Sunday, March 2, 2008

Economic Disasters Get Personal in Michigan, But Wait, Isn´t This What the ANTIs are Asking For?

Very Sad News. Due to the Economic Recession in Michigan, a number of schools are closing in Michigan, including the grade school I attended.
Bad Economic Times are happening all around us.

From the Lansing State Journal: Tumbling enrollment: Mid-Mich. cushions the impact by merging schools, closing buildings
Derek Wallbank & Al Miller Lansing State Journal
Cedar Street Elementary aide Kelly Donaldson and her colleagues saw the writing on the wall. Declining enrollment already had forced staff layoffs and program cuts. Then, the Mason school board voted in February to close the 324-student school. "We knew it was coming, but it's really sad," Donaldson said, choking back tears at the meeting where the school board voted unanimously to close the school. "It's like your family."

Experts predict few mid-Michigan parents and students will escape the changes with which local public school districts are grappling as the impact of lower birthrates and families leaving the state combine to create challenges not seen in Michigan public education in decades.
Across the tri-county area, school districts in Lansing, Mason, Eaton Rapids and St. Johns are considering or have implemented plans to close school buildings. Districts such as DeWitt have suspended future growth plans. Others, such as Charlotte, are taking hard looks at how future enrollment melds with existing facilities.

The problem, experts say, is that birthrates across mid-Michigan are down 15 percent in the last two decades. And Michigan's weak economy is exacerbating the problem, causing families to leave the state for economic reasons and curtailing an influx of new families. Michigan, with 1.6 million public school students, will have 20,000 to 25,000 fewer students each year through 2011. Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties, with more than 71,000 students today, will have about 4,000 fewer by then, according to Fred Ignatovich, a former Michigan State University professor who projects school enrollment for many area districts. "And it might even be heavier if this economic downturn persists," Ignatovich said.

For many mid-Michigan communities, that means a streamlined public education system with fewer teachers and students and more tough decisions about shuttering buildings, neighborhood blight, new taxes and rising educational standards. The changes come at a time when school funding - paid per student - is declining with the loss of each student. If local districts have 4,000 fewer students by 2011, they lose $30 million in state funding.


Question to my Viewers: Aren´t these "smaller economies" what many ANTIs are asking for when they talk about Reduced Immigration Levels and Deporting the 12M?


Anonymous said...


i can't speak for anyone else on this blog, but i think it is great that your family has contributed to the success of the USA.

Thank you for sharing your family stories

However, that doesn't change history. The historical fact is that the government of Mexico decided to allow English speaking people to move to Texas. The English speaking people in Texas flouted the law and invited their friends and relatives ( other English speakers ) to cross the border in to Texas. Then the English speaking people had very large numbers of kids and developed a sense of entitlement. And the end result was a disaster for Mexico - This is all a historical fact - go visit the museums in Mexico City - they give the same story in thos museums as you get in the museums in Austin or San Jacinto. The history is not in dispute -

patriot said...

dee, I can't believe that someone who is from Michigan doesn't know that Michigan's economy was never good. It only thrived in the Detroit area when the automobile industry was alive and well. The rest of the state has always been in economic downturn. Michigan has always had bad management and bad economic policies. Quit trying to attach it to the illegal immigration problem.

Why would American families stay there and those who do produce more children when there are no jobs in Michigan? If a bunch of illegal aliens moved in there and produced their litters what would that solve? It would just mean more competition from foreigners when there aren't even any jobs for Americans there.

You are trying to equate the desirability of a smaller economy nationwide to "no" economy in Michigan. Nice try though.

Dee said...

Pat, No. When the auto industry was booming the jobs were booming. That is why so many people went there. That is why my Dad stayed and worked in Michigan. Lansing was thriving and growing with great schools. I know. I was there.

But read this Lansing article dated 2-29.
Strike Forces GM to Close Some Plants

The 1st paragraph:
General Motors Corp. could close two additional factories next week as the impact of a strike at a key parts supplier widens.

All the school closings and the economic downturn is due to the auto industry downsizing.

Dee said...

But your side often talks of smaller economy and fewer people.

I am sorry. I don´t see this as a positive for Michigan OR for the Nation! I think most people agree.

Dee said...

You know Pat, as this auto industry downsizing and strikes continue, more and more states are going to be impacted. Look at the article. They are talking about shutting down plants in Indiana, Wisconsin and even TX plants will be impacted.

This smaller economy with fewer people CANT be what you want! Can it?

patriot said...

That is what I said, dee! I said that when the automobile industry was thriving the economy of Michigan was better but it was mostly in the Detroit area. Most rural areas have always been economically depressed in Michigan.

We had a smaller population and a smaller economy 40 years ago and we "thrived" just fine! Our natural resources weren't at risk either as they are today with a larger population.

Now that our economy is taking a turn for the worse we are still stuck with the larger population. You just don't get it, do you dee?

Dee said...

Do you "get" that Lansing is not close to Detroit?

Do you "get" they feel devastated due to their quickly declining population?

Gosh Pat. You really are in denial.

patriot said...

No, you are in denial dee of the fact that we don't need more than the 300 million people in this country that we already have. Our people will go where the jobs are and that is why they aren't going to Michigan.

Lansing is the capital of Michigan and is a large city. Therefore the job situation wouldn't be as bad there. How does that solve the joblessness in rural areas? The joblessness is the reason for a decling population. The answer isn't to add more population without creating jobs to keep them there.

You are putting the horse before the cart with your views. Jobs first and then the population will follow.

dianne said...

I'm a little confused by your article Dee. Michigan has suffered terrific economic losses, especially due to the auto industry. Mich people have moved who can't find jobs. I don't really see how that translates to illegal immigrants. Yes, fewer kids means fewer state dollars for schools, but no state gives enough money to school districts to survive without local bond issues and local taxes on the communities they are in. As I've said before on this blog, in my community we are paying on 3 separate local bond issues in addition to the monies the school gets from the government. That is because we have had terrific growth, not all due to illegal immigration, but it is a factor. Those bond issues cost me alone thousands of dollars a year in property taxes. If we had fewer kids, we wouldn't need as many schools and services for them and my taxes would go down. I don't want any more growth. I can't afford any more growth but believe me I'm far better off than the elderly on fixed incomes as they are really suffering.

Anonymous said...

I agree,

Dee's influx of illegal immigrants has caused a spike in school taxes that has really strained the resources of our elderly people

plenty of elderly are forced out of their home due to the illegals

Don't forget that in Arizona this is being reversed - they are already dramatically cutting school enrollments there due to the great new law - that means lower school taxes not higher school taxes

Dee said...

Actually Dianne, I have several reasons for posting this article.
1. Sad that the elementary school I attended closed
2. Amazed and saddened by the economic downturn in MI and the subsequent loss of people with a lower birthrate due to the economic losses.
3. Curious as to the ANTI perspective given NONE of the 12M are gone, yet Michigan and their current illegal immigrants is desperate for more people and a booster shot to their economy. I thought your side wanted fewer people and smaller economies like Michigan, yet you all are saying No. All very curious!
4. Do you really think taxes are going down in Michigan even with fewer people? I pay far fewer taxes in TX and we are thriving!

dianne said...

Dee..let me give you an example of what I'm talking about. I own a little house in Wisconsin in a little town of about 8,000 people. It is a white white town with not one illegal immigrant (at least none that anybody knows of). The school district includes this town, plus schools in two other smaller neighboring towns and the farm communities in between. The towns have very little industry and the population is quite a bit older than the national average. A lot of the kids who graduate move because they don't want to be farmers anymore and there is little work in the town.

So, the school district had a problem in last several years of declining enrollment. They were having budget problems and taxes weren't keeping up with costs. What did they do? They closed two of the schools in the neighboring towns and started busing the kids to the main schools in the largest of the towns. And, what about my school property taxes? They went down because costs went down.

But, the whole point of the Michigan problem is the economy. If the economy is good, then people make money, governments collect taxes, and everybody thrives. If the economy is bad, the reverse is true.

Sorry your school closed. I think all of mine have. 2-room school where I went to 7th and 8th grade is now a day

patriot said...

dee, what is it that you don't understand? What is wrong with Michigan citizens having lower birthrates now. Most anglos all over the country are producing fewer children. How is that a bad thing since we already have over 300 million people in this country.

Anglos for the most part want to provide a college education for their children. With the high costs of college and even the high costs of raising a child, they are having fewer children. Unlike many Hispanics who throw caution to the wind and just keep producing children that they can't afford.

As I said, if Michigan would straighten out it's economic policies more people would move there from other states and less people would move out. This has been going on for decades in Michigan. School taxes go down simultaneously with less student enrollment and less need to build new schools. This isn't rocket science, dee.

Dee said...

Well Pat, I read the article. Maybe thats the difference. The people there are unhappy. One of the commenters said the taxes are going up not down due to mismanagement by the school boards, etc. etc.

patriot said...

Well if there is mis-management of the schools then that is a whole different scenario. I am talkiing about normal circumstances just like Dianne is....fewer students, less need for new schools equals less taxes.

ultima said...

I see what Dee is trying to get at and I am one of those who is in favor of a stable population with a soft landing for our overall economy. I believe there is almost no one who believes that population-driven economic growth is sustainable in the long run. I often post the the concept: the limit of finite natural resources per capita as population grows without bounds is zero. No one has quarreled with that proposition. So the question becomes, "How far down that road do you want to do?" No one has answered that question either but it is a very important one. As population grows without bounds there will be less of finite natural resources for each of us, leading inevitably to a decline in our quality of life and standard of living. That's the issue that should be addressed rather than local economic issues. This is not to say that I am unsympathetic to the loss of manufacturing jobs in Michigan and Ohio and the dissolution of our industrial capacity. The basic question is,"How can we restore the good paying manufacturing jobs while maintaining our competitiveness in world trade?" Schools have been closed here in Denver too and this has raised the ire of the students and faculty of those schools but the school board is doing what we elected it to do. It would be nice if every neighborhood had a school with a well-qualified faculty and a student faculty ratio of no more than 10:1 but no one wants to pay for such a school system.

In the little village where I went to school in Wisconsin, which was much smaller than Diane's metropolis of 8000, the school was saved when a neighboring village agreed to consolidate and bus. Both of these villages had received overtures from another neighboring village but neither wanted to go that direction. It has worked out well. The school is much better now than when I went there even though the local population has no grown and may even have declined.

Some countries in Europe have had overall fertility rates less than the replacement level, yet they are thriving: Russia, Germany, Italy, France? Proves that it can be done and the long term solution to America's economic problems are not unsolvable short of a massive population increase. Where is that American ingenuity when we need it? Where is our can do attitude?

Those think otherwise would be well to explain their reasoning and the end point or boundary condition of our country if population growth is the sine qua non to economic prosperity, however short-lived.

ultima said...

It has never been anyone's position that stabilizing our population would be entirely painless or without consequences. Short term dislocations will have to be dealt with but the alternative would be much worse. Another book worth reading is "The Coming Economic Collapse" by Leeb and Strathy. I think I have already mentioned "Collapse" by Jared Diamond. These would be good books for everyone to read before they comment much further on the subject of population-driven economic growth. They should be an eye-opener for those in denial and a mind-expander for everyone.

patriot said...

Ulitima, sounds like a book that dee should read since she thinks the economy is everything regardless of the consequences of a population driven economy. But it goes against the Hispanic agenda so she probably wouldn't read it or care what it says.

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