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Thread: Let's talk about Michigan's proposals

  1. #1

    Default Let's talk about Michigan's proposals

    (here's a simple list on about.com with basic info about each proposal.Michigan 2012 Ballot Proposals Information About Michigan 2012 Ballot Proposals)

    Hey fellow Michiganders! I recently got the proposal thing in my mail and I thought that we should discuss a bit on here before election day. (I think it will help me make my mind on some proposals I'm still unsure about) After all, our future depends on us making the right call. So what I ask is to post the proposal, whether you are saying yes or no, and why you have come to that conclusion. I'll start:

    Proposal 12-1: A referendum on Public Act 4 of 2011 - The Emergency Manager Law

    I say NO. Why? Because, I don't like the sound of the governor Snyder being able to appoint anyone he wants as the emergency manager, who can trample over local state officials in the decisions about developing financial and operating plans.

    Proposal 12-2: A proposal to amend the State Constitution regarding collective bargaining

    I say YES. Why? Because I agree that workers need the right to organize & bargain with employers to receive a fair contract and a decent living wage, as well as protect workers from devastating cuts to their wages, benefits, working conditions,etc.

    Proposal 12-3: A proposal to amend the state constitution to establish a standard for renewable energy

    While it looks like a good idea at first, I'm gonna have to say NO. Why? while it may create some jobs as it claims, energy rates are already through the roof in Michigan, passing this proposal could mean higher energy costs for me, you, and every Michigan resident. Besides, providers are already making progress toward renewable energy without this kind of legislation, Michigan has a renewable target of 10%, which providers are making progress on reaching. This might have been a good idea if the economy was in better shape, but right now people are more concerned about whether they'll be able to afford to keep their lights on and their refrigerators running.

    Proposal 12-4: A proposal to amend the state constitution to establish the Michigan Quality Home Care Council and provide collective bargaining for in-home care workers

    I am currently undecided on this proposal. I think I am going to say no, because the workers and family of the patients shouldn't be required to pay tribute to a union. The proposal sounds like a good idea for patients as it would increase the quality of their care, but I just don't like the sound of it. If families are worried about a carer's background, background checks have never been easier to do with the invention of the internet.

    Proposal 12-5: A proposal to amend the state constitution to limit the enactment of new taxes by State Government

    I'm also undecided on this issue, but I'm learning toward yes because if you can't get at least 2/3's of the Michigan senate to agree on a tax increase, it probably isn't a good idea. This will help so taxes are raised only when we absolutely need a tax increase. So instead of lawmakers increasing taxes on us already poor citizens, they can cut spending on things we can't afford to spend money on at the moment.

    Proposal 12-6: A proposal to amend the State Constitution regarding construction of international bridges and tunnels

    I am voting NO because from my research, this seems like an attempt by the Moroun company to make sure that the state doesn't build a bridge to compete with their bridge (if you didn't know, the ambassador bridge is privately owned by the Moroun company). They try to argue that the people should decide before spending tons of tax dollars on this bridge, when Michigan and Canada are already in an agreement that ensures that no Michigan tax dollars will be used for the construction of the new bridge, so this bridge will cost us Michigan taxpayers nothing. I personally believe this new bridge could be good for our economy by increasing the amount of goods coming in and out of Canada, and since it won't cost us a penny, it's a win-win situation for Michigan.

    So now it's your guy's turn, I'd love to hear your opinions!

  2. #2

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    1) No.
    The EFM law, although technically legal since cities exist at the whim of the state, is an affront to democracy in my view. Further, having one unaccountable individual with virtually unchecked power will not help these troubled cities recover. The cities that have been taken over by EFMs thus far all have something in common: They're pockets of concentrated poverty. Many people in Flint, Benton Harbor, Inkster, Pontiac, Ecourse, the the others that I don't recall at the moment lack marketable job skills, and because these cities all have terrible schools, they will never get marketable job skills. Detroit, which narrowly averted takeover by an EFM, has an astronomical poverty rate, rampant blight, and high unemployment. But, it also has several excellent assets, such as Belle Isle and one of the best water systems in the nation. An EFM could just sell those off, do a quick balance on the budget, and leave the city so much worse off in the long run. Look at Hamtramck. It had an EFM 5ish years ago, and now they're in worse shape than they ever were before. The EFM law is a terrible idea.

    2) Yes.
    I am a big believer in collective bargaining, and I believe that our teachers, public workers doing unpleasant jobs, and our public safety workers should have the right to collectively bargain for wages, benefits, and gear. I don't like the idea of our police and firefighters' gear purchases being determined by someone that has no clue and no concern except for saving a couple of bucks so that Bob Ficano can hire another crony.

    3) Yes
    Michigan's baseload power is supplied by a lot of coal (that we're importing from other places) and nuclear power. One of these creates high amounts of CO2 and other nasty emissions, and the other creates radioactive wastes for which we have no permanent storage solution. Frankly, we need to get away from these nasty energy sources as quickly as we possibly can. I have seen nothing from a trustworthy source that suggests that the 25 by 25 laws that about half of U.S. states have now passed have significantly increased utility rates. As I'm typing this, I just saw a commercial urging No on 3 because we'd be sending Michigan dollars to California billionaires. It's a load of bull, since we're presently sending Michigan dollars to other states and other countries to get the coal we presently use for the overwhelming portion of our electricity generation.

    Frankly, the only concern I have about Prop 3 is the clause that limits utility rate cost growth to 1 percent (although it would constitutionally negate your concern about rates dramatically rising). I see that as a way for utility companies to kick the can down the road in terms of delivering on 25 percent from renewable sources by 2025. They could claim that it would cause costs to increase more than 1 percent and try to kick the can down the road and drag their feet.

    4) Yes
    I've had a fair bit more experience with the health care system than most people have at age 30. I've had home health care visits. I've been in hospitals. I've had surgeries. Happily, I had good experiences. I think everyone should be entitled to good experiences. You see, you don't really pick which person comes to your house, or even which agency. When you're needing care and going through insurance, they tell you to call a specific agency. You call, then they set everything up. I got a person called Nancy. I didn't know who Nancy was before she showed up at my house and honestly, I had a lot of other stuff going on at the time. I didn't have the time or resources or energy to spend a bunch of time on the google researching to see if Nancy was good or not.

    5) Absolutely fucking NO!!!
    Do you know about the mess that California is in, how they're a short step from bankruptcy and in the worst fiscal condition of any state in the Union? The reason they're in that mess is because they have in their constitution a clause that requires either a supermajority or a vote of the people to pass any tax increases. Needless to say, they never pass any tax increases. Therefore, they're unable to raise revenues, and now they're in a world of hurt. Voting Yes on Prop 5 puts Michigan on the same path as California. I'm not excited to pay taxes, but I understand that if we want to have nice stuff we need to pay for it. Voting No on this one is a terrible idea and would condemn Michigan to fiscal insolvency.

    6) No.
    We need another bridge. Construction would create Michigan jobs and would bring considerably more international trade through Michigan. The opposition to the bridge is purely driven by Matty Moroun and his attempts to keep his monopoly going. The current deal between Michigan and Canada stipulates that Michigan won't be paying for it, and it won't cost us anything. Honestly, this seems like a win-win for us. Major companies are for the bridge, the previous (Democrat) governor was for it. The current (Republican) governor is for it. The current and previous mayors of Detroit were/are for it. The only person against it is Moroun.

  3. #3

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    Prop 5 sounds completely insane, to be honest. It won't lead to budget cuts because [the effects of] budget cuts are unpopular. What it will lead to is borrowing. Lots and lots and lots of borrowing. Not to mention that once a tax break is given it will make it virtually impossible to roll it back, say, when the economy increases and it's time to pay back that debt that was incurred during the recession.

    If you think artificially making it near-impossible to raise taxes will help the government to cut spending, well... say hello to California.

  4. #4

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    I'm not from Michigan, but by the sound of it, Moroun is a moron.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Entity View Post
    I'm not from Michigan, but by the sound of it, Moroun is a moron.
    Evil billionaire.

    He's also the owner of the infamous Michigan Central Station, the ruin that every single ruin pornographer that comes to Detroit feels they much photograph and hammer on as iconic of the state of the city. Of course, Moroun claims he's going to refurbish the thing, or at least stabilize it. To date, however, all he's done is put up fencing, parked a few pieces of equipment outside, and put up signs for a construction firm. Those have now been parked there for two years, and no actual work has been done. Moroun's company was also likely behind fake eviction notices residents in southwest Detroit received last year. It turned out they were propaganda opposing a second bridge.

    He and his company also have been held in contempt of court several times. A couple of years ago, the state redid the freeways around Moroun's Ambassador Bridge, and they provided him with the specifications for the ramps that were to connect the freeways to the bridge. Rather than building to the state's specs, he built the ramps to force trucks onto neighborhood streets and through his duty-free plaza, basically trying to get more captive customers for his duty-free shop. The courts finally took the project away from Moroun and let the state build it how they wanted. This is also the guy who's fenced off part of a city park and claimed it as his own so he could build footings for a twin to his Ambassador Bridge. The trick is, he will never be allowed to build that bridge because the Canadians have said they will never ever give him the permits to build it on the Canadian side. Presently, the Ambassador dumps all the truck traffic onto local streets in Windsor, where they have to wind their way through the entire city to get to the 401. The Canadians are not interested in having any more of that happening, and they're very interested in the second bridge partly because it will get the truck traffic out of Windsor's neighbourhoods.

    Like I said, Moroun is a villain, an evil billionaire.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for your opinion on prop 4 and especially 5. I'm glad to hear I asked for opinions because I didn't know California already tried what we are considering doing. I'm gonna vote no on 5 then, it sounds like a bad idea. Also, I barely knew anything about healthcare either, so thanks for enlightening me about that as well.

    You brought up some good points about prop 3, and I will take them into consideration, but I personally think when it comes to going green, we don't need proposals to lead the way, because it's either switch to green energy, or run out of energy. we can't keep using coal and gas forever as we will eventually run out. Also, biggest concern like you mentioned is higher prices. we are already paying between 200-300 dollars on electricity, I don't think we will be able to afford electricity if it runs any higher then it is now. Like I said before, green energy is important, but at this point in time, the most important factor is making sure everyone is able to afford to keep their lights on

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
    Thanks for your opinion on prop 4 and especially 5. I'm glad to hear I asked for opinions because I didn't know California already tried what we are considering doing. I'm gonna vote no on 5 then, it sounds like a bad idea. Also, I barely knew anything about healthcare either, so thanks for enlightening me about that as well.

    You brought up some good points about prop 3, and I will take them into consideration, but I personally think when it comes to going green, we don't need proposals to lead the way, because it's either switch to green energy, or run out of energy. we can't keep using coal and gas forever as we will eventually run out. Also, biggest concern like you mentioned is higher prices. we are already paying between 200-300 dollars on electricity, I don't think we will be able to afford electricity if it runs any higher then it is now. Like I said before, green energy is important, but at this point in time, the most important factor is making sure everyone is able to afford to keep their lights on
    As a tangential question, what exactly are you doing to be spending 300 per month on electricity. We have a refrigerator from 1981 (we haven't had the 1,000 to buy a new one). We have a security system, so that's constantly powered. Like most households, we have chargers plugged in, a couple of TVs (rarely on at the same time, though), and other appliances that draw juice even when not in use. We also use an electric dryer, but we have a gas stove and water heater. But, I mean, we try to be conservative and avoid leaving lights on and other stuff on if we don't need to. Even with all of that, though, our biggest electric bill since moving into this house has been $110.

    I mean, maybe you have a full household so there are way more appliances running, or maybe you're on different schedules so everything is always on, or some other thing, but I feel like at $300 per month it might do well to make sure that your appliances are all working well and that you don't have random things constantly drawing off the system.

  8. #8

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    It's rather interesting to note the backers of some of these proposals:

    Proposals 1-4 are all backed by mostly labor unions, other labor groups, and disability advocacy groups. Essentially progressive pro labor/union initiatives (prop 3 more of a green industry one).

    Proposals 5-6 Backed by Detroit's Mouron.

    The most interesting group to come out of this is Citizen's Protecting Michigan's Constitution, which has opposed the 2,3, and 4 claiming "Greedy Unions" are behind them. I'm a little curious why they have not made a stance on 1,5,6 given their "pro-taxpayer" and "against special interest money grabs" position.

    Proposal 5 out of all of them looks to be the biggest mess on the planet, however. In a way I wish had more of a background in economics to understand the deeper implications of some of these. In all likely hood though, will be voting yes on 2,3, and 4.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldDragonAurkarm View Post
    As a tangential question, what exactly are you doing to be spending 300 per month on electricity. We have a refrigerator from 1981 (we haven't had the 1,000 to buy a new one). We have a security system, so that's constantly powered. Like most households, we have chargers plugged in, a couple of TVs (rarely on at the same time, though), and other appliances that draw juice even when not in use. We also use an electric dryer, but we have a gas stove and water heater. But, I mean, we try to be conservative and avoid leaving lights on and other stuff on if we don't need to. Even with all of that, though, our biggest electric bill since moving into this house has been $110.

    I mean, maybe you have a full household so there are way more appliances running, or maybe you're on different schedules so everything is always on, or some other thing, but I feel like at $300 per month it might do well to make sure that your appliances are all working well and that you don't have random things constantly drawing off the system.
    I really don't know why we have such a high bill. We use Cherryland Electric for our power, and from what I hear from others that also use cherryland are having high bills too I think Cherryland Electric is just charging out of the ass for their electricity. we try to cut down on our power use and nothing really changes. back in march, we were without power for a week due to a huge blizzard and our bill only went down by like 20 dollars (that really says alot) I think my mom said that they have some ridiculous extra fees on the bills as well, such as a $15 charge called a "availability fee" what the ƒuck is an availability fee? lol

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
    I really don't know why we have such a high bill. We use Cherryland Electric for our power, and from what I hear from others that also use cherryland are having high bills too I think Cherryland Electric is just charging out of the ass for their electricity. we try to cut down on our power use and nothing really changes. back in march, we were without power for a week due to a huge blizzard and our bill only went down by like 20 dollars (that really says alot) I think my mom said that they have some ridiculous extra fees on the bills as well, such as a $15 charge called a "availability fee" what the ƒuck is an availability fee? lol
    Wow, that is unfortunate! I'd never dream that rates would vary that much between providers. I wonder what their capital structure and baseload capacity look like. I mean, if they're running a bunch of old inefficient coal plants and never upgrade their infrastructure, they might be getting killed (and thus you're getting killed) on their fuel costs to generate in the first place. That's one thing I'll say for DTE-they're pretty good about upgrading and trying to be as efficient as they can be.

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