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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

    Pure Michigan: A Sales Pitch for a Sales Pitch

    By Rougman, Section News
    Posted on Thu Jan 07, 2010 at 10:51:46 AM EST
    Tags: MEDC, Rep. Gary McDowell, Tourism (all tags)

    cross posted at a medicated Rougblog

    I don't know about you, but I believe just about everything that either government or any politician tells me. Lock, stock, and barrel.

    The state House of Representatives recently passed a plan sponsored by [Gary] McDowell that will grow Michigan's tourism industry by re-investing in the highly successful "Pure Michigan" promotional campaign. Every dollar invested in out-of-state advertising generates more than $40 for Michigan businesses and nearly $3 in revenue, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
    If these claims are true, our government owes it to the Michigan taxpayers to jump on the Pure Michigan bandwagon, because all by itself it will solve our state's budget problem.

    If, for every $1 of taxes spent the state can receive an additional $3 in revenue and, if in addition to that, our businesses can recoup an additional $40 in new receipts, why aren't we spending every penny of Michigan's budget on "Pure Michigan"?

    Why hasn't T. Boone Pickens and Carl Icahn called up the MEDC and offered to buy the department if every dollar invested would result in a tripling of the principle in only a year's time?

    Screw education spending--put it all into Pure Michigan, and then parlay that bet! Sure, for the first couple of years our kids would be missing out on school, but by year four and five, after the dividend checks start rolling in, they won't need to work anyway. Nintendo 24/7!

    I work (occasionally) for a struggling company in Michigan. If the owners were guaranteed $40 in revenue for every buck they spent in advertising we'd be living on easy street.

    The reason none of this is happening, of course, is that these numbers are cooked for taxpayer (and voter) consumption from a context so complicated and restrictive that Houdini couldn't escape it.

    It is a sales pitch for a sales pitch.

    I do believe that few states can get as much bang for the advertising buck as Michigan can. When you get very far from our state's borders most of the people you meet merely equate Michigan with Detroit. This is not a kind equation. Too many outsiders feel the whole state is dirty and blighted and think most everyone living here is either on the Synagro Technologies payroll or breaks kneecaps for the UAW.

    To them, Michigan is a two industry state, automobiles and corruption, and who wants to spend the summer vacation bouncing between the sights of a transmission factory and a back alley beat down? These are misconceptions of (most of) Michigan and do not reflect its total reality, and it does benefit our tourism industry at large to dispel such notions.

    Michigan is a beautiful state. This fact, among those who live here or have ever visited, is not disputed. Few other states can rival its depth and breadth of landscapes, seasons, activities and culture.

    People from many states travel millions of miles each year to reach our tourist destinations and drop off points from which they can further explore the state's even more remote beauty.

    If the MEDC can get Michigan's businesses $40 for every buck it spends promoting tourism out of state, why cannot Michigan's tourist industry itself spend a few bucks out of state on its own for the same proportional result?

    Or, have the wizards in government stumbled upon a super efficient money generating algorithm so secret and so fragile that it cannot exist outside the confines of a benevolent government agency's lab? If so, no wonder the Postal Service, Secretary of State's Office, and Amtrak rock so hard, though in retrospect it does appear as if the $800 billion federal bailout could have been more wisely focused.

    As the old axiom goes, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is, and a 200% annual return on a taxpayer investment sounds pretty darn good to me.

    Who do we need to make the check out to?

    < In the MACKINAC CENTER Sphere Today | Stupak a Potential Gubernatorial Candidate? >

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    bias "consultant" (none / 0) (#2)
    by Tom McMillin on Thu Jan 07, 2010 at 08:25:54 PM EST
    The "consultant" that calculates this "ROI" is Longwoods International http://www.longwoods-intl.com/
    They make their money off state and private tourism...so of course this will be their finding.  I've tried getting more details on the study - its based on this, um, very unbiased third party (not) calling or emailing people who visit MI from other states....

    This kind of crap is why I tried to attach this amendment to the latest move to restrict certain sales tax monies for Pure Michigan

    Amendment offered by Rep. Tom McMillin (R) on December 17, 2009, to revise a provision in the bill requiring a review of the "cost effectiveness" of using the foregone tax revenue to provide tourism industry subsidies, so as to require the "independent private entity" hired to perform the review from being one that benefits from any tourism related business. The amendment failed in the House by voice vote on December 17, 2009...

    And I made the same points made here...if this is so good, (A) we should dump every dime we have in Lansing into this "investment" and (B) if its so good, then why isn't the private sector pooling their OWN money and making this investment?

    this is all about using our tax dollars for TV ads/headlines -- you know, "at least Lansing is doing something"....the "return" is doubtful and we're still picking winners and losers -- this time our tax money goes to help (to some degree) the tourism businesses....

    Michigan Ads (none / 0) (#4)
    by grannynanny on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 09:52:38 AM EST
    That is right JGillman - just how much money is being dumped on these ads in Michigan.  It is a constant drum on TV and radio.  I know they are trying to catch a few people here on business BUT with virtually NO business being conducted in this state right now - how wise is it to continue running these ads in state?

    Pure MI ads in Michigan (none / 0) (#5)
    by Tom McMillin on Fri Jan 08, 2010 at 04:03:12 PM EST
    I'm going to try to find out how much of Pure Michigan's budget is spent in Michigan.

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