Friday, October 8, 2010

Virg Bernero’s Plan For Michigan: Alienate Business

So Virg Bernero, the titular Democratic “candidate” for Governor of Michigan, gets up in front of the Detroit Economic Club to talk about getting Michigan’s economy back on track and proceeds to….blast business?

"If you are part of the Wall Street breed that runs over people for ever-growing profits and growing bonuses, you will have a problem, because I've had it," Bernero said in his opening statement to a stony business crowd. "We're up to here with it. Enough is enough."

Bernero said news that some banks around the U.S. have erroneously foreclosed on homes or unwisely issued mortgage loans in the first place should prod Michigan to follow other states and block foreclosure proceedings or give homeowners a stronger hand to negotiate with banks.

Bernero said a priority as governor would be to withdraw $1 billion in state money from J.P. Morgan and Chase banks for their refusal to ease up on foreclosures and invest the money in Michigan-based banks and credit unions.

Bernero's aggressive challenge wasn't well received.


You can hear business leaders around the country getting ready to pack up and move to Michigan if Virg Bernero wins the governorship. Play ball with us or face extortion from the state! I think it is clear that mortgage companies have been seriously cutting corners on foreclosures but the fact remains that if you don’t make your payments, you lose your house. These sorts of petty threats are doing nothing to help home owners and do a lot of anger business. If you really want to help people who are being foreclosed on, lets try making this state more business friendly to bring more jobs so people can actually pay their mortgages instead of foolish blustering that is putting up a giant neon sign at the Michigan border that reads “Not Open For Business”.

It is kind of irrelevant. Virg is so far behind in the polls that you can hardly see him. I am not sure he is going to get a majority of the votes cast by registered Democrats and he might lose in Democratic strongholds like Detroit. In an important state like Michigan with lots of electoral college votes and a large number of representatives, you would think that Democrats could have found someone, anyone better to run but after the Jennifer Granholm experience, smart Democrats decided to sit this one out leaving an unstable demagogue running in the primary against a completely overmatched Andy Dillon.

What is instructive in this circus is that Bernero, in his clumsy and ignorant way of speaking, exposes the underlying error of liberal economic policies. Democrats in general see business as something that hinders prosperity for all Americans by making rich people rich and keeping poor people poor. Business is something to be controlled, restricted, regulated and demonized. The reality, as usual, is quite a bit different. For all of its faults, the American business community is the only real hope for any semblance of continued prosperity. We cannot continue to make up “jobs” by going further and further into debt.

What is going to kill Democrats this election cycle is their inability to read the electorate, an electorate that is in no mood for more and more government and has lost any faith at all in their elected officials. I think this election cycle is somewhat unique because in the past people seemed to like their Senators and their Representatives and not trust the others but being an incumbent this year is scary for people in both parties.

The real question is: how bad is it going to be? Bernero is going to get thumped and since Governor will be at the top of the ballot that really should hurt Democrats down ballot as well. Once the dust settles in Michigan and elsewhere, the hard work starts. Republicans have proven in the past that they campaign like conservatives but when in power they often govern like liberals. They better do better this time around or they will find themselves out the door in 2012. If there was ever a time for a legit third party in America, that time might be now especially if Republicans forget the core values that they ran on and are about to be elected on.
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