Great Lakes

Mitt Romney Visits Michigan “I love this state. It seems right here. The trees are the right height. I like seeing the lakes. I love the lakes. There’s something very special here. The Great Lakes, but also all the little inland lakes that dot the parts of Michigan. I love cars. I dunno, I mean, I grew up totally in love with cars.” —Mitt Romney, February 16, 2012  Mitt Romney Visits Arizona “I love this state, too. It seems right here. Even more right than Michigan. The heat is the right temperature. The spines on the cacti are just the right sharpness. I like drought. I enjoy canyons.

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Capital Tracks

Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern AmericaBy Richard White (W.W. Norton, 660 pp., $35) I. The scene is iconic, known to many Americans even casually acquainted with their history. Locomotives of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads come engine grate to engine grate, separated by a mere railroad tie, at Promontory Summit, Utah, on May 10, 1869, commemorating the completion of the first transcontinental railroad.

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  Here at the blog formerly known as Citizen Cohn, we bring you the bad news as well as the good. And so we must draw your attention to the latest state-by-state statistics on unemployment -- and, specifically, the unemployment rate in Michigan. It's up to 10.9 percent, the third consecutive month that it's risen.

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When he visits a battery plant in Holland, Michigan, today, President Obama will talk about the connection between innovation, advanced manufacturing, and economic growth. But he has an opportunity to make an even more important connection: between government action and innovation At a time when the federal government seems unable to manage anything well, and state governments are still grappling with budget shortfalls and crippling layoffs, it is easy to forget that the public sector is a critical driver of innovation, particularly in the energy sector. As James Duderstadt, Mark Muro, and oth

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The regions on both sides of the Great Lakes international border need to team up to strengthen their highly integrated economies. That was the conclusion of over 250 public and private leaders from both the United States and Canada recently brought together by Brookings and the University of Toronto Mowat Centre in Detroit-Windsor. The tone was set by Bruce Katz’s keynote--where he pressed for international metro action to expand exports and encouraged the industrial Great Lakes to seize and lead the low-carbon, clean-tech economy. Overall, two topics dominated discussion by delegates as ripe

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Last Friday’s jobs report brought some glum news. The unemployment rate remained pretty much the same from April to May of this year and the economy had added fewer jobs than needed to achieve a meaningful recovery anytime soon.

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The jobs report released earlier this month revealed that the unemployment rate had fallen a full percentage point since a year earlier, from 10.2 percent in March 2010 to 9.2 percent in March 2011 (seasonally unadjusted). However, numbers released Wednesday suggest that the pace of the jobs recovery remains highly uneven among the nation’s largest metropolitan areas, and for a variety of reasons. During the recession unemployment was most severe in the metros most exposed to the housing bust and in those most dependent on the auto industry.

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The New York Times recently reported that in Hamamatsu, the heart of Japan’s auto parts-making region, people are worried about what they call “electric vehicle shock.” Their concern is that if electric cars begin to replace gasoline-powered cars in large numbers, they could put the makers of such components as exhaust pipes and spark plugs out of business--and deliver a fatal shock to the region’s auto parts manufacturing economy. No one has expressed similar worries about the future of America’s auto-based manufacturing regions, which specialize heavily in components that are tied to the int

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As seen here on the Avenue, our colleagues have been hammering on the fact that, just as the nation’s metropolitan areas went into the Great Recession carrying their own unique economic baggage, so too, are they are emerging from it differentially equipped to participate in the economy to come. The metros of Great Lakes, region, for example, did not enter the crisis on the housing and finance-fueled bubble that “popped” the economies of many metros in the south and west.

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This week we got news the Gulf oil spill was done, finally. Last week another oil pipe broke outside Chicago.

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