Wednesday, August 27, 2008

In Defense Of The "Rustbelt"

People often make fun of the Great Lakes region. We are the "rustbelt", the old industrial heartland of America. There are abandoned steel mills and old refrigerator plants all around. We are the place that put America on wheels, and the place that has the highest unemployment in the nation. People routinely compare Detroit to Bruit or Iraq. Milwaukee is known for it's beer, and Cleveland...they set their river on fire a few years back, so we have that going for us.

The reality of the situation is that this is a great place to live, and will be even more so in the future. We have a great cost of living, amazing natural environment and resources, and really nice people. We will have even more of an advantage in the future with the Great Lakes. When Phoenix runs out of water, we will be here watering our lavish lawns and going swimming in the largest amount of fresh water in the world.

I ran across this article recently about companies moving or expanding here in the Great Lakes area. I think it points out some of our strong points. The link is here. Long term as oil/transportation costs continue to rise, the Upper Midwest will continue to look more attractive to advanced manufacturing with its plentiful water, low electricity costs and abundant and experianced labor pool. Check out the MEDC website for some more information on why moving a company here is not a weird choice. Just look at our friends Asterand, who moved to Detroit from England. Chances are if medical research needs a tissue sample it came from Detroit. Maybe all new drugs involving cultured tissue should come with a "Made in Detroit" sticker.

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