From the grasping at straws file, Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm has been talking for a while about remaking Michigan as an alternative energy powerhouse. Henry Payne reports on her breakfast talk yesterday morning at the DNC Convention:
At a breakfast talk, Michigan's deeply unpopular governor
Jennifer Granholm explained that she was chosen to moderate Tuesday
night's energy panel from the convention stage because of the Wolverine
State's efforts in renewable power. The idea that windmills will rescue
one of America's great manufacturing states is absurd on its face, but
she persisted in spinning a fairy tale that Michigan is perfectly
positioned to take advantage of alternative energy manufacturing
because of the "Five Ws" (I'm not making this up) in abundance in the
state: "Wind, water, waste, workforce and wood."
That's terrific - they have all the key inputs needed for setting up an early 19th century business. What is left unsaid is that Michigan has the highest unemployment rate in the country, driven by fussy and high cost unions and a crushing taxation and regulatory burden. The only message I take from the governor's talk is that if one is not in an alternative energy business, it's time to get out of Michigan, as the majority of businesses are about to face higher power costs and more taxes to support the governor's preferred industrial investment. Which, come to think of it, is a message most businesses have already internalized about Michigan, seeing as the population of its largest city has dropped by more than 50% over the last several decades.
It is highly entertaining to see people who have never even worked in, much less have run, a real business (including Obama, Clinton, and about everyone else on the DNC rostrum) express the hubris that only they know what the right industrial investment plan for the US is and that only they know how to build a major new industry. In particular, we saw last night the repetition of Obama's ridiculous made-up 5 million jobs number that I critiqued in depth several days ago.
Disclosure: I actually run a few campgrounds in the UP of Michigan, but since sleeping in tents seems to fit the governor's industrial policy, I'll probably be OK.