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    Tag: homeless

    Never fear, the status quo hasn't changed... wait... Fear!

    By Nick, Section News
    Posted on Mon Jul 20, 2009 at 07:06:19 AM EST
    Tags: Dillon, MEA, Consumers, DTE, monopoly, minimum wage, unemployment, homeless, church (all tags)

    When the MEA declares open war on one of their oldest, biggest boosters, the Democratic Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives, a guy can be forgiven for wondering which way is up and whether the universe suddenly spun off it's axis.  

    But you know what they say... the more things change the more they stay the same.  

    Lest you lose your footing, your grip on reality or your general intellectual equilibrium, there is evidence in fish-wraps across the state today that things aren't as topsy-turvy as the MEA / Dillon spat might indicate, and what good is a site like Right Michigan if we don't keep you grounded in reality?  

    Not that reality is eeeeveryone's strong suit, though, but isn't that about what we've come to expect from paper's like the Ivory Tower?  The state's leading Lefty pub carries an AP story with an interesting headline that proclaims "Teenagers may receive pay raise this week."

    Michigan teenagers who have jobs might see a pay raise this week.

    Michigan's subminimum wage, a wage paid to employees younger than 18, will jump from $6.55 to $7.25 when the federal minimum wage rises to that rate on Friday.

    And they're right, technically, though I couldn't help but be carried away to the bygone days of the Cold War when a two-car automobile race between the Soviets and the United States once produced a Moscow Headline proclaiming- "Soviets finish second, Americans second to last."

    Yes.  Some teenagers might get a pay raise this week as the government introduces another bureaucratic regulation on job makers across the country, even here in a state where job makers have become an endangered species. Alas, many teenagers will also get a pretty serious pay reduction this week when their bosses crunch the numbers and decided instead of paying the higher wage they'll do without the seasonal help the rest of the way.

    And as teenagers across the state find their jobs no longer exist, their parents back at home suddenly find themselves dealing with skyrocketing prices on their monthly utility bill, thanks in large part to the MEA's whipping boy, Andy Dillon.  The Grand Rapids Press reports on new, and unstoppable, rate hikes headed our way from Consumers and DTE.

    Read on...

    (2 comments, 773 words in story) Full Story

    A burden that only John Cherry could love

    By Nick, Section News
    Posted on Fri Jan 30, 2009 at 06:26:27 AM EST
    Tags: Cherry, 2010, Granholm-Cherry, unemployment, homeless, water rates, utilities, MBT, bipartisan, Andy Dillon (all tags)

    Boy, that record John Cherry is so proud to run on just keeps getting schnazzier and schnazzier.  In case you've been hiding under a rock the last two weeks, earlier this month, the Lieutenant Governor told the papers that he was proud to run on the economic record he's built these last six-plus years alongside Jennifer Granholm.

    Sure, they've been six of the most disastrous years for any one state in economic history but he argues that it's a strong record and something he'll apparently embrace during his bid to secure the state's top executive spot in 2010.

    Imagine then that headlines this morning announcing that homeless numbers are expected to spike across the state positively warm John Cherry's heart.  According to the Kalamazoo Gazette, families suddenly without a bread winner are finding themselves on the streets, kids and all.

    In 2007, 692 homeless people were recorded, of which 235 were children.

    The 2009 numbers won't be known for weeks, but Michelle Schneider, assistant program officer for LISC, said this year's count should be higher than last year.

    Think Cherry will use that blurb on his first piece of campaign literature?

    No, of course not.  Maybe the second or the third but that first piece that screams "VOTE FOR CHERRY" will undoubtedly want to address his deft handling of the state's financial crisis and the way tax and regulatory policy have sent bills skyrocketing across the state.  He might reserve line or two for today's Detroit News which highlights a newly expected massive hike in water rates for Detroit Water and Sewage customers.  That's 125 communities in South East Michigan.  

    Read on...

    (1 comment, 604 words in story) Full Story

    A Message To Our Legislators - Beware False Choices

    Cherry's "strong record" strikes again

    By Nick, Section News
    Posted on Mon Jan 19, 2009 at 06:40:20 AM EST
    Tags: Cherry, 2010, Granholm-Cherry, layoffs, job loss, unemployment, healthcare, homeless (all tags)

    It wasn't even a week ago that John Cherry told the Detroit Free Press that he would be proud to run on the track record he and Governor Jennifer Granholm have cemented over the past six-plus years while offering further the mind boggling quote, "I think she's got a strong record."

    Think the man would like to take those words back?  I don't often, but I'm tempted to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one.  Not sure how anyone at that level of state government "leadership" could pick up the newspaper these days and find anything to be proud of.  But what do I know?  Maybe he and I just have really different measures of success.

    I mean, what is it exactly that John Cherry claims he's proud of and pleased to have tied around his neck as he begins his campaign to become Michigan's next governor?  

    How about the headline news in the Ivory Tower this weekend that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan is going to be killing 1,000 Michigan jobs while simultaneously making it significantly more difficult for our state's senior citizens to afford health care.

    Facing what it says could be losses of more than $1 billion through 2011, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan said Friday it will cut as many as 1,000 jobs and seek state approval to raise rates on its individual health insurance products.

    The average rate hikes to be sought by Blue Cross are 55% for nongroup plans; 32% for Medicare Supplemental, or Medigap, products, and 42% for those with group conversion plans that carry over prior workplace coverage.

    About 418,000 Michiganders -- half of them senior citizens -- are covered by those policies.

    I'll admit up front that this is little more than my personal opinion... but I wouldn't be particularly proud of that kind of headline.  Wouldn't be happy at all that that was happening on my watch.  Witnessing a Michigan company (and not a manufacturing dinosaur) take a BILLION dollar loss, raise healthcare rates on senior citizens and kill 1,000 jobs is rough news.  Of course, according to John Cherry, well, that's a part of his "strong record."

    And Michiganders across the state can only wish and hope and dream that his "strong record" ended there this weekend.  Alas.

    The Livingston Press and Argus reports that a local third generation company is closing its doors too.  A small business started in the 1930s survived seven decades of Democrats and Republicans and wars and recessions and great societies but it won't survive the Granholm-Cherry administration.  

    Read on...

    (763 words in story) Full Story

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