Tim Skopek: Find Jobs in Michigan

City says 7,000 summer jobs are available for Boston youth ages 14 to 18

Tim Skubick Column LogosQ Are you a hunter or gardener?

Beware, it’s a trick question.

In the topsy-turvy world of economic development where the name of the game is job creation, you’re either a hunter going to other states to “kill” jobs in that state and bring them home or you’re a gardener. This means that you will stay in your own backyard and grow more jobs by composting companies that are already here in hopes that they will somehow grow more jobs.

When Governor Rick Snyder took office he was a self-proclaimed gardener. Some of his advisers have warned him that the unilateral disarmament strategy is ill-conceived. That’s because most of the neighbors have been creeping into Michigan and trying to steal jobs here.

And for a while the all-knowing ruler continued to hoe until he had to admit that he was wrong even though he never made it public.

After his conversion, he hopped on a plane and visited China every year he was in office and wasn’t shy about sending his job search party to Ohio, Illinois, etc. to bring home the bacon.

And his GOP friends have been all in the legislature where every legislator wants to attend a ribbon-cutting party in his or her district to promote the creation of more jobs for local citizens who also vote in local elections and hopefully that local legislator.

Now with a Democratic governor in Mr. Snyder’s chair, she’s become an avid hunter especially after that ugly and very public practice during her last term in office. Ford has chosen not one but two southern states for some of its new auto battery plants. The governor, timidly, had to concede that the job search party was not in the game and never had the opportunity to bid for jobs.

Ugly optics.

At the time she and the Republicans packed up arms and in about 60 days, which is very fast for any legislature, they created a jobs incentive program to cut taxes, and within months GM announced a multi-billion dollar battery project with one plant in Lansing and the other in County Oakland.

The governor was replaced and continued down this path but now it appears that some of her GOP partners have decided to take the trip.

Senate GOP leader Eric Nesbitt warned the governor that if she repeals the state’s right-to-work law, he will stop helping with economic development efforts. Well, I did, and so did he.

Now some Republicans not only oppose “picking winners and losers”, but also reintroduced the “C” word into the debate, that is, China.

Ford is building a battery plant in the Republican district of Marshall, and a Chinese company has a hand in the deal but will not operate the facility, according to Ford. But to hear GOP complaints, you can expect to see a Chinese Communist delegation taking reservations for Sunday dinner at Schuler’s soon.

Closer to your homes up north, a similar flap unfolds in Big Rapids with a “C” in operation there, also via another Chinese link to another battery facility.

Years ago, Republicans were all in on offering tax breaks to attract jobs but now not so much, and while this governor won’t deter her efforts, R’s could upset her apple cart.

They could talk to some Liberal Democrats who think big corporations don’t pay their fair share of taxes to begin with and the R’s could ask the D’s, why would you want to give them more tax breaks on top of that?

And if a handful of those D’s are bailed, then the governor might not have the votes to do what she wants, which would make her a disgruntled and lonely hunter.

Tim Skopek is a political newspaper columnist and also the anchor and producer of the weekly PBS show “Off the Record”.