 2012 at 9:22 am |
      • sawthelight

        Obviously you do not live in Michigan. Governor Snyder wants the State to build a new bridge and dedicate it to him. Private investors say its not needed. Private investors are going to jail, now out on bail, because of trumpted up charges by Snyder's minions, hand paid judges.. Lot more involved but that is the gist of it.

        February 25, 2012 at 10:29 am |
      • Michigan Resident

        Excuse me for butting in, but the private sector wants another bridge. Its not a matter of them thinking we don't need one. They want to control it and make millions in profit. Marty Maroun owns one bridge. Lets make it fair and let the government own another bridge. It would be in the public's best interest to own a competing bridge. The Ambassador has being reigning in profits since the 50s! And to top it off, the Canadian are willing to finance a new bridge for free! And the state would still retain half ownership! We would pay them back in bridge tolls! Its practically free, save for the approaches going to it... And Marty Maroun did not follow a judge's order to tear down a duty free store/gas station and THAT is why he went to jail. Don't blindly listen to all of those TV ads. There only telling you one side of the story!

        February 25, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Dance This Mess Around

      *** Ron Paul's foreign policy......

      In a global market, isolationism is a death warrant.

      February 25, 2012 at 11:32 am | Reply
      • Rico

        Isolationism is not the same as non interventionalism. Ron Paul wants expand trade and diplomacy with many countries we currently do not do so. Cuba and Iran for example. If we can become friends with some of these countries around the world, they would hate us less. Seems to me that sanctions and embargo serve an isolationist foreign policy.

        February 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  12. jb

    Candidates don't get Michigan? Yesterday it was GOP don't get Iran. You would think that CNN would hire some writers that had a few original thoughts. They seem to only hire hacks who are pre-programmed with the Wasserman-Schultz/Obama agenda.

    February 25, 2012 at 9:08 am | Reply
    • PresidentCFlex

      @JB – Don't blame CNN. It's hard to find conservatives that are capable of writing. This is why most conservatives spew their hate on talk radio. In addition, this medium helps spread their destructive message to the uneducated folks that can't read and are unable to think for themselves.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:43 am | Reply
    • Wes Scott

      The truth hurts you, doesn't it? The GOP does not get much of anything except lower taxes on the Top 5% and more government intrusion into our personal lives – just like in NAZI Germany, which is the GOP model. If you are hurting because of what CNN writers are saying now, then just imagine how much it is going to hurt you in November when your GOP is relegated to the back of the Obama bus for the next four years.

      February 25, 2012 at 11:01 am | Reply
      • Michigan Resident

        I love when arguments devolve into a reductio ad hitlerum argument. Godwin's Law in it's finest.

        February 25, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
      • Rico

        If you took some time to look at Ron Paul's positions, you would see that he wants as little government intrusion into our lives as possible. Gay? Fine. Drugs? Fine. Whatever you want? Fine. But the second you infringe on the rights of another you have to be willing to accept the consequences of your actions.

        February 25, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Dance This Mess Around

      Typical.
      Dont like the message, shoot the messenger.

      February 25, 2012 at 11:34 am | Reply
  13. Lee

    Regargless of what manufacturing needs in this area or any other, the greedy unions will be there to screw it up by demanding more, more, more. This is why manufacturing has gone overseas.

    February 25, 2012 at 9:17 am | Reply
    • Bart

      Unions only get what the company gives them. Obviously the union workforce is worth what they ask for or the company would walk away and hire a new workforce.

      February 25, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
      • Kevin

        I work for a company that "produces". It is very PRO NON UNION. We don't replace the work force. We provide incentive with BONUS, when the profit is there. It works, and it always will work.

        February 25, 2012 at 9:29 am |
      • Lee

        Unions strike and coerce. They want as much as they can get for as little as they can put into their efforts. As I said thats why manufacturing has relocated from the Northeast to overseas and other parts of this country. People should remember that unions do not pay your salaries, manufacturers do. If this country is going to prosper, unions have to go.

        February 25, 2012 at 9:45 am |
      • Kevin

        Corporate tax cuts with the condition of it based on job creation/continued production of AMERICAN workers, can fill the market gaps and the training/education needs. If the Union philosophy can't do it's part to support this, then yes it must go. The Republican candidates need to understand this, and run with it, if they want to successfully fight the progressive Union beliefs. The power of the long time outsourcing lobby, will squash their agenda, and the Dems will take all the votes. If they want to win, they must overcome it.

        February 25, 2012 at 10:13 am |
      • Bart

        Strike and coerce? Sure they will strike if necessary but once again they can only get what the company agrees to give them. The company is free to go get a new workforce anytime it likes. A union cannot do anything alone, it is completely powerless on it's own, the only power it has is what the company lets it have.

        February 25, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • steven harnack

      Those "greedy" unions got you the 40 hour work week and a measure of reassurance that you would live through your work day in some safety. Management is still getting paid at 300% and more of the workers wage so I guess that they haven't been greedy enough.

      February 25, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  14. DanO

    It took the Republican governor one year to balance the budget that Democrat governor Granholm couldn't do in eight years due to her beholden to the the Unions.

    February 25, 2012 at 9:19 am | Reply
    • Don

      FALSE !! I live in MIchigan & Snyder raised taxes $1.5 billion on the poor & middle class.Plus, the GOP here wants to raise the gas tax while giving the wealthy & corporations another $1.6 billion in tax cuts. Both unemployment & deficits were trending down under Granholm!!

      February 25, 2012 at 9:26 am | Reply
      • Michresident

        Wow, no offense but you're either a Democrat or legacy manufacturing/autoworker. Granholm pretty much kicked the can down the road instead of dealing with it, and spent her terms telling people what they wanted to hear. Fact is, Michigan's been experiencing brain and youth drain at an increasing rate....I was recently shocked to see recent statistics that indicated that the average age in Michigan is up in the 40's. Granholm did nothing during her term to change that. I suspect that the 'unemployment' downtrend was because people ran out of their unemployment benefits and fell off the radar screen. All we have left are pretty much older, poorer people. Snyder is doing what is necessary to stabilize a shaky economy here. Blaming the man for the bank bailout effects and other macro economic forces is just plain wrong. And you're wrong about the gas tax, by the way.

        February 25, 2012 at 10:16 am |
    • toogaloom

      While Snyder deserves some credit for trimming costs here and there, statistically the majority of that balanced budget was a result of surging tax revenue from the bailout / restructuring of the auto industry started by Bush and finished by the Obama admin. Granholm supported the bailout and Snyder did not.

      February 25, 2012 at 9:28 am | Reply
      • Michresident

        Not true. Snyder's approach was shared sacrifice, and no sacred cows. I think the guy irritated everyone equally, but don't give that bailout more credence than it deserves.

        February 25, 2012 at 10:38 am |
      • toogaloom

        Wrong, MichResident. The facts of Michigan's improved budget situation reveal that a vast majority is due to increased tax revenue based on the auto industry recovery. That success was a direct result of the bailout and restructuring that kept the industry based in the U.S., whether you like it or not.

        February 25, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Michresident

      He also did that in record time. And is on track to do it again this year.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • Dance This Mess Around

      Making stuff up is considered lying.

      February 25, 2012 at 11:36 am | Reply
  15. Don

    As a Michigander, any candidate (Romney) advocating a "let Detroit fail" policy that would have destroyed US auto manufacturing & 1 million related jobs isn't likely to EVER win Michigan.

    February 25, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
    • Rico

      Poor business models deserve to fail. It is not the responsibility of the government to make sure businesses stay in business. Too big to fail? What a crock. Let the free market sort em out.

      February 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  16. Michresident

    As someone who lives in Michigan, and who does NOT work in the automotive industry, I'm getting a bit tired of both the candidates playing that old saw. Yes, the autos are an important part of the economy; yes, manufacturing still is part of the Michigan economy (legacy), but I think as many do that the future is not in either, and if Michigan doesn't recognize that we'll never revitalize this state. And I think that Dow, GE etc. have a hidden agenda re. immigration. For them, it's a code word to try to increase work visas and lower salaries in the high tech fields without looking for citizens with these skills. And, as a US citizen currently employed in the high tech sector, I see that every day here. Unfortunately none of the candidates, GOP or from the Democratic side, seem to "get it".

    February 25, 2012 at 10:08 am | Reply
    • PresidentCFlex

      Looks like someone forgot to take your meds again.

      Also, you may want to apply some chapstick to your GOP lips. They must be chapped as they appear to be permanently attached to RICK the Nerd's backside.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:49 am | Reply
    • Get With It

      Amen Michresident! Yes, this is a way to import more foreign folks in the high tech sector for lower wages. As another Michy resident who just got laid off for this very reason, it's time that this hidden agenda became exposed. It is absolutely rampent here right now.

      February 25, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  17. feduphere

    While I agree with the ideas of a more broad based approach to fixing these things and while there are some good ideas proposed to readers who don't know the fine details of how Michigan works, why is it that these pieces become hits on one party over an other? This would be a great piece to educate voters unfamiliar in what the auto industry is asking for to help them grow. Instead one party is singled out as not knowing what they are doing. The fact is that neither party does. Before forming your opinion about a party based on an article one should find out more about the writer. Be it Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, etc check out the background of the writer. Did they work for Clinton, or Bush before going to one of theses news sites. It helps to get a clearer picture of why an article was written in a way it was and why even when both parties don't get an issue one one is singled out as not getting it. Its not fair to the reader when you sway opinion vs helping them make up their own mind.

    February 25, 2012 at 10:11 am | Reply
  18. Travis

    The only way that GM survived this depression is because of the federal bailout by the Obama administration without which GM would have collapsed. I noticed that Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum all opposed it as Republicans, showing just how unconcerned they are with the middle class. However, no matter who wins in Novermber, the MIC wins in either case while the middle class loses!!!!!!!!

    February 25, 2012 at 10:19 am | Reply
    • Michresident

      Don't agree with that. GM would have restructured, and it would be smaller. There just would have been a bigger pool of casualties. But GM would still exist. It wasn't the bailout that worked, it was structured bankruptcy that did the trick.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:35 am | Reply
      • supplier to the big 3

        "Bigger pool of casulties" means the thousands of small suppliers that have GM as their customer. All of them were on the verge of closing. 15 major steel companies in the US and Canada were within 6 or 8 wks. of closing. Nobody was getting paid.

        February 25, 2012 at 11:08 am |
      • Bart

        At the time GM was going to be in Chapter 7 bankruptcy without the bailout. Chapter 7 is liquidation, no chance for restructuring. You are revising history by saying GM would have survived without the government assistance. That assistance was the sole reason they were able to get into Chapter 11 where they could restructure.

        February 25, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Debby

      I don't agree either GM hurt themselves with their high prices and mis-managment. I agree they should have gone bankrupt and then help them out to restructure again. Look they dumped the Humdee which was terribly made with a high price tag. Doing this saved them alone. They don't need 4 Cadilac SUV's either with huge price tags. This is how they get in trouble because they just sit on the lot.

      February 25, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  19. Tom

    President Obama deserves four more years. The current republican candidates for president of the USA come across as a bunch of nincompoops.

    February 25, 2012 at 10:25 am | Reply
    • Michresident

      I don't like any of the current crop, GOP or Democratic (including the current administration). I fear that we'll all end up going to the voting booth and holding our noses when we vote.

      February 25, 2012 at 10:33 am | Reply
  20. Natalie

    Has anyone ever heard of Ron Paul and his ideas on the free market? #RonPaul2012

    February 25, 2012 at 10:32 am | Reply
  21. carlyjanew6

    http://www.Hear-The-Truth.com

    February 25, 2012 at 11:13 am | Reply
  22. matt a.

    How many times in the last 30 years has Washington bailed out a U.S. auto company? Call it a loan or lending a hand, but consider the proverbial term, moral hazard.

    Michiganders will fully understand free marketers when this crisis hits. To Natalie: for a state that often votes Democratic, I don't think they're familiar with the Austrian school.

    February 25, 2012 at 11:14 am | Reply
    • supplier to the big 3

      Governments in Europe and Asia alike have been lending money to their industries all along. In China, everything is subsidized. Why do you think they are kicking our @sses so badly? The US is the only industrialized nation on the planet that does not have a manufacturing policy.

      February 25, 2012 at 11:23 am | Reply
  23. dontbow

    Yea but obama does. lol Just bail em all out and they will be fine and vote for you..

    February 25, 2012 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • supplier to the big 3

      See my response above to matt a.

      February 25, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
  24. Joe

    Who let all these commies out?

    February 25, 2012 at 11:25 am | Reply
    • palintwit

      Who let all the baggers out of their trailers?

      February 25, 2012 at 11:29 am | Reply
    • Michigan Resident

      Name calling? How on earth does that contribute to this discussion? What exactly did that accomplish?

      Many people need to look at arguments from a larger prospective instead of just dismissing another man's argument based on a label or a ideology. That is the very epitome of debate in this country. Basing a particular stance on ideological lines and not wavering one bit. Eventually, the country will collapse in on itself because no one will consider the merits of other people's arguments. Because people become entrenched in there position.

      A perfect example. I'm looking over this thread and I see what "debate" has done to this country in miniature.

      February 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  25. Niclas

    I find it funny that they want the same progress and economical situation of northern europe yet refuse to realise it comes from the 3 things that americans seem to have with a passion for some reason.

    1: even lowtech, low education jobs puts you in the middleclass. Its vital both for the economical system and quality of the work.

    2: education is free or verry verry cheap even at the university level, it is not down to your parents financial status or working 2 jobs extra, everyone has chance to compete at education which hopefully drives the best forward not the ones with riches parents.

    3: Universal health care: say what you want but when you remove the stress/financial burden of healthcare from the ekvation it provides a stability i have yet to see in most americans lifes i met, to put it in a direct example: i just came home from the doctor with a diagnose of bronkitis and a begining pneumonia, the visit and all the meds cost me a total of 37 usd, i had less than 20 minutes wait time at the appointment.

    If these basics are provided for then people are safe and stable enough to consume, work and achieve instead of struggling for what your parents lacked.

    3:

    February 25, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
  26. greg

    Mr. Rich Man I own a mustang and my wife has a couple of cadillacs.

    February 25, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  27. RinosRwinos

    The GOP as usual is paying lip service to the manufactoring sector and the middle class. They would have allowed detroit and the car industry to go bankrupt. They only pander to the middle class and working people around election time when they want their vote.

    February 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  28. JC in Western U.S.

    Here's my idea: If the big manufacturers want a better educated work force and if they want to attract the highest qualified workers, then they need to make it possible. Put day care and elementary schools on site. Involve their workers in the education of the children. Hire and pay really good salaries to teachers to work in the on-site schools. Fire them if they don't do well. You'll get the best teachers, the most parent involvement, the happiest workers, and the end result will be children who will succeed when they move to higher grades. Establish that early foundation for educational success and parent involvement, and you just watch what happens. Most of us would work our tails off if working for your companies meant our kids had the best of the best of an educational environment, and were near us at the same time in a transparently visible and high quality school.

    February 25, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  29. bill

    the only rich business people know is how to screw every one else

    February 25, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  30. iran=syria=hizboallah=shiia=terrorsists=evil

    المخابرات العراقية تحذر من استخدام المدارس الايرانية في العراق لتجنيد شبان عراقيين ونقلهم خارج البلاد لتنفيذ عمليات لصالح المخابرات الايرانية
    دبي-الشرقية 25 فبراير: حذرت المخابرات العراقية من استخدام المدارس الايرانية في العراق لتجنيد الشبان العراقيين ثم نقلِهم الى خارج البلاد للقيام باعمال لصالح المخابرات الايرانية وقال ضابط في المخابرات العراقية رفض الكشف عن اسمه اِن لدى دائرته معلوماتٍ عن وجود اكثر من ثلاثين مركزا تعليميا ايرانيا بصفة مَدرسة او مركزِ تدريب في مختلف مدن العراق يعمل تحت غطاء شرعي ولكنه في الحقيقة يركز على الشبان العراقيين لكسب ولائهم عقائديا وسياسيا واجراءِ عملية غسيل دماغ منظمة لهم حيث يُنقل شبانٌ مختارون منهم الى ايران في فترات العطلة لاكمال اِعدادهم ثم تجنيدِهم . وقال الضابط اِن الهدف هو الحصول على ولاء مطلق واعمى لهؤلاء الشبان بعد غسيل الدماغ المنظم والتجنيدِ الاستخباري المحسوب واشار الى ان المخابرات العراقية رفضت محاولاتِ نقل بعض هؤلاء الشبان الى دول عربية قريبة من العراق لاستخدامهم في مهمات استخبارية شبهِ عسكرية .واشار الضابط الى ان تقاريرَ بهذا المستوى رُفعت الى الجهات العليا منذ عدة اشهر وان القرار متروكٌ لهذه الجهات لتُقرر الاجراءات التي تراها مناسبة ًللصالح العام في العراق .we need a president who attack iran with no delay, when iran fall all the other shiia evil will follow and fall one by one, the world is better off with out those evil iranianas

    February 25, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • The Jay Man

      Keep your hate to yourself please. It's people like you that make the world suck.

      February 25, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Reply
    • responder

      no, we dont need anyone to attack anyone....you guys need to stop provoking wars..its evil

      February 26, 2012 at 12:49 am | Reply
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