For example, for the past 39 years, the State of Michigan has been granting property tax abatements to all industrial manufacturers who promised to create some jobs and make some token equipment purchase or build additional buildings. In most cases, only a small percentage of the jobs were created, much of the equipment was rendered obsolete, and the companies often moved out after the abatement period expired, and in many cases, the company would have made the improvements anyway without the tax abatement. Meanwhile, cities such as Detroit bore the brunt of the loss in property tax revenue.
From 1993 to 2002, Michigan was under the control of Governor John Engler. And just to show you where his true allegiance laid, Engler was president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers from 2004 to 2011. When Engler left the governor’s office, he raided the rainy day fund of ALL of its money, just so that it appeared that Michigan was solvent when he left. This left a hole so big in the Michigan economy, that Michigan is still reeling from its effects today.
Beyond this, there are many macroeconomics effects of not diversifying Michigan’s economy. With all of its eggs in one basket, that is, with Michigan relying heavily on the auto industry, when that industry collapsed, all of the Detroit region suffered. And when the nation was going through a Great Recession because of the housing bubble, Detroit was going through a Great Depression, which meant that Detroit’s property tax revenues plummeted.
I could go on, and I wish that someone with a handle on the statistics would bring them up to the national discussion to tell George Will to stop blaming minorities.