This is a day of memoriam, not of celebration . . . “happy” does not EVER apply.
I originally published this article back on the previous version of this site, eight years ago, and thought it overdue for a republish. My source material at the time was an interoffice email, circa 1998, from a shipmate (with whom I’m still in touch), whose letter I’d still had in my digital files, but have since lost. At least to me, the original author is unknown.
As the graphic below illustrates, a mere seven percent of the total American population have ever served in military forces of the United States. (I remember reading somewhere that only 1% of the total American population is currently serving.) To make this number a tad more practical, if you were to door-knock any random twenty houses in your neighborhood, statistically only one of those households would contain someone who’s active duty, a reservist, a guardsman, a retiree, or other veteran.
On a day dedicated to national memoriam, we do well to properly remember those who’ve served, even if we cannot personally name even one of them.
Multiple media outlets in Detroit are reporting that the Detroit Institute of Arts will renege on their pledge made after the passage of their Regional Art Tax (aka “Art Institute Authority”) in 2012 and seek a renewal on the March 2020 ballot, two years ahead of its statutory end.
Yeah, I cannot wait to see how they’ll justify spending even more money on “art”?
I’m currently running on very little sleep, but more details to follow…
Buried in the headlines this week between yet another fake news story regarding the pending impeachment of Pres. Trump, fixing Gov Whitmer’s line item frenzy (contrary to the media buzz, there is serious talk behind the scenes pertaining to fixing Gov. Whitmer’s not-so little temper tantrum screw-up) and the comedy of errors with the GM-UAW Strike, this story from Lansing surprising got very little attention.
Which gets even more interesting once you are made aware of what the topic of discussion was all about.
Spending more in one area of the economy comes at what price?
One of Governor Whitmer’s veto targets may have been a good thing. In one way anyhow.
For all the wrong reasons, the governor popped the fuses on a number of causes that have had state support for years. Charter schools ability to get on-par funding with their failing counterparts, health subsidies to regional hospitals, and busing for kids in remote regions closely associated with the house speaker’s election district.
All of these met the veto pen as leverage for her 45 cent a gallon gas tax. Clearly, the governor has shown where her heart lays on particular issues. Using at-risk children and health providers as leverage to get her 45 cent tax on the working poor.
One particular veto however, has a silver lining. The end of taxpayer dollars used for advertising a particular industry.
The state has run the Pure Michigan campaign since 2006, ultimately placing advertisements outside of Michigan in hopes of luring in tourists and their dollars. It has had some memorably creative moments, such as the ads narrated by Michigan actor Tim Allen and overlaid by the theme music from the movie “Cider House Rules.”
During the budget battle she admonished the legislature for not jumping on board with her 45 cent a gallon tax increase. None of her party’s house or senate members even tried to make it happen. She was all on her own.
But Gretchen wouldn’t allow the state to move forward without a budget, so she signed what was given her. She signed it, using the veto pen in a way she may have thought would bring the legislature back to her. Yet in actuality, she revealed her own apathy for certain segments of government largess.
And at the same time she did another curious thing. She sent a message to our state workforce, suggesting that if anyone so much as speaks to our legislators, they might regret it. By lining out protections for those employees within, who also want good government. From West Michigan Politics:
State employees are no longer protected if they expose questionable activities to state legislators.
Here is what Whitmer removed:
“”The department shall not take disciplinary action against an employee for communicating with a member of the legislature or his or her staff.”
A Whitmer administration source says that language is somehow “unenforceable,” which simply doesn’t add up.
“I did not have sex with that woman” – Pres B.J. Clinton
“If you like your plan you can keep it.” Pres. B.O.
“That’s ridiculous. It’s nonsense and you know it.” – Then Gubernatorial Candidate Gretchen Whitmer responding to a comment that she will raises taxes if elected governor during the Grand Rapids WOOD debate last year.
General Motors would/could plan a shrinkage, but for the Trump economy which promises more reward no matter which way the negotiations turn. The economy is booming and set for an even greater long term growth cycle. Partly due to more permissive regulatory climate, and a favorable correction of trade rule imbalance. The US of A is no longer subsidizing the world’s oppressive government in the same way, and our balance sheet is strong.
The unions right now have an upper hand. Not because of successes of liberal/left policies, but because of the success of Trump, and pro growth, which puts a strain on the available work force. In other words when everyone is working, no successful business can take existing employees for granted. This is supply and demand in action.
For labor, this is nothing short of utopia. From a bargaining perspective who is more advantaged in a strong economy that has historically low unemployment?
It needs to be said that Donald Trump has been a friend to labor. How better than by simply providing an environment where they can legitimately exercise a lesson in ‘value?’
The University of Michigan is paying $10.6 million annually in salary and benefits to employ 82 diversity officers, including 76 on its Ann Arbor campus.
For that amount of money, more than 700 students could receive full in-state tuition at a time when the cost of college continues to rise, UM-Flint Professor of Finance and Business Economics Mark J. Perry has argued.
Perry has been a financial watchdog of sorts regarding UM’s DEI staffing, highlighting his research on his personal website for the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative public policy think tank. He’s also successfully internally challenged UM faculty awards specified for minorities and women with Title IX complaint threats.
“… Once you move away from the academy/higher education, with its uniform leftist, progressive, liberal echo chamber, I think you find that mainstream Americans object to the diversity efforts that contribute to higher tuition and rising student loan debt that are contributing to the unsustainable ‘higher education bubble,'” Perry said.
Perry pretty much captures the entire argument.
While Michigan’s budget deadline looms, there is an opportunity to start walking back the $2 billion in funding to ‘higher ed’ in the state. Complaints about the 0.5% increases vs. a desired 3% increase should not only fall on deaf ears, but should be fully repudiated with a universal university CUT of 25-50% until academics becomes the main focus in our taxpayers subsidized cultural petrie dishes.
I will repeat again that our constitution requires support for these leftist incubators, but it does not stipulate the level of support.
If Whitmer wants more money to the roads and primary education, or if we as a state want to properly fund our hidden liabilities going forward, it is time to move the resources from where it hurts us. We owe these money pits nothing. Make the universities more competitive again by eliminating their slush moneys.