Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hey! Let's Export Stuff!

This just in: Exporting goods might be GOOD for the economy!

I know, right?

Extra, Extra! Read all about it! Brookings Institute Study shows EXPORTING goods might be good for the economy!!!

Excellent to see our brightest and best minds are on the case.

So, let me see if I can follow this reasonining.

Okay, so, like, if we...hold on....

So if we.....

wait, wait...

Okay. So, if we.............MAKE stuff and then, like...and then like SELL IT somewhere else for MONEY...

AHA! Oh I'm starting to see how this works!

Bravo, Brookings Institution. Bravao.

The Brookings Great Lakes regional partnership is pushing support of manufacturing and the exporting of regional products, managing energy, promoting a water-based economy, exploring functional consolidation of local government services and looking for the private sector to lead because it has responded to changes in the “new economy” faster than the public sector.

All snark aside, though, it's good, although a bit bizarre, to see our leaders starting to embrace this idea as a somewhat NEWish one; That we can't just sell stuff between ourselves and expect things will get better; That money has to flow INTO the pond and not just OUT OF or in circles in the pond.

I'm also fond of the notion of a "water based economy." Water! It's not just for flushing shit into anymore. We have a lot of it. Water, that is. And of course...

...moving on...

The water-based initiatives only make sense in a region that is home to 20 percent of the world’s fresh water, Larsen said. A water-based economic strategy would have Great Lakes communities be global leaders in environmental protection of fresh water, commercial and recreational fishing, and water-related tourism.

“We need to bring people to the Great Lakes for our water not to have them come here and want to take our water away,” Larsen said of the strong regional consensus on water diversion issues.

One specific area targeted by the group is improved transportation links throughout the Great Lakes, especially highways.

“Transportation is a bipartisan issue we can really make a difference on as a region,” Larsen said.

If it were true that Transportation were a bi-partisan issue, that would be excellent. I'd like that very much. And yet Michigan stands to lose $160 million dollars in Federal funds for high speed rail, and has lost other funds for its existing railways, because Michigan hasn't ponied up the matching 20% funds yet. Idiotic austerity measures or just plain mismanagement at its worst.

Unless the legislature comes up with $35 million early in the next session, Michigan will lose out on more than $160 million in federal matching funds to build a high-speed rail project from Chicago to Detroit.


The state has already lost more than $150 million in federal funds that would have helped prepare the tracks along that route for high-speed trains because the legislature failed to appropriate the matching funds.

Yes! Yes indeed. We can all agree that transportation is a good thing -- **nod nod nod nod nod**

If I said to you "Hey! You pony up $2000 and I'll put up all the rest for a brand new Chevy Malibu / Ford Fusion / Mazda 6 / Honda Accord" You'd probably beg-borrow-and-steal that $2000.

But not our legislature. Finding $35,000,000 to get $165,000,000 in funding for transportation and the jobs...the JOBS...isn't terribly high priority, apparently.

So, one would hope that transportation is a bi-partisan issue. But one would be wrong. One would also be wrong in such a case where Canada is offering to put up most of the money to build a new bridge to Detroit that will create jobs and make the region a more efficient thoroughfare for international trade and traffic.

One would be wrong again. Republicans blocked that.

In conclusion.

Yes: let's make stuff, export stuff, take advantage of that Big Lake right next door, and for the love of god, improve our transportation system.

No comments: