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Socialism is great, when it’s for the private sector: More Corporate Welfare in Michigan

February 18, 2019

Just over a week ago, MLive ran a story entitled, West Michigan businesses get $9.9M from state for employee training. The article states: 

The Going PRO Talent Fund, formerly the Skilled Trades Training Fund, awarded $9,940,010 in grants to 261 West Michigan businesses, large and small, in a variety of industries to provide industry-recognized, transferable skilled trades training that employees may not have gotten otherwise.

The article goes on to say:

“As Michigan works to close its talent gap, programs like the Going PRO Talent Fund provide resources for employers and their employees to keep up with an ever-changing, high-tech global economy,” said Jeremy Hendges, Talent and Economic Development chief of staff. “This fund is part of Michigan’s comprehensive approach to ensuring it can compete in the global race for the most and best talent while ensuring our companies can continue to invest in homegrown talent.”

Jeremy Hendges, who is quoted in the article. recently wrote an opinion piece for the Detroit News, referring to this project, where the state gives millions to the private sector, as Michigan’s Marshall Plan. 

Hendges has previously worked has the Legislative Director in both the Michigan Senate and the Michigan House of Representatives, which means he could work his connections to get legislative approval for this massive “grant program.” Well, at least that is what Hendges and MLive refer to it as, a grant program. The reality is that this project is nothing more than corporate welfare or socialism for the private sector.

While the capitalist class is pulling their hair out over recent suggestions that the rich out to be taxed way more than they are now, those in the private sector are claiming that taxing the rich would be socialism. However, when taxpayer money goes to the private sector, now they conveniently call it a grant or talent development.

Socialism for the Capitalist Class

While the MLive article focuses on corporate subsidies given under this program in West Michigan, across the state, the amount of public money given to the business community for “talent development” was a total of $29,458,110.00. You can view all the businesses which benefited from the massive corporate welfare scheme, by going to this link

Some of the larger recipients in West Michigan, were:

Gordon Food Service in Wyoming: $211,305

Michigan Turkey Producers in Grand Rapids: $113,699

Autocam Medical, LLC in Kentwood: $93,000

Herman Miller, Inc in Zeeland: $289,345

Herbruck Poultry Ranch, Inc in Saranac: $214,800

What is interesting is that each of these companies are run by people who are part of groups like the West Michigan Policy Forum or are directly involved with the Acton Institute, entities which promote the privatization of public services and seek to dismantle public sector employee benefits and pensions. How ironic that they have no problem holding their hands out to take public money that will primarily benefit their bottom line.

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