Depopulation as Public Policy Overreach; an Unheralded Governmental Failure

I commented on an article in Bridgemi

“We know what we need to do to attract the young.”

And from the context, we realize that our author advocates the New Urbanism, aka Placemaking and similar nonsense as a cure for depopulation,as a cure for Michigan blues, if only we had “the political will.”
No data supports this fantasy. It is promulgated by our academic betters ( MSU, I understand.) He mentions Grand Rapids, which I know well. There are maybe 50 trust fund kids, ivy league grads, who believed the propaganda that they have to live in downtown Grand Rapids and seek housing appropriate for the funky life styles. Since there is none, and the demand infinite, price skyrockets and makes headlines. But it’s still only 50 kids and none of these will ever start a business; it would be beneath them.

And there is no political action that will bring my three kids (Caltech, U of M, MTU and Geo Mason, 2 national merit scholars, a Fulbright, 3 master’s) back from the East Coast. They each developed their own work and expertise, creating one-off jobs not even contemplated in Michigan. The smart ones, the ones with a future, leave and along with them, as detailed, jobs and youth bleed away.

I can tell you where the jobs went. Texas is growing like crazy. There is a substructure of owners of small businesses, managers, and skilled professionals that runs that state. All are from the northeast, the Great Lakes states and nearby Canada. The entire nursing staff of an ICU in Victoria were Quebecois. The chemists who captained a major oil- New Yorkers, the medical subspecialists from Michigan and Pennsylvania….
They left us 25 or 30 years ago, found less regulated and taxed wide open spaces to use their energy, stayed and prospered. Businesses and jobs center around them.
I spent a lot of time in Houston, a pleasant prosperous city that famously rejects the charade of zoning and planning and is therefore really growing (see last week’s Economist Mag.)
Enron in Houston ( our own Consumer’s Power invested also-but they got lucky toward the end) speculated in energy derivatives and went bust. They laid off maybe 10,000 young, very smart folks one day. These men and women all stayed and many started businesses. As was stated in the newspapers, opportunities were present, the costs of living and the burn rate through investment capital were low because there were no rules on building and growing, giving these businesses time to become established and to prosper.

Our author here is buttering his parsnips. The job creators left decades ago. The gene pool in Michigan and the rest of the rust belt is getting deeper at the shallow end. Young people blessed with plain ordinary greed and plans to make something of themselves find no reason to stay and will continue to leave.
The gullible swells who want to live in “walkable cities” and use public transit hate capitalism and will find themselves taxed and regulated into penurious dotage in inner cities built to look like the broken down tourist traps up north.

The only viable public policy to stabilize the populations in Michigan is to decapitate public policy.

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