Mackinac Policy Conference Live Blog/Video

May 31, 2013, 10:00 AM

Deadline Detroit introduces the 2013 Mackinac Policy Conference (video provided by the Detroit Regional Chamber).  If you're not attending, we'll bring the Grand Hotel to your laptop or tablet with a live video feed and live blog during the events. If you have questions or suggestions, tweet with #DeadlineMackinac or leave a comment below.


Jeff Wattrick


12:05 PM: So that's it for Mackinac 2013. Thanks for following along and I'll see you back on the mainland soon. In lieu of a remembering MPC2013 montage, just play this video and re-read the liveblog.

11:56 AM: To his credit, Snyder gave a very nuanced answer to that awful question. He talked about how the state can do a better job helping match the structurally unemployed with potential job opportunities. He cited his administration's work to help a hospital scrubs manufacturing business started by two nuns find employees. I'm guessing Accenture guy would be like: Those loser nuns should just outsource that shit to a Bangladeshi sweatshop. Still, the idea that a guy who works for the company that was pretty much the model for George Clooney's employer in "Up In The Air" would complain about the unemployed is, well, the world belongs to those who lack self-awareness.

11:49 AM: A guy who identifies himself as an employee of Accenture, a company that literally exists to fire people and outsource their jobs, says all these unemployed people are lazy and stupid and the high cost of the unemployment is hurting the profit-margin for firing people. He wants Snyder to cut this "entitlement." This questioner may be the worst person currently in the 906 area code.

11:45 AM: Rick Snyder promises to do a better job not being so humble. The crowd approves.

11:44 AM: Actual question from audience member: Given all the relentless positive action you've enacted, why are your poll numbers so low? Snyder's answer was basically that he's too humble.

11:42 AM: Pulte is moving out of Michigan and going south. Snyder says it's unfortunate. Wasn't this precisely the sort of move that passing Right-to-Work was supposed to prevent? If tax incentives are the "heroin drip," then is RTW the methadone drip?

11:35 AM: Oh dear God, Snyder is now shortening his relentless positive action catch phrase to RPA. Snyder's closing remarks: Something something relentless positive action. Mic drop. 

11:29 AM: Snyder had everyone stand up who works for an organization that is creating at least one new job. Lots of people stood up, my self included because Deadline Detroit is kicking ass and taking names. That's good. Then he asked everyone who talked publicly about their job creation activities to remain standing. I guess that's bad because we should be, Snyder says, "loud and proud." That sounds good but I guess I wonder who actually is like Brand X added a job, so I will buy their product/service? My guess is virtually no one says that.

11:26 AM: Snyder wants more regionalism and less jurisdictional in-fighting. Yes, please. And maybe start with a governor calling for actual municipal consolidation. 

11:24 AM: Snyder just dropped the best line of the week: Economic development tax credit competition is "the heroin drip of government." He's right, too. The race to the bottom has undercut state and local tax revenues, destabilized communities as corporations shift operations for the latest, greatest deal, and often don't lead to actual economic expansion.

11:19 AM: Snyder is pushing the Medicaid expansion because he says we're wasting a lot of money on ER-based health care for the uninsured.

11:18 AM: Snyder: Education should be about the kids not the adults. A large number of adults used that line when talking about what they want in an education system this week.

11:16 AM: Transpo funding: Snyder says it's silly to freak out about the up-front cost of road repairs for a 20-40 year asset.

11:14 AM: Government needs to act more like a family says Snyder. Based on the legislative leaders panel, the state legislature are like those drunk cousins that always show up at the holidays and make things awkward.

11:11 AM: Snyder: The role of government is to give great customer service. Downtown/midtown are great but what about the neighborhoods. Moar customer service for the neighborhoods!

11:09 AM: "In 2008-9, how many of you asked if Michigan's best days are ahead of us or behind we can say our best days are ahead of us." - Snyder

11:07 AM: Snyder just took the stage to a standing ovation. The Mackinac Policy Conference is like a mid-1990s GE shareholders' meeting and Snyder is their Jack Welch. 

10:57 AM: Hello again. Gov. Snyder is set to take the stage for the final event of this truncated third day of the conference in just a couple minutes.

10:03 AM: So that's that. We'll be back for Gov. Rick Snyder's closing address at 11:45 AM.

10:01 AM: Richardville doesn't think political ad men would make very good airline commercials because negative ads are mean.  Whitmer wants more women to run for office.

10:00 AM: I'm not going to get through a Michigan legislative leaders panel live blog with doing this: VAGINA!

9:57 AM: Randy Richardville says term limits have created a brain drain in the legislature. "We bring people up here and don't give them the tools to do their job." He says term limits benefit lobbyists and bureaucrats. Whitmer agrees, quotes Gov. Milliken's line that you wouldn't want a heart surgeon who is inexperienced but term limits create a legislature of inexperience. 

9:55 AM: Cost of higher education. Greimel said something and then they move on. Because the exponential increase in the cost of the key to entry to middle-class isn't worth going into in detail.

9:52 AM: Whitmer asked Bolger when he's going to have that debate. Bolger said when they get back to Lansing. Whitmer responded she'll be back Monday. Bolger was like: whatevs, we aren't in session Monday. Because lawmakers have more important things to do than working next week.

9:50 AM: Jase Bolger says, golly, we just need to slow down on this "common core" education thing and have a debate. It's a shame no one could build a venue where they could do that and pay them a salary so they can make the time to, you know, have that debate. Oh wait, we already do that. Among the common core standards that Jase Bolger wants to debate include: Third graders should be able to "decode multi-syllable words," "read grade-appropriate irregularly spelled words," and "use multiplication and division within 100 to solve word problems in situations involving equal groups, arrays, and measurement quantities, e.g., by using drawings and equations with a symbol for the unknown number to represent the problem." Yes, let's debate that.

9:46 AM: Gretchen Whitmer says Michigan is on a path to pot holes and closed roads. Jase Bolger says Michigan is on a shining path of prosperity.

9:43 AM: Paul W. is derping that the legislature should just do something on this whether it's good or bad! Christ, he's a simpleton. Michigan legislators are amply compensated to not just do, you know, whatever. They're paid to do the right thing. Jase Bolger is crying crocodile tears about his children living in a world led by the federal government. The Republican Party--Republic Party, to use Paul W.-speak--has become a political party of seven-year-old girls who obsess about ponies.

9:39 AM: Randy Richardville: If we take this money, it'll be on our terms, not their terms.

9:37 AM: Bolger asks what should the role of government be in the process? Good question. Let's ask Nobel laureate free market economist F.A. Hayek: “There is no reason why in a society which has reached the general level of wealth which ours has attained the first kind of security should not be guaranteed to all without endangering general freedom. .... [T]here can be no doubt that some minimum of food, shelter, and clothing, sufficient to preserve health and the capacity to work, can be assured to everybody. ... Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individual in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision."

The Road to Serfdom goes straight through Jase Bolger's House of Representatives. 

9:34 AM: Medicare expansion: Small business want it, chambers of commerce want it, insurance companies want it, Rick Snyder wants it, Democrats want it, why isn't it happening? Jase Bolger says putting people on government health care "shouldn't be the goal." I trust his parents are in full agreement with his decision to cancel their Medicare prescription coverage for freedom.

9:30 AM: Democratic House leader Tim Greimel says transportation infrastructure is important but "human infrastructure" is more important. Sigh. Paul W. does his best Rodney King impression with a "why can't you just get along" plea to solicit applause.

9:25 AM: Good morning. The legislative leaders are on stage with WJR's Paul W. Smith, who never shies away from asking a tough question. The conservation began with Gov. Rick Snyder's roads plan. Smith asked if the "Democrat Party" (both Jack Kemp and J.P. McCarthy are turning over in their graves) will get on board. Sen. Gretchen Whitmer says Snyder's plan as-is, despite support for transpo infrastructure, is a non-starter in all four (DEM House, DEM Senate, GOP House, GOP Senate) legislative caucuses.




Previous Live Blogs
Thursday Live Blog: Detroit's Mayoral Candidates Debate
Thursday Live Blog: Entrepreneurship, Education, and "Morning Joe"
Wednesday Live Blog: Mayor Dave Bing, Governor Rick Snyder, Jeb Bush, Carlos Guiterrez
​Expected Live Blog Schedule



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