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Some interesting press coverage of topics I have written about recently. Worth reading.

On the topic of welcoming to all (see my pledge of allegiance post) the Governor’s signing of the domestic partner benefit ban was a big step backwards. Two columns – one by Brian Dickerson in the Free Press and other by Tommy Allen for Mlive – capture how wrong and harmful that decision was. The Dickerson column says it all in its title: The good governor sides with the bigots. As does the title of the Allen column: Domestic partner benefit ban: Can Michigan experience economic recovery when we enshrine discrimination?

On places doing well economically despite supposedly high (to listen to the small government ideologues crushing) business costs check out a fascinating account in Bloomberg Business Week on Silicon Valley and an Economist article on New York City. These are two places that the right always pontificates about are in a state of permanent decline. As companies and people supposedly flee high tax/big government/high costs places. Wrong! Here is what Business Week says about Silicon Valley:

It was never clearer than in 2011 that Silicon Valley exists in an alternate reality—a bubble of prosperity. Restaurants are booked, freeways are packed, and companies are flush with cash. The prosperity bubble isn’t just a state of mind: Times are as good as they’ve been in recent memory. The region gets 40 percent of the country’s venture capital haul, up from 31 percent a decade ago, according to the National Venture Capital Assn. And the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported that growth of the area’s job market led the nation, jumping 3.2 percent, triple the national rate.

Some of that job growth is auto related. Ford just announced that they will be joining many auto companies in Silicon Valley. Why? Concentrated talent.

And then there is New York City (check out my recent posts here and here)  which as the Economists writes is doing well and is positioning itself to do even better in the future with their investment in the new Cornell/Technion campus. As they write:

Some $1.2 billion was invested by venture-capital firms in New York in 2010. The Big Apple even overtook Massachusetts in venture-capital funding for internet and tech start-ups, making it second only to Silicon Valley. And in the third quarter of last year, it surpassed it in venture capital in all categories. Between 2005 and 2010 employment in New York’s high-tech sector grew by nearly 30%. Google alone has about 1,200 engineers in the city.

Finally, as you know a central conclusion of ours from the years of research we have done on the characteristic of the most prosperous places around the country is that, with the exception of a few energy production states, the states that do well are anchored by a vibrant central city. As our Governor says Michigan can not succeed if the city of Detroit isn’t succeeding.

Dome Magazine published a terrific series of four columns by Craig Ruff on the importance of cities to Michgian’ success. You can find the first here. Definitely worth checking out all four. Ruff sums up how important this is to Michigan’s success this way: “Does Michigan need cities? Unequivocally, I say “yes.” Getting there is a whole ’nother kettle of fish. Why we, virtually alone and voluntarily, turned vibrant cities into detritus defines us and, very sadly, forecasts our future.”

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