Michigan&039;s economy

Email from a Letter Writer: "He Gave Michigan Hope Again"

Brianna Leathers from Sterling, MI reflects on how far America’s auto industry has come since she first wrote the President in 2009.

When she was 13 years old, Brianna Leathers wrote to the President to share her worries about her family’s future as the American auto industry stood on the brink of collapse. Today, she sent the following message on how far we’ve come since those days thanks to President Obama’s decision to bet on American workers like her dad. Didn’t get the message? Sign up here.

And follow the President as he visits Detroit here.

In 2009, when I was thirteen years old, I wrote this in a letter to the President:

“Dear President Obama,

My dad works for a company that manufactures cables for the automotive companies … This industry isn’t doing so well but these guys are still doing ok. I thought it would be nice if you gave them a visit … I am 13 years old and I am worried about my family’s future in Michigan.”

That was then. Today, the company my dad works for is thriving again, giving him a brighter outlook to continue his career as an auto supplier. The falling unemployment rate makes me feel more hopeful about finding a career of my own after college. People in Michigan are more confident about the future of our state than they’ve felt in a long time.

When President Obama saved the auto industry, he gave Michiganders like me and my family hope again.

That’s why I’m so proud to see President Obama return to Detroit to talk about the resurgence of our manufacturing industry. Today at 3:25pm ET, tune in to watch his speech.

As a 13-year-old girl, I saw a few of my relatives get laid off from the automotive companies they worked for. I felt that it was unfair to them because I knew they were hard workers. Through overhearing my dad talk to customers and colleagues on the phone, I got a sense of just how much the entire industry was struggling then.

When I wrote to President Obama in 2009, I felt hopeful something could be done to improve this terrible situation.

Seven years after the President took steps to rescue the auto industry, so much has changed. I’ve seen foreclosed homes being occupied again, new homes being built, and people going back to work in the auto industry.

Today, President Obama will see firsthand the progress we’ve made here. In just a little bit, I’ll be heading to see the President speak in downtown Detroit – you can watch his speech at 3:25pm ET.

I’m proud to welcome him back to the Motor City.



A Very Short Fact: On this day in 1934, the steam locomotive, the Flying Scotsman becomes the first to officially exceed 100mph.

“Railroads undergirded the nation’s postwar economic boom, transporting coal and iron ore to Carnegie’s steel mills, farm equipment to rural America, livestock to Chicago’s slaughterhouses, grain to the mills of Minneapolis, machinery and consumer goods across the land, and immigrants to the vast interior. Rail tycoons like Collis P. Huntington and Leland Stanford in California, Cornelius Vanderbilt and Jay Gould in New York, and James J. Hill in Minnesota were among the best known, and most feared, figures of the age. Coal-fueled steam engines powered the era’s factories, locomotives, machinery works, and grain mills. Steam technology developed rapidly in the late nineteenth century, powering ocean liners and industrial turbines.”

[p. 61/62, American History: A Very Short Introduction by Paul S. Boyer]

Like the Very Short Introductions on Facebook for more from the series.

Image credit: Flying Scotsman in Doncaster by Rich@ard. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

It's Official: President Obama Is The Best Economic President In Modern Times

It’s Official: President Obama Is The Best Economic President In Modern Times

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Image Credit: kids4barackobama.com

A new economic report, published by Forbes.comon September 6, 2014, clearly shows that President Obama is the best economic president in modern times. It’s not an opinion, it’s a fact, based on all of typical the economic indicators, including jobs, investments, growth and expansion, even the rate of inflation. In all of these areas President Obama’s record…

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The 10 Best And Worst States To Make A Living In 2015

We tend to talk about the U.S. economy and the job market as if they’re all one thing, but it’s too big for that. There are sharp differences from one state to another.  To determine the best and worst states to make a living this year, personal finance site MoneyRates.com considered average wages, taxes, cost of living, unemployment rate, and incidents of workplace safety incidents (including illness, injuries, and deaths) for each state.

Between 2009 and 2013, some 41.5% of Flint’s residents lived below the poverty line, compared to just 16.8% of the rest of the state. A quarter of its families have an annual income of below $15,000 a year. The city’s child poverty rate of 66.5% is nearly 10 percentage points higher than Detroit’s. Block by block, neighborhoods where GM had built houses for its workers were marked by the detritus of abandonment, crumbling homes and overgrown lots. Crime and despair began to fester. And generations of families barely making it replaced those that had once thrived. Often those families were one and the same. 

Today on MSNBC we launch Chapter 3 from our on-going feature, Geography of Poverty, “The Rust Belt: Once Mighty Cities in Decline: an Auto Giant’s Exit Brings Flint to its Knees” by photographer @mattblack_blackmatt and reporter Trymaine Lee.

“It was during the reign of Kublai in the thirteenth century that Marco Polo visited China and discovered a new type of alchemy— one even better than turning base metals into gold. He learned, to his wonderment, of money that could be created with paper and without being backed by stores of precious metals. This alchemy took place in Kanbalu, also known as Khanbaliq, the capi­tal of the Yuan dynasty— now known as Beijing. The money that Marco Polo saw was printed on paper made from the bark of mulberry trees. The Yuan government used woodblocks and, later, bronze plates to print the paper money, which took the form of a variety of banknotes called Chao.”

Drawing on history, Eswar Prasad provides new perspectives on the RMB’s role in global finance.

Image credit: Marco Polo travelling, Miniature from the Book “The Travels of Marco Polo” (“Il milione”) by unknown. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Famous Economist DESTROYS Jeb Bush For 'Work Longer Hours' Comment – Here's Why

Famous Economist DESTROYS Jeb Bush For ‘Work Longer Hours’ Comment – Here’s Why

Jeb Bush has taken a lot of flack in recent days for saying that Americans need to work longer hours, so they can bring home more money to their families. He wants a four percent annual growth rate in the economy and says we need a lot more productivity to do it, which, of course, means making workers work longer and harder than they already do. Nobel Prize-winning economist, Paul Krugman, jumped…

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