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Ready for the Rebound

Feeling sassy and ready to be back!

The Detroit media blitz continues -- this time, a nice read in the Washington Post.

"In a new Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation-Harvard University poll about Detroit, almost all residents of the main three-county metropolitan area see their economy as in ruins. About half say this is a bad place to raise a family; as many describe a declining standard of living, swelling debt, deteriorating neighborhoods and a brutal job market.

A steadfast optimism, however, shines through the poll. A large majority of residents expect that things will get better, with 63 percent optimistic about the area's future and the same percentage expecting their finances to improve over the next decade."

I added the boldface print -- because I believe that to be absolutely true.

However, I will temper my outrageous, caffeine-fueled enthusiasm with this next point from the article -- it is the scary stuff.

A highlight:

The long struggle here has significance beyond Detroit -- the state has been battered by lost tax revenue, a weakened economy and the highest statewide jobless rate -- resonating throughout the nation. "The plight of these people is also in a way our plight," said Clyde Prestowitz, president of the Economic Strategy Institute, a Washington-based public policy group that studies globalization and its impact. If one part of the country loses the jobs that support it, he said, the rest of the country pays.

"Michigan is the harbinger," Prestowitz said. "Some think that it is just the auto industry, but the same dynamics that have undercut the auto and manufacturing industries of Michigan are also undercutting the high-tech labs in Silicon Valley and they're also undercutting medical services in Pittsburgh."

Read the whole thing

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    In the same vein as the above job loss comments I heard Matthew Crawford, author of Shop Class as Soulcraft, on CBC Radio last night. The interview podcast, mp3, and transcript are available at

    Crawford discusses not only the outsourcing of jobs but also touches on the white collar/college education vs. blue collar/skilled trade stereotypes that might help those who don't understand why Detroit seems to appreciate the blue collar and skilled tradesmen more than some other environments do.
    One thing Crawford mentioned that I was not aware of and find very disheartening was that, by-and-large, US secondary schools have systemmatically replaced shop classes with computer classes. One can only mourn the valuable skills lost if this trend is not reversed.

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