Lou’s 2009 Presentation

The powerpoint presentation Lou Glazer uses in his speeches around the state on the future of the economy and what Michigan needs to do to prosper in it.

[slideshare id=2773667&doc=09-standard-presentation-091224090658-phpapp01]
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Lou Glazer

Lou Glazer is President and co-founder of Michigan Future, Inc., a non-partisan, non-profit organization. Michigan Future’s mission is to be a source of new ideas on how Michigan can succeed as a world class community in a knowledge-driven economy. Its work is funded by Michigan foundations.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Dear Lou,
    Your facts are presented very well but I can’t help wonder if your recommendations are too difficult to achieve. Is there room for another cool city that would attract talent? Michigan once had a growing leading city in Detroit, but that is no more. If educated, talented people concentrate in large quality urban centers then maybe Michigan lacks the critical mass in any of its cities to achieve this.

    1. Clearly Michigan currently lacks a vibrant central city that can compete with the Chicago’s for young talent. But that doesn’t mean we should give up. What we need to understand is that central cities are an asset – not a liability in a talent driven economy. An asset that is vital to the future prosperity of our metro areas and state.

      What is the alternative? Resign ourselves to being one of the poorer places in the country? Who wants that? There are all sorts of cities across the country that have been revitalized over the past several decades. We can do it too. Its a matter of will, not competence. As an example, we know how to build transit systems – a key ingredient in creating the kind of neighborhoods young talent are flocking to – we just have chosen not to make it a priority. If we want to prosperous again this needs to change!

  2. I tend to disagree with the notion of just one central city – I see the future where each state will thrive around several central cities. Michigan could prosper very well with a combination of thriving central cities of Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Bay City, Cadillac, Alpena, Newberry, Marquette all taking the place of Detroit.

    1. Every city helps. But the current trend across the country is that young professionals are concentrating in the nation’s biggest metros and before they have children in the big city in those metros. None of the cities you list can compete with Chicago, New York, DC, Seattle, etc. Only a vibrant Detroit can. Its hard to imagine a prosperous Michigan without a vibrant Detroit. It needs to be a priority for the region and state.

  3. The presentation is great, but I have two questions for further discussion. First, you mention that each of the ten high income states has a large, successful metro area. Does that apply to Wyoming? Secondly, do you think California would still be on the list? It seems like their economy is in free fall recently. I know California has by far the biggest population and biggest economy is absolute numbers. But does it still have one of the highest per capita incomes?

    1. With the presentation we talk about two paths to prosperity. One is high energy prices–for Wyoming and now Alaska. They do not share the core characteristics of the other high prosperity states, including an even more prosperous big metro. But its the other–more dominant path–that is relevant to Michigan. And that is knowledge-based. And those states all have successful big metros. In terms of California, yes it is still a top ten state in per capita income. As a wrote in an earlier set of posts on California, its state government is a mess, but the underpinnings of the state’s economy is a lot stronger than the popular perception.

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