Michigan Teams Are Winning National Championships while Economic Ranking Tanks under Governor Whitmer

The state of Michigan has truly become the home of sports champions.

Coach Jim Harbaugh led his University of Michigan football squad to a national championship victory last month, and the Detroit Lions recently became NFC North champions for the first time in 30 years.

In addition, Michigan State University men’s and women’s basketball teams always seem to be on the cusp of a national championship run.

But while our collegiate and professional sports teams have been recognized nationally for their high level of performance, the state of Michigan itself, unfortunately, needs more practice when it comes to competing in the national economic arena.

Michigan’s Economy Needs Work

Michigan now ranks in the bottom 14 states for its economy, according to the U.S. News and World Report. The ranking measures each state’s business environment, labor market and overall economic growth.

In addition, Michigan’s personal income per capita dropped from 16th nationally in 1999 to 39th last year, according to a Michigan Future Inc. report that is referenced on our MI Economic Scorecard. The amount of money Michiganders earned during the last 23 years increased by only 24.2%, while the national average climbed by 42.1% during the same period.

This is unacceptable, and like sports, the fault often lies with the front office. The simple truth is that Governor Whitmer has dropped the ball on several occasions during her tenure. In fact, you could say she’s committed a flagrant foul on the people and job providers of Michigan by advocating for policies that hinder economic growth and lower our overall quality of life.

Job Providers Need a Level Playing Field

Although it is the very nature of sports to have winners and losers, Michigan public policy shouldn’t arbitrarily pick them when it comes to economic development. For example, instead of targeted tax deals for only certain job providers through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the state should level the playing field by removing barriers for all job providers.

We also need common-sense policies that will bring more people to our great state. But the governor’s Growing Michigan Together Council clearly fumbled the ball when it recommended new programs and initiatives that could cost at least $2.5 billion annually. More government largess is never the right answer when it comes to improving our economy.

So in order to truly rank as a Top 10 state, Michigan needs to start enacting public policies that help grow our economy, create good-paying jobs, and make Michigan an even more attractive place to live. Contact the governor and urge her to advocate for policies that grow jobs and increase our state’s population. Before Michigan’s shot clock runs out.