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Analysis: Cool Cities Are Not So Cool When You Don't Have a Job

Gov. Jennifer Granholm's "Cool Cities" initiative has not done much to help the working middle class. Joel Kotin, a professor at Chapman University, sheds light on what is happening in American cities in an article appearing in "The American" titled "Urban Plight: Vanishing Upward Mobility." Mr. Kotin points to a Brookings Institution study that found that New York City and Los Angeles have the smallest share of middle-income neighborhoods of all American cities. The Brookings Institution found that in 2007, Manhattan ranked first in social inequality, with the top 20 percent earning over 50 times more than the bottom 20 percent, a gap similar to Namibia's.

In Michigan, Gov. Granholm has stuck with the playbook of urban planners and the political left in attempting to attract the "creative class" with grants and "green policies" aimed at luring young urbanites into cities like Detroit, Flint and Grand Rapids. The result: Michigan still has an unemployment rate north of 13 percent and so much abandoned land in Detroit and Flint that urban farming is being touted as the next big thing. 

"Cool Cities" policies discriminate against middle class jobs because those jobs often build things and use energy and emit pollution - things that are not considered environmentally correct by the political ruling class.

As voters go to the polls in November, especially those without a job or who are underemployed, they should hold politicians accountable who promote policies that favor one class of Americans over another. Often, candidates who proclaim the loudest that they are for the little guy are guilty of pursing elitist policies. 

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.