Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Lansing State Journal: LSJ interview: Gov. Jennifer Granholm

Another great interview with the Guv- definitely worth the read.

The ideas are there, all we have to do now is embrace them.

She hits the nail right on the head with this question-

LSJ: Do you feel besieged, though? It just seems like it's hardly a day goes by that we don't hear - it was Chrysler yesterday, Pfizer a couple of weeks ago.

Granholm: There is no getting around the fact that our state is in crisis. ...

For Michigan, the automotive capital of the world, our strategy going forward has to be this strategy of investing and diversifying, and creating and attracting the kind of businesses that build on the strength of the auto industry but take us into new directions.

And frankly, I think that part of that investment strategy is marketing Michigan throughout the country for both tourism and business. Because if they don't know about us, they're not going to come.

... This is a great moment in Michigan because there's this huge sort of clash of philosophies that is happening and I think it's - Michigan is the paradigmatic state right now for how to deal with this massive shift in the global economy. And what is it that a state like Michigan or any state that has lost a major industry to globalization - what can we do to position ourselves differently?

And I think, because of the focus in the 20th century being so much on costs; states thought you cut taxes enough, you'll be able to recruit the job providers to come to your state and that was more or less true in the 20th century.

And then the 21st century, it's a different paradigm. You have to have competitive taxes, but the notion that it's all about cost and cost alone is never going to be a winning strategy in a global economy. Because there will always be countries that are cheaper to do business in than the United States.

Our strategy has to be competitive taxes, yes. But investing in quality of our people and our state has got to be the way we move forward.

We can choose to move forward with investment in our people and diversification of our economy, making this an attractive place to be, or we can stay stuck in the old ways that got us here in the first place.

It really is that simple, and that complex, all at the same time.

Go read the whole thing.

UPDATE: The GR Press also has a story today on a sitdown with the editorial board, and they provide audio clips of the interview.

The story on the web is rather short- I'll be curious to see if there is more in the print edition later today.