Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Six O'Clock News - A Word From the Station Manager Edition

Remember when they used to close local newscasts with editorial comments from the station or station management? I only vaguely do, so you probably don't. This edition has one. Granted, everything I do is an "editorial comment", but still...

  • The House has shelved the smoking ban for now. If they can't get to a no-brainer like this, how in the world will they ever accomplish a major overhaul on the tax system?

  • And on the subject of taxes, seems the Michigan Chamber and the Detroit News love a tax increase to fix roads. Repeat after me: Taxes that help people, bad! Taxes that help business, good!

  • The Kalamazoo Promise scholarship program has hit the $10 million mark, and has served 1,150 students. Four out of five remain in college.

  • Ford is building buzz for the Fiesta on Twitter. Major brands are catching on to the cheap marketing potential here. Obviously.

  • The number of uninsured in Michigan is growing by alarming numbers; a quarter of our population, 2.5 million, went without in '07 and '08, and that is expected to climb this year. We used to fair pretty well in this statistic because of our union jobs, but as the recession hits us the hardest, we are falling down the ladder. No. 1 state for uninsured people? Right-to-work Texas.

  • A final note on the impending demise of Chrysler. Question now seems to boil down to: Will the Obama administration lean on the banks to give the automakers a break on debt? Governor Granholm has called on those that have received "billions in taxpayer money" to come up to the window and help with Chrysler's relief. Obama has also called for shared sacrifice for all involved. We have seen UAW concessions (as well as continued reduction of the workforce), we have seen Wagoner fall on his sword, we have seen help from the feds in guarantees that the industry will receive backing in the way of warranties and Recovery funds. Missing in all of this: We have not heard from the debt holders as of yet, and it may take more vocal pressure from the administration in that direction to make this work. As if "bankruptcy" wasn't enough. Boycotts are good is that's your thing, but some real pressure should come from above as well.

    I'm sitting this one out until the chips are on the table. I want to trust Obama, but my inherent feeling of mistrust in politicians when it comes to protecting working people over the interests of the wealthy is rearing its ugly head here. Too much Bush conditioning, too much Krugman doubt, too many shrill editorialists in Michigan, too many Democrats that will sell out, and I'm not sure what to think - but it seems the money people still hold all the power, and they shall be served first, and they know no shame, and no one that can do anything will do anything about it.

    Hope that I'm wrong about that and Chrysler finds its way through.