Mourning Michigan: Part II

After visiting Michigan, my home state, this last summer, I wrote an emotional post expressing my grief at how the state has declined. It is still difficult to contemplate, because the place is so dear to me.

You can understand why, then, this article from the Detroit News was difficult to read. Here’s the facts. The article itself includes distressing anecdotes.

Poorer, less educated

Michigan’s exodus is one of the state’s best known but least understood problems. Long ignored or downplayed, outmigration has been shrugged off partly because it was assumed that those who were leaving were unemployed blue-collar workers and retirees, groups that, in economic terms, don’t cripple the state with their departure.

But a Detroit News analysis of U.S. Census Bureau and Internal Revenue Service data reveals that every day, Michigan gets less populated, less educated, and poorer because of outmigration.

The state’s net loss to outmigration — the number of people leaving the state minus those moving in from other states — has skyrocketed since 2001. Although the Census Bureau does not report totals moving in and out each year, Internal Revenue Service records show that the population decline is a result of two disturbing trends: The number of Michigan residents leaving the state rose 25 percent between 2001 and 2007, while the number of new residents moving in plummeted by nearly one-third.

Essentially, educated people are leaving because there’s no jobs and no future and taxation is oppressive. So those left behind are those who use most of the government services, only there’s no one to pay for those services.

The solution would to cut back services, be ruthless about budgeting and give incentives for businesses to come and work. But even if that were to happen, it would take time.

Michigan, like upstate New York, is quickly becoming an aging wasteland where there’s no jobs and those who still live there are taxed punitively.

The government doesn’t help the state with policies like these. Government interference only delays the inevitable.

What the Federal Government under President Obama want to do is not to cut services and cut spending, they want to make every state like Michigan so companies have no where to go. Redistribution of wealth and a steadily high unemployment rate, ala Europe, is just the way of life. Workers have guarantees but no one enjoys greatness.

In the socialist’s world, it’s not so bad if there’s suffering–as long as everyone is suffering. Michigan is what the President’s policies look like when played out.

Heaven forbid this happens nationwide.

Cross-posted at

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