A Serious Problem-Low Per Capita Income


Unfortunately too many Michiganders

Michigan is ranked about 35th among the states in per capita income, about $12,000 below the top states, and $6,000 above the bottom.  Michigan's rank has fallen a lot since the year 2000.  This means that Michigan is not in a position to collect on a per capita basis the same amount of taxes that states with more robust economies collect.  With less money to spend Michigan has been walking a tightrope on spending priorities.  One service after another such as health, education, police, and  infrastructure has been cut.  The Flint water crisis is a result of poor management with fewer resources. The Republicans have made the more recent mistakes, but Graholm certainly has her critics.  Low per capita income will be with us no matter who wins the next election.  The winners will have tough decisions to make.  No one holding out their hand (which are many) will be happy with the amount they get.  I will try to make a balanced decision, but will emphasize the importance of education.  A higher level of education means a better job with more income for our children when they become adults.

Michigan has lost many jobs since peaking out around the year 2000.  Although Michigan has recently seen gains in employment, the number of jobs in the state is still down around 250,000 to 400,000 when compared to year 2000.  This has a very negative effect on per capita income and state welfare expenses.  Most of the people that held these lost jobs are under educated for today's job market, and are sitting at home or under employed.  They should not be neglected.  I will try to get these people back to work by improving the business climate and individual skills where needed in order to attract jobs that do not require a four year college degree.  Michigan has been transitioning its values regarding work and time moves forward.  People need to be motivated to retrain and get back to work.  A working person will boost overall per capita income.  

Ted Golden, M.D.