Skubick: What values do we treasure as Michiganders? - New York News

Skubick: What values do we treasure as Michiganders?

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LANSING, Mich. (WJBK) -

Who are we?

Anyone who has lived in this state for more than a month has figured out that while all the governors like to call us "One Michigan," as much as we would like to believe it is so, it is not so.

Despite our common thirst for a good Strohs every now and then…what?

They don't fire-brew that anymore?

Despite our love of sports even when the teams, think Lions, are not very good, we are still culturally divided east vs. west and north vs. south.

Why do you think the Yoopers call everybody else Trolls?

So here comes a statewide survey that delves into our differences thanks to the folks at the Michigan Economic Center and the EPIC-MRA survey guys.

Question:  What values are shared the most?  Or what do we hold most in common.

No. 1 value: Everyone who works hard should have a fair shot at economic opportunity.  Eighty-one percent of the population concurs.

That's an admirable value but sifting more of the numbers, we also find a state that is not that eager to help the other guy get that fair shot.

Question: Do we solve our problems by working together as friends, neighbors, and government?

Only 40% say yes.  What's the other 60% saying?  The survey doesn't say but you can pretty much draw your own conclusion: "I've got mine.  You somehow figure out how to get yours."

However we are not totally callous about this as 66% believe it's important to help those in need but 58% believe "personal responsibility is more important than looking to others, especially government, for help." Shades of Mitt Romney's 47% line.

Race is also a factor in these findings.  For example 71% of all Republicans are heavy into the personal responsibility stuff while many Democrats and African-Americans are not.

Conversely on the urgency to help those in need, 82% of African American women, all Democrats and all women are willing to lend that helping hand.

And as for the "working together" value, all African American and over 44% of Democratic women and white women agree but Republicans are not mentioned.

The political divide in this state also stands out like a sore thumb on the role of government. It has been a long running debate dating to the days of former President Ronald Reagan who was fond of calling government the bad guy and doing anything to diminish it's role was embraced by the former actor turned chief executive.

The issue on the Michigan survey  was: What should government do to create more jobs: Provide more services or cut taxes?

Sitting down?

Sixty-four percent think government should "provide quality education, good roads, good public service and create an environment in which people want to live."

Only 29%, which is just about the size of the GOP political base in the state, believe cutting taxes for individuals and business is the key to job creation.  That spinning sound you hear, with all due respect, is Mr. Reagan in his grave.

If the data is correct, this explains why some believe the Republicans are out of touch.  We actually had a referendum on the role of government in the last presidential election and the anti-government notion embraced by the GOP was rejected and this survey seems to underscore the same notion.

Yet this governor will base his re-election hopes on the fact that he sliced taxes for business which he hopes will create jobs.  And by the time 2014 rolls around, the jobless rate should tell us if he did.

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