Thursday, January 25, 2007

Pfizer cuts jobs?! What a shocker!?

Shocked. Shocked I say.
That was the response by the Dimwitted governor of the state of Michigan when Pfizer announced that they were cutting around 2100 jobs from the Ann Arbor area laboratories. Pfizer was doing a major cost restructuring and instead of relocating work to Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo, two large Pfizer sites, they chose to relocate FROM Ann Arbor. The reasons? Well, in it's rush to buy up other drug companies, Pfizer was left with way too much capacity in the form of labs and research and legitimately felt they needed to cut some of these to remain competitive. Two years ago the cities of Kalamazoo and Portage felt the hit, losing around 1500 jobs, mostly in the well-paying research and development area. This time around, we're only losing around 200, and the most of those will be around until their projects end, giving them the chance to find other work or other projects within Pfizer.
However, the shocker to this story is that the governor's office had zero clue. None. No idea whatsoever that these cuts were coming. Now, you say that even if they did know, Pfizer has excess capacity and has to cut somewhere, right? And there's nothing the governor could have done?
I call bullshit on that one.
When businesses relocate to Michigan, Jenny from the block is right there with cameramen in tow to ensure that the photo-op isn't missed. But when they cut, she's "shocked". So which is it Jen? Do you have the power to get businesses to stay and expand or don't you? And are you responsible for these losses or aren't you?
I say she is and here's why:
Over the last four years, she has done absolutely zero to make Michigan a more business-friendly state. Nor has she had the intestinal fortitude that it takes to stand up to the unions and tell them that for the state to continue to go forward they're going to have to back the hell off. The state legislature eliminated the Single Business Tax, a regressive penalizing tax that many businesses pointed to as a singular reason why they wouldn't come to Michigan. Instead of welcoming that with open arms, she begrudgingly signed the law because she knew that if she didn't her opponent in the election would use that as an example that she doesn't know what's good for business.
The cost of doing business in Michigan is so high that companies are relocating in droves. It almost feels like the late 70's/early 80's again where you drive down the street and 7 out of 10 houses on the street have 'For Sale' signs in front of them. In those days I was a paper boy. As I would deliver papers, it was nothing for me to have a regular turnover of customers because so many people were leaving.
I think Jenny was in Canada then, but Michigan's anti-business environment was just about as bad then as it is now.
Those who do not study the past, are doomed to repeat it.

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