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Thursday, 22 October, 2009 11:07 AM

Michigan still lags behind in a recession, panelists say

Photo by Jeff Kowalsky / Detroit Economic Club

Panelists included David Sowerby, Susan Tompor and Charles Ballard Ph.D. The moderator was Paul W. Smith, radio host from News/Talk 760 WJR.

by Garrett Godwin
ggodwin82@yahoo.com

 

DETROIT -- Tuesday's Detroit Economic Club (DEC) meeting inside Cobo Center in downtown Detroit was a discussion of the "emotional rollercoaster" known as the Great Recession. We're in a tough spot in Michigan, said MSU economics professor Charles Ballard, Ph.D., who continues to state that even though it's bad, "we gotta to lay our foundation by educating our future," because the economy is about change. "Yesterday is gone, and is never coming back," he goes on.

Ballard, Detroit Free Press financial columnist Susan Tompor, and Loomis, Sayles, & Co. VP David Sowerby were the panelists for "Economy 2010", and though they remain hopeful, neither one can't ignore the fact that Michigan hasn't grown in "the lost decade" with the recent bankruptcy of the automotive industry that has been driving Detroit for decades. "Michigan is a value stock," Sowerby comments, because it needs a strong catalyst in order to recovery financially. "You gotta be more competitive in terms of corporate, but you gotta control when you can," he said.According to Sowerby, too much credit has been given to former Governor John Engler, while too much blame has been given to current Governor Jennifer Granholm.

"Wall Street has been good, but what about us?" questions WJR host Paul Smith, who was the meeting's moderator. "When are we going to be comfortable to start spending? We're being screwed! We can't spend ourselves to prosperity. It doesn't work, it never works. We're limited to what we do. The people are frustrated." Tompor agrees, saying that both the government and Wall Street are losing their creditibility due to making decisions at the last minute. However, she said, "we're not here as we were a year ago, and that is a good thing."

It is more than that, because it could've been "Depression 2.0" today due to a possible "systematic collapse" the year before. "You say 'government', it's a negative thing," Ballard responds, who disagreed on cutting taxes and layoffing teachers won't help Michigan improve the economy due to disconnection with us and Wall Street. "I don't like paying taxes as the next person," he goes on, "but I want my kids to go to good schools. We're not trying hard. We got our spending priorities wrong. We have to keep a long-term focus, which is to ramp up higher education."

Michigan may still be coming out of the recession since mid-summer and the stock market on Wall Street may be on the verge of a comeback, the "game has changed". "We have to do things completely different. The state is in denial," Tompor comments. "We all want the Big Three to get well and healthy, and take care of us." However, to paraphrase Bruno from Dancing with the Stars: we want to things to get better, but things continue to get worse. "We really need to look at other communities," she goes on, and "give up denying things are going to be the same."

 

 

 

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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer and Privacy Policy.

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