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Gods help me, I actually considered commenting on a local news story on a local TV station's website.* But I reconsidered and so I'll write about it here.

Warren Mayor Upset With White House: Mayor Jim Fouts Believes White House Blocked GM's Planned Move To Warren
Fouts fired off a letter to the White House Friday after reading excerpts in the Detroit News from a forthcoming memoir of Steve Rattner, the former top auto adviser to the White House.
I don't think I wrote about it when GM moving to Warren from downtown Detroit was proposed. I thought it was a dumb idea then, and fortunately it just faded away... till now, at any rate. Fouts made his original statements when GM was at its lowest and so was the city of Detroit. It really came off as a kick-Detroit-whie-its-down move. I don't think it would've done Warren any favors either, because the site where the executives would've moved, which is already the site of GM's Tech Center, is surrounded by roads that are already over capacity at peak hours. Plus he would've given tax break incentives, at a time when the city's tax base is already declining precipitously.

But the worst part is, trying to entice GM to move to Warren is the only development-oriented thing Fouts has proposed in the three years he's been in the mayor's office. Well, if you only have one idea, make it big, right? Otherwise, all you have is that you posted signs at the city limits saying Warren is "A Safe And Clean City," as if that's an unusually high benchmark for a suburb (or even particularly true).

No, HERE'S the worst part: It shows yet again that the only thing local officials seem to want is to stay tied to the auto industry as if nothing else would ever work. They want to keep us mired in 1970, for crying out loud, as if the world isn't rushing on ahead of us doing biotechnology and green energy and the Internet and things so advanced and new I can't think of them, but they're out there. Our elected leaders think all we can do is attach dashboards to car frames or something. C'mon, people, get a new idea! I'm not saying the auto industry isn't important, but it's not our future; our future must be broader than that.

* I have never posted a comment on a news website. I usually avoid comments sections as if they were a garbage bin, and the comments on the story above didn't change my mind on that.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 5th, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC)
It bears repeating: state officials have been talking about diversifying the state's economy since the 1950's (Gov. G. Mennen (Soapy) Williams, specifically). I think only Gov. Granholm has made an effort to actually move in that direction.

Occasionally reading of the comments on the Freep site proves you right that they are a garbage bin of public debate.
Sep. 7th, 2010 01:17 am (UTC)
It could be that even when leaders say we should diversify the economy, the voters don't buy it. I remember in 2008 when John McCain came here and said that the old manufacturing jobs are gone and we need to develop new jobs and industries. Mitt Romney came in promising to rebuild our manufacturing base. Romney won the Michigan primary (as much good as our primaries did that year).

I don't know, it just looks like on the whole, Michigan ain't up for progress. Some people are, and I don't want to deny they're there, but they're not a majority.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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