Michigan & The One-State Recession

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I live in Michigan, a state hit hard by the recession in America. We suffer from very high unemployment rates and depressed wages; corporations (such as my former employer) are eliminating jobs and/or leaving the state in droves; and we have an auto industry in denial — one that tries to make money by eeking out profits from SUVs while aggressively attempting to reduce labor costs.

::sigh:::

We’re awesome. We do have nice lakes and beaches, though. The casino in New Buffalo isn’t bad, either.

So what is my state focused on, right now? The important things, of course! Denying health insurance to the ‘domestic partners’ of state employees and seating the Democratic delegates elected in a contest between Clinton versus ‘uncommitted’.

::double sigh::

I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but the best thing that our federal government can do for Michigan (and for our automotive industry) is to decouple heath insurance from the employment covenant. It’s not helpful for our courts engage in judicial activism during an economic crisis and link marriage, employment, and sexuality. Furthermore, the Michigan court just placed a disproportionate weight on heterosexual marriage and may force citizens of this state to marry for practical reasons. (That’s fine if you support marriage-for-health-care-coverage, but I prefer my fellow Michiganders to marry for love and not for prescription drug coverage.)

I don’t care if we open up the existing federal health care program used by Congress, such as Hillary Clinton suggests, or if we create an expansive (and mandated) federal health program as suggested by John & Elizabeth Edwards. We need to do something fast & simple because Michigan is not an anomaly. Your state is next. Let’s remove the burden of providing health care from American businesses so we can get back to the business of making some money.

While I’m on a roll and making recommendations to help my failing state, can I suggest that we don’t worry too much about seating the Michigan delegates? I have friends in the state Democratic party, and they are wonderful people; however, our interests are represented in the DNC and we are not disenfranchised.

I would be a politician and fix all these things — and more — but I’d never be elected. I’m too punk rock.

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