Okay, it took some doing, but I managed to peruse the 34 page Michigan Turnaround Plan that Dick DeVos unveiled late last week. Like all plans, his has a plethora of innovative ideas and common sense. However, putting this plan and individual ideas in place is a whole different ballgame. I love fresh and innovative ideas. Getting them up and running is usually a tough sell. Too often, our lawmakers (both federal and state levels) are stuck in the old mentality of "but we have always done things this way" and are scared to make bold moves down a new path.
DeVos' Michigan Turnaround Plan outlines four missions that he has set for our state. Again, it is an "outline" which means that he lays out his ideas without a lot of concrete ideas on how to accomplish them. I am not knocking DeVos' plan, Governor Granholm does the same thing with all of her plans. All politicians do this sort of thing. Remember the first President George Bush's "no new taxes" statement?
Anyway, here is a (very brief) synopsis of the four missions DeVos has outlined for Michigan's Turnaround Plan:
Mission #1 - Create a job climate second to none. So no other state can â€œMatch Michigan.â€
- Get rid of the SBT
- Reduce the red tape and layers of government to make it easier to start businesses in Michigan
- Demand high standards for high school graduates. Offer support to administrators and teachers as well as give them the tools they need to meet those requirements
Mission #2 - Overhaul state government to make it work for Michigan families. To make it work for jobs.
- Transform the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) into what it was meant to do â€“ attract job providers and create jobs.
- Cut through red tape
- Cut state spending. Michigan's budge has increased over the last four years.
FY 2002-2003 $39.077 billion
FY 2006-2007 $42.385 billion
Increase of over $3 billion
Mission #3 - Diversify our economy to create the jobs of tomorrow.
- Get job creation ideas from our universities
- Simplify the process of starting a business in Michigan
- Market Michigan's agricultural products around the world
- Increase funding for tourism promotion
Mission #4 - Conquer the global marketplace and sell Michigan-made products all over the world.
- Improve our efforts to sell Michigan-made products around the world (here, here, I support that :))
- Make and promote a â€œMade in Michiganâ€ brand.
Read the full report here.