Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Michigan in the Tank, Granholm Flushes, Dean Helps

RedState informs us that, in case you hadn't noticed, all is not well in Michigan:
Reports started swirling late yesterday and are all over the papers this morning that Volkswagen and Audi are almost certainly, now, going to announce Thursday their plans to outsource anywhere from 1,000 to closer to 1,600 Michigan jobs. But not to Mexico or Guatemala or China. To the east coast. Of the United States.
This might seem unexceptional to the so-called intelligentsia on America's coasts. After all, they've been well aware that both Michigan, as well as Wonker's home state of Ohio, have been slowly drowning in the economic toilet largely prepared for them by the Democrats they slavishly re-elect to high office each and every year. Manufacturing jobs are leaving both states in droves, driven off as much by unrealistic wage and benefit scales as they are by hideously high state, local, and real estate taxes.

As a result of the job exodus, Michigan and Ohio also rank high on the list of states who are suffering massively from subprime and even prime mortgage foreclosures.

Both states are also a little schizzy, politics-wise. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan and roughly the Southern half of Ohio tend to be staunchly Republican. Ohio, in particular, tends to vote Republican in national elections largely due to the growth in its Southern half, which usually overwhelms the shrinking Rust Belt Democrat machine vote in Northern Ohio, dominated by cities like Cleveland, Lorain, and Toledo (home of the Mud Hens). Michigan's Upper Peninsula is sparsely populated, however, leaving the heavily Democrat Lower Peninsula to turn the state a consistent blue in recent elections. That's been their misfortune.

In Ohio, Republicans have hurt themselves recently with a series of political scandals on the state and national level. This is recoverable, MSM handicapping aside. But the Dems will make a strong drive here in 2008, thoroughly pissed that Bush took the state twice.

Arguably, however, Michigan is in even worse shape and is even more in denial than Ohio, as exemplified by the state's clueless and politically tone-deaf Governor Jennifer Granholm. Don't believe us? Read the following by Detroit News journo Daniel Howes:

Volkswagen AG, which employs roughly 1,600 in two Oakland County sites, could announce as early as Thursday its plans to move the automaker's North American headquarters to a Virginia suburb of Washington D.C.

"My guess is it's 1,000 jobs that will be either moved or lost when it's all said and done," a source familiar with the details of the impending move said, adding that hundreds of customer service jobs are likely to remain behind. "The ship has sailed. It's guaranteed that they're announcing on Thursday."

Not the kind of news you want to hear in a state already battered by the near death of Detroit's once mighty "Big Three" automakers. But hey, the Governor's now going to step in and save the day, right? Well, maybe. The ship may be sailing,

But not without a last-ditch appeal by Gov. Jennifer Granholm, recently returned from an investment mission to Sweden and Germany that did not include a stop at VW's corporate headquarters in Wolfsburg. The governor is scheduled to meet at 8 tonight in her Lansing home with Stefan Jacoby, newly arrived CEO of VW North America, to plead her case.

"We're conceding nothing," said Liz Boyd, Granholm's spokeswoman. "The governor is always making the case for Michigan and will continue to make the case for Michigan."

Brave words, Liz, but they're just words. You've actually skipped part of this story, duly noted by the RedState article (cross-posted from, a site that's new to us): Governor Granholm has just returned from a trip to Germany where she simply couldn't find the time on her schedule to meet with the German corporate bigwigs. How dumb is that?

It was during that trip to Germany that the public first learned the new VW leadership team here in the states was seriously considering an eastward move. The call went out immediately for the governor to make a stop at HQ. No dice. She was booked solid, her spokespeople said. Think now she wishes she’d cancelled a chicken dinner and made the trip?

Amazing. And just think of all the union dues that went to pay for Granholm's election. Not to mention lefty Democrat Senators Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow. Fun fact:

Nearly 40 percent of union workers today are registered Republicans, but a sizeable chunk of their wages is taken and used to elect Democrats.
Like black Americans, union execs have consistently backed the Democrats ever since Wonker was a kid (an increasingly long time ago). But, like black voters who do the same, they tend to get little if anything in return. You'd think they'd start reconsidering their knee-jerk support for socialism, particularly in Michigan which has been losing jobs faster than any state in the union, due as much to an unbelievable corporate and personal tax burden as it is to the unrealistic union contracts that have made the Big Three non-competitive on the world automotive stage. Democrats are screwing the union brothers blind by taking their money, shoveling it to do-nothing Democrats, and doing nothing to help the workers' situation.

Meanwhile Michiganders' esteemed Senator Levin remains far more interested in getting our troops defeated in Iraq, no doubt lessening further the need for Detroit-manufactured military hardware. And, of course, as we've already mentioned, there's the Governor, who couldn't find a little time to save jobs during her German sojourn.

Oh, where are the lost jobs probably going to go? Maybe near the county where Wonker is typing this blog entry or about 7 miles from Wonker's house a few miles down the road:

Most likely to depart for new offices outside Arlington, Va., and near Dulles International Airport would be headquarters officials, executives of the three brands and top managers in sales, marketing, communications and human resources. The thinking is that a move ostensibly would distance Audi, VW and Bentley from troubled Michigan and its beleaguered hometown auto industry.
Why here? Back to the Detroit News:

VW assumes the move would enable parent VW to burnish its brands on the import-minded coasts by attracting talent that otherwise wouldn't consider opportunities here, including their own Germany-based employees who are likely to be more interested in a stint in suburban Washington than in Metro Detroit.

Finally, a move would theoretically jump-start flagging energy at VW's brands in the States, partly by culling Michiganians unwilling to uproot and partly by getting them out from under the shadow of Detroit's lumbering automakers.

Think things aren't bad enough?

Enter, stage left, Democrat Party chair Howard "The Scream" Dean. Trying to get some attention for their plight, Michigan Dems plan to move up their primary so maybe one or two presidential hopefuls might come up and talk to them in January. No dice, says über-diktator Dean, who's already jettisoned Florida delegates for doing the same thing. Now he's threatening Michigan with the same political death.

How dumb is this? Well, maybe not so dumb, as all the unemployed people will probably vote Democrat anyway, even though they've been marginalized and dissed. Go figure.

2 comments: said...

HazZ... thanks for the hat-tip. Unfortunately things are worse than you'd even think, reading those articles.

And by way of update on the early primary, Clinton, Obama and Edwards have all signed a pledge guraunteeing they won't step foot in Michigan pre-primary to campaign.

They've PROMISED not to ask for our votes. Talk about hubris. Talk about being taken for granted.


Wonker said...

Dear Right,

Sorry that things are so bad up in Michigan. I'm actually fairly well in touch with stuff up there, hailing originally from Ohio, and having an old chum I visit from time to time up in Toledo, right across the border. In fact, we took in an Imax film at the Ford museum complex up in Dearborn in late July. It's heartbreaking what's happening in the hinterlands.

What I've never been able to understand, though, is why folks just keep voting for the people and policies that continue to impoverish them. I really don't know how much more punishment it's going to take for the average voter to change parties. An awful lot, apparently.