Will there be a new federal agency to revive the Great Lakes region?
WASHINGTON — The Great Lakes region took a beating last decade with the collapse of its manufacturing sector. The region’s economy has been in recovery — but the pandemic threatens to deal another devastating blow. Unemployment is spiking and cities and states are facing massive revenue losses, which have the potential to destabilize the region’s […]
U.P., parts of northern Mich. will be back in business before Memorial Day
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday announced the partial reopening of the Upper Peninsula and northern Michigan as the rate of new cases of COVID-19 continues to slow. Whitmer’s plan allows retail businesses and offices to reopen, but bars and restaurants will be required to operate at 50% capacity in time for Memorial Day weekend, usually […]
Will Congress bail out ailing local news outlets?
WASHINGTON — Politicians are banding together to try to rescue local news media from economic collapse during the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that Democratic leaders in Congress are pushing to fix a small business lending program so that it applies to local news publishers and broadcasters affiliated with […]
Michigan won’t bounce back from COVID-19 recession until after 2022
The recession caused by the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan is “as bad or worse than” the Great Recession from 2007 to 2009, according to state Budget Director Chris Kolb, but Michigan will be able to weather the storm with sufficient support from the federal government. State fiscal analysts and top economists from the University of […]
Column: Why are white supremacists protesting to ‘reopen’ the economy?
A series of protests, primarily in state capitals, are demanding the end of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Among the protesters are people who express concern about their jobs or the economy as a whole. But there are also far-right conspiracy theorists, white supremacists and citizens’ militia members at these protests. The exact number of each group […]
Column: We’re all facing the threat of COVID-19, but we’re not all in the same boat
A local Meals on Wheels program receiving 75 new requests for home-delivered meals every day. Suddenly unemployed workers hounded for repayment on payday loans. Local food banks scrambling to meet unprecedented need in their communities. A restaurant server scammed out of a rental deposit check by someone posing as an out-of-state landlord. Domestic violence survivors […]
GOP leaders plan big budget cuts, don’t say if they’ve asked D.C. for help
The state budget is facing a massive shortfall caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with estimates of a roughly $7 billion revenue hit over the next two years. And Michigan is far from alone, as states all over the country are grappling with soaring unemployment, plummeting tax revenue and a looming recession. The Washington, D.C.-based think […]
Rural, Republican counties are Michigan’s newest COVID-19 hotspots
While Republicans in the Legislature continue to push to reopen Michigan’s economy quickly, new data suggests that relaxing restrictions too early would come at an elevated risk for a second — possibly worse — wave of COVID-19 for which the state’s hospitals would be underprepared. And many of the areas that likely would be hardest […]
Rick Haglund: Automakers face huge losses, hit pause on electric vehicles
Way back in January 2020 B.C. (Before Coronavirus), automakers were enjoying healthy sales and working feverishly to transform themselves into major producers of electric and self-driving vehicles. “It seems like three months ago, I couldn’t go to an external presentation that wasn’t focused on electrification,” said Joe Zaciek, research and industry analysis manager at the […]
Khaldun: Michigan’s COVID-19 fight likely will last until 2021
Beating COVID-19 will be a long-term effort that will likely stretch into next year until a vaccine or antiviral treatment is developed, Michigan Department Health and Human Services (DHHS) Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said Wednesday. During a news conference with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Khaldun announced Michigan now has more than 40,000 cases and […]
Column: The COVID-19 public health crisis has now become a fiscal crisis
Part of the disorientation that so many of us are experiencing right now stems from the reality that COVID-19 changed our lives so rapidly and so profoundly that the ground seemed to drop from beneath us. We left our workplaces and in many cases lost our jobs, while essential workers forged ahead to keep us […]
Rick Haglund: Want to stop long-term economic damage from COVID-19? Beef up federal spending.
More than 1 million Michigan workers — about 20% of the state’s labor force — have filed for unemployment in the past month as public health restrictions enacted to end the coronavirus pandemic have brought the state’s economy to a virtual standstill. Forget about the Great Recession, when the state’s jobless rate topped out at […]