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The Rich get housing subsidies, everyone else gets capitalism in Grand Rapids

September 26, 2019

On Monday, MLive reported that the insurance brokerage company Acrisure, will receive $7 million in public money from the State of Michigan, for the company’s decision to move from Caledonia to downtown Grand Rapids. 

Acrisure will move their business to the new Studio Park complex, just behind the arena, but the move won’t happen until 2021.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation has awarded the insurance brokerage the $7 million of public money, $1 million from a Michigan Business Development grant and the other $6 million from the Good Jobs for Michigan Program.

So here is what MLive didn’t report:

First, the board of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which granted the $7 million, is made up of a mix of government bureaucrats and corporate representatives. 

Second, Acrisure, the insurance brokerage firm that received $7 million in public funds, last year got $2 billion from investors that now puts the corporation’s value at about $7 billion. One of the investors was Blackstone, which refers to itself as, one of the “world’s leading investment firms with over $457 billion in assets under management, including investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt, and equity, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis.”  In reality, Blackstone is one of the corporations globally that has bought up tens of thousands of single family home properties and turned them into rental units to make massive profits over the past decade. (see graphic below from Right to the City)

Third, Acrisure will move to Grand Rapids in 2021, being gifted $7 million in public funding, while thousands of families can’t afford rent in a city that considers itself to be a “welcoming city.”

Fourth, a company that is worth $7 billion gets $7 million in public funds because they will pay their employees an average salary of $74,464 a year.

The rich benefit from government subsidies, while the rest of us have to pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and are stuck with Capitalism. 


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