For 300 years Michigan thrived. First came the missionaries and then the fur traders, and then the loggers who stripped away the state’s thick forests. Then came the farmers plowing up the newly-cleared land.
Manufacturing and commerce flourished. With the completion in 1825 of the Erie Canal across New York state connecting the vibrant East Coast economy to the Midwest via the vital transportation corridor of the Great Lakes, Michigan took off on a long and prosperous journey as a major trading, manufacturing, logging, farming, mining (coal, iron ore and copper) and commercial hub. Michigan became a US state in 1837. It now has 10 million citizens.
Touching four of the five Great Lakes – Huron, Michigan, Superior and Erie – which are and were major passages for trade in both directions Michigan was in a perfect geographical position, and it hummed.
Michigan has many important harbors on the Great Lakes shipping lanes like Detroit, Port Huron, Bay City, Muskegon, Sault St. Marie, Marquette and others.
And since shipping was and is the most efficient form of industrial transportation, Michigan was all the more in position to take advantage of the explosion in Great Lakes commerce during the era of sailing ships and then steam and diesel ships too.
On the other side of the equation there are reported to be up to 25,000 shipwrecks lying on the bottoms of lakes that are so large that they can have ocean-like storms.
In the 20th century the auto industry made Michigan very wealthy, building on an already solid economic base. But then the state took a nosedive starting in the 1980s and stumbled for three decades.
This happened after angry and confrontational auto labor unions drove up labor costs and made Michigan much less affordable to make cars in. Democrat taxers and regulators did great damage too.
For the next 30 years Michigan increasingly was referred to as a terminally ill “sick man” state, full of deteriorating manufacturing plants and a world-class synonym for urban decay – Detroit. Many of its younger, skilled and educated population fled.
But Michigan is thriving in 2018 after a no-nonsense conservative Republican governor named Rick Snyder was elected in 2010 and whipped the state into shape during his tenure, which is now coming to an end as Snyder is limited to two terms.
The business website CNBC recently called Michigan “the most improved state” in America. DBusiness.com reports:
Michigan was cited as this year’s most improved state for business, and ranked seventh overall, up from 22nd place in 2015, according to a new national report by CNBC.
According to CNBC’s analysis, Michigan “was considered all but hopeless” when it began ranking states a decade ago. “Michigan owes much of its improvement to a resurgent economy,” the report states.
“Economic growth ranks in the top 20 percent of the country, and jobs are coming back after a long period of decline.
“While Michigan is not as reliant on the auto industry as it once was, the comeback shows just how powerful the state can be when that industry is doing well. That’s because the industry doesn’t just generate manufacturing jobs — it is also a magnet for innovation. State officials like to point out that Michigan has the nation’s largest concentration of engineers, and the state averages one automotive patent every day.
“That helps the state come in sixth in our technology and innovation category. And in a development that’s sure to warm the heart of Gov. Rick Snyder, a former venture capitalist, Michigan finishes fourth for access to capital.”
Being ranked seventh overall is amazing after Michigan’s long decline. But it is no surprise. Snyder did for Michigan what president Trump is doing for America. He applied common sense capitalist principles and held steady to his course. Michigan’s turnaround has been steady and spectacular under Snyder and it will continue for as long as the voters of Michigan allow it to and as long as Trump policies remain in effect nationally. If Michiganders elect a liberal Democrat governor the good times will end.
Michigan attracted the best and the brightest for 100 years with its vibrant economy, and this gave the state stature. Today it is building on that stature after a few decades of setback. Many of the big firms that made Michigan great weathered the downturn and are flourishing in the Trump/Snyder era including General Motors, Ford, Dow, Whirlpool, Lear, TRW Automotive, Penske Automotive, Kellogg, DTE Energy, Ally, Stryker, Visteon, Borg-Warner and Steelcase. This is just a partial list of the bigger firms and does not include the burgeoning high-tech economy.
You may hear radio and TV ads touting Michigan and seeking to entice people and businesses to move there. This is Snyder’s doing – Michigan is an exciting place that is on a roll. It’s got “buzz”. Michigan is “cool” again. Following eight years of a corrupt Canadian-born Democrat governor named Jennifer Granholm who was very cozy with the unions and who depressed the state, Snyder won the 2010 election with 58% of the vote as citizens were obviously dissatisfied with the direction of Michigan.
Snyder turned the state around with get-tough policies, even flipping union-strong Michigan into a “right to work” state. This was a major blow to the unions but a major lift for Michigan.
Even Detroit is on a big rebound. It is being reborn as a high-tech hub. That is amazing for a city once considered dead and gone, with no hope of revival. And you can rest assured that Detroit won’t make the same mistakes over again.
Rick Snyder made it all happen. He cracked the whip and rooted out corruption. He even forced Detroit into bankruptcy which induced the city to recognize its errors and make changes that are leading to its rebirth.
Look for Snyder to possibly run for president someday. He is only 59 years old.
And this, friends, is why president Trump is going to win the electoral votes in Michigan again in 2020, but by a much bigger margin than 2016.
Look at this from Yahoo News in 2017:
An 800-foot-tall centerpiece is coming to Detroit’s resurgent downtown as the city continues to build momentum about three years after exiting the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.
… the bad times for downtown appear to be largely over. Bedrock Detroit’s $900 million, two-building project will include a 58-story residential tower and 12-floor building for retail and conference space. Up to 450 residential units can be built in the tower.
It is one of four projects representing a $2.1 billion investment in downtown by the Detroit-based commercial real estate firm. Altogether, the projects are expected to create up to 24,000 jobs in a city that desperately needs them and generate $673 million in new tax revenue.
… A ribbon-cutting was held in August for an $860 million sports complex just north of downtown. The 20,000-seat Little Caesars Arena is the new home of the Detroit Red Wings and Pistons. It will anchor a 50-block neighborhood of offices, apartments, restaurants and shops.
… Software maker Microsoft announced in February that it plans to move its Michigan Microsoft Technology Center next year from the suburbs to downtown. In 2016, Ally Financial opened new offices downtown that the financial services company said eventually would be occupied by more than 1,500 employees and contractors.
Look at all of this great news. And since Detroit is situated on the Detroit River, which is really a miles-wide water channel between two of the Great Lakes, it has a nice waterside feel, which adds to its allure.
Snyder is a former computer executive and venture capitalist. His net worth is estimated at $200 million, yet somehow Democrats claim that wealthy Republicans cannot govern, that they will just steal all of the government money. This is the opposite of the truth. They don’t need money. They already have it. And they want to use their business acumen to help their states and their country, as president Trump is doing.
Snyder began by rooting out Democrat corruption, reforming the Michigan state budget and reducing taxes, welcoming business back to Michigan, and forcing Detroit into bankruptcy which Democrats vehemently opposed just as Obama opposed official bankruptcy for General Motors and Chrysler before bailing them out with federal dollars.
Now, with a pro-growth agenda under Snyder, Detroit and the entire state of Michigan are bouncing back from the devastation wreaked by the labor unions. At the time of the GM and Chrysler bailouts in 2009 unionized assembly-line workers with a high school education could earn up to $150,000 a year in wages, pensions and benefits ($175,000 in today’s dollars). Thus it is no surprise that these companies could not make money.
To understand how bad this situation got, consider what happened in 2006, decades after Michigan’s prosperity had fled. Under liberal Democrat Michigan governor Granholm Toyota had proposed back in 2006 to build a non-union engine manufacturing plant in Michigan that would have provided more than 1,000 high-paid jobs. This could have been the start of a Michigan turnaround.
But Michigan unions opposed a non-union plant and made such a stink that Toyota withdrew its plan. Granholm sat by and said nothing just like her unions backers wanted her to do.
Governor Snyder came along in January 2011 and started to offer a brighter image of the state. He turned Michigan into a ‘right to work’ state, which was a major blow to union power in a state that gave birth to the auto workers union in 1936. It was in Michigan that Teamsters union chief Jimmy Hoffa disappeared in 1975 from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills and has never been seen again.
Along with other conservative Snyder policies Michigan is rebounding big time. In December 2014 Toyota announced plans to invest $126 million in Michigan. And now look at the renaissance in Detroit and all over the state.
Michigan has the added advantage of being a beautiful place. It has 3,288 miles of coastline on four of the “inland seas” called The Great Lakes, which are some of the most spectacular landforms on earth. Its interior is dotted with 65,000 lakes and ponds. This includes the picturesque Traverse City area in the north, a mecca for cool Summer fun including boating, sailing and fishing on Grand Traverse Bay, Torch Lake and nearby Lake Michigan. There is skiing in the Winter on the small mountains of the region.
The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is remote and wild and full of resources like copper, forests and iron ore. It’s a spectacular place for a vacation, including its scenic Lake Superior shoreline with stretches like the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. The Upper Peninsula is attached to the mainland by one of the most magnificent structures in the world, the Mackinac Bridge, at 5 miles long.
Michigan has two very enthusiastic non-politician advocates – rock musicians Ted Nugent and Kid Rock, both natives. They have never given up on their state even in the bad times. They always have talked about Michigan like it is God’s Country, and it is. And it is coming back big time and will continue to do so in the flourishing Trump economy.