Detroit unemployment means that nearly 3 in 10 in Detroit need a job. Pause for a moment, and imagine what local life would be like if nearly 3 in 10 needed a job in Boston, or Lowell, or Springfield.
It may be that part of the terrible financial situation in Michigan is related to over reliance on one industry – if so, that is surely a reminder that diversity in local industries and sources of income and employment is critical.
But Michigan leads in another area, as well. Michigan remains one of only three states that does not require ANY financial disclosure for Any elected officials. NO financial disclosure required in Michigan
For those who argue that less disclosure or regulation would improve our local economy, Michigan is again an object lesson.
In Michigan, even the Supreme Court Judges are elected – and not one needs to disclose how much money was received from a corporation or lobbyist – nor is there any limitation on political donations.
My own observations indicate that the rule of law, and regulation such as limitations on political donations and lobbyists in fact are linked to a better financial environment.
Could it be that transparency and the rule of law are not just window dressing, but, in fact required for sustained economic growth – and the elimination or reduction of looting by financial predators? I don’t just mean economic sociopaths like Bernie Madoff – I mean Enron, Merrill Lynch, and Bank of America need transparency and regulation, and watchdogs and it is not happening.
By the way, how about having our own Open Meeting Laws apply to OUR legislature and Executive – and Freedom of Information Act laws? Could it be that financially, our children would be better served with that change on the local level?
After all, the “freedom” that Michigan’s elected officials enjoy has certainly NOT translated into prosperity.
Reporting first hand from Michigan this week.