Michigan, Rick Snyder — January 21, 2011 at 9:44 am

Who said THAT???!


Who do you suppose said this?:

We will establish an exciting new initiative to encourage immigrants with advanced college degrees to come to Michigan to live and work. I’ve asked the Department of Civil Rights to work with the MEDC in this effort. We need to be a place that openly encourages innovators and entrepreneurs to come to our state. The evidence is clear that advance college degree immigrants make a tremendous difference in creating a positive economic activity environment that benefits us all…Immigration made us a great state and country. It is time we embrace this concept as a way to speed our reinvention.

Hint: this is a leading Michigan politician. This person is proposing an initiative to promote foreign immigrants to come to our state to open businesses and that this is one of the keys to Michigan’s economy rebounding.

If you are thinking, “Hmmm…this must be some liberal politician trying to suggest that U.S. citizens are not up to the task of creating successful businesses…”, well, I wouldn’t blame you. This is the kind of thing that, if it were uttered by, say, former Governor Jennifer Granholm, would cause the pitchforks to come up and the torches to be lit on the lawn in front of the State Capitol building.

You can almost see the signs, can’t you?

“Keep foreign companies OUT of Michigan!”

“Michigan companies should be run by Michigan citizens!”

“No foreign-run companies in our state!”

Give up?

This is an excerpt out of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s State of the State address on Wednesday. While I don’t disagree with him, I think it’s absolutely amazing how he can get away with a proposal like this and face virtually no pushback. If Governor Granholm had proposed it, the conservatives and tea party types would have gone positively ballistic. So far, no pitchforks. No torches. No signs. Just a whole lotta crickets.


ADDING… Snyder also took a completely un-called for swipe at the Michigan “No Worker Left Behind” program.

Next, we need to do a much better job with connecting our workforce development efforts with our community colleges and economic development organizations. Instead of simply putting people in training courses, we will focus on looking at future employment trends and developing clear paths for people in need to get the skills they need to find and be successful in real jobs.

That’s a cheap shot and it’s also a total mischaracterization of this initiative. “No Worker Left Behind” does just what he describes and to suggest otherwise is disingenuous. A LOT of unemployed Michiganders have been helped in very significant ways by that program and have embarked on new career paths that have helped them to be quite “successful in real jobs”, thank you very much.

Shame on you, Rick.

I’m just sayin’…