News / Business
Thursday, 22 October, 2009 11:07 AM
lags behind in a recession, panelists say
by Jeff Kowalsky / Detroit Economic Club
included David Sowerby, Susan Tompor and Charles Ballard
Ph.D. The moderator was Paul W. Smith, radio host from
News/Talk 760 WJR.
-- 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."