"Only one state, Michigan, lost population during the past decade." Read the whole story here.
Why did this happen? There will be many reasons pointed to, some beyond anyone's control, i.e. the weather. But, from a political standpoint, there are three things that affect the economy, the availability of jobs, and hence the migration of workers and families: Tax Policy, Regulatory Policy and Labor Policy.
- Michigan may be the only state in the union that has a personal income tax AND a business tax AND a sales tax.
- Michigan has some of the most onerous regulations on businesses; the Department of Environmental Quality is just one example. They are one of only two states that duplicate the EPA and actually have regulations that are more stringent that federal standards. That makes business investment and growth more difficult.
- Michigan is not a right-to-work state. The five fastest growing states are Right-to-Work. Four of the five slowest growing states are not.
Lawmakers will have much to do to turn around Michigan's economy. Look for the governor to quickly get to work on easing the tax burden, streamlining the regulatory process and addressing worker free choice issues.