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View Diary: Postcard from Muskegon, MI (277 comments)

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  •  I was born in Traverse City, MI, and raised in (8+ / 0-)

    Jackson, MI. In the 50's and 60's anyone could get a decent job in the factories and Michigan was typical small town America.  Our family moved to Florida in '72 but I've been back a few times since.  The latest was for the holidays a couple of weeks ago because I wanted to show my kids what it was like during the winter up there.  They've never seen snow fall or made a snowman, etc. etc. First day up there it was -2 degrees so they got their baptism of fire, so to speak.  We spent a few hours in Jackson and it was a bit depressing.  All of the good factory jobs are now long gone and from what I understand, the county's biggest employer is the state prison that's just outside the city limits.  It had snowed about eight inches a few days before, but the streets had not been plowed, something that would have been unthinkable back when I was there.  Fortunately I had four wheel drive but many cars were having difficulty getting around.
     What our politicians don't seem to realize is that a lot of communities are nearing collapse, especially in OH, MI and other rustbelt states.  State budgets are being slashed like they are in Florida so that when people need benefits most, the funds aren't there.  They seem to be more concerned with helping bankers who are still pulling down seven and eight figure salaries than the little guy who is barely getting by.  Until something is done to help from the bottom up, things will not get any better.  Trickle down, Reagan/Friedmanomics should be consigned to the ash heap of history.  Hopefully Obama and company will get us out of this, but it's going to take a while.

    A politician thinks of the next election - a statesman of the next generation. - James Freeman Clarke

    by jdl51 on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 09:42:37 PM PST

    •  Dude...underwater stonehenge (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marjo, jennifree2bme

      They just found a 10,000 year old underwater stonehenge and petraglyphs in the bay by Traverse City. Pretty amazing. Gotta look that one up.

      "Everybody just needs to stop being stupid and everything will be fine." --Me

      by Muskegon Critic on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 09:44:56 PM PST

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    •  midland also decided to "make money" with (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vicki, jennifree2bme

      prisoners...

      strange.  the small town built on a chemist's realization of brine in the ground, and all its descendants can conceive of to raise capital for the city is a fucking prison.  with all of the dow chemical company jobs being exported out of the US altogether, so i'm told.

      i can't believe all of the beautiful native/former/current michiganders in the house!!!!

      my heart will always go to "the cabin," the "alpine haus" as we drove into the lovely traverse city, the lovely grand traverse bay dunes where i fell in love for the first time one summer, and saw the most beautiful sunset a year later in early march, when all of the ice from the middle of lake michigan had broken, floated onto the shore and stacked up like a crystalline, winding line of prismic rock candy.

      Accepting human beings from all walks of life since 1963.

      by jj24 on Wed Jan 14, 2009 at 10:07:33 PM PST

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