Skip to comments.Betsy DeVos: Michigan workers paid too much
Posted on 04/28/2004 4:52:10 PM PDT by FourPeas
So, who does Betsy DeVos think is getting paid too much?
The Republican state party chairwoman raised the issue Tuesday when she issued a press release saying high wages were partly to blame for Michigan's economic woes.
"Many, if not most, of the economic problems in Michigan are a result of high wages and a tax and regulatory structure that makes this state uncompetitive," DeVos said in the prepared statement.
The press release was issued as DeVos criticized Gov. Jennifer Granholm for pinning the blame on President Bush for Michigan's loss of nearly 200,000 manufacturing jobs. Granholm was in Washington, D.C. with U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow touting plans to protect manufacturing jobs.
Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Butch Hollowell wasted no time in pouncing on the comments.
"I hate to tell Betsy DeVos this, but high wages are not a bad thing," Hollowell said. "They're good, and we need more of them."
DeVos, a longtime West Michigan GOP activist who owns the Grand Rapids holding company Windquest Group, and whose husband's family owns Alticor Inc., said she only was referring to the realities of the global economy.
"When you see jobs going to our neighbors to the Southeast -- South Carolina, Virginia and Alabama -- their economic climate for job creators is much more hospitable than ours," DeVos, of Ada, told the Press Tuesday.
All three states DeVos mentioned are right-to-work states, which have few unions and lowered wages. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, right-to-work employees earned $5,333 less a year in 2001 than workers in union jobs.
DeVos said right-to-work laws must be considered, along with other solutions to regulations and high taxes on businesses.
"States with right-to-work environments have an advantage in attracting new jobs," she said. "The fact we have high wages in some areas, there will continue to be adjustments as job creators adjust to the realities."
Greenville refrigerator maker Electrolux announced plans earlier this year to send thousands of jobs to plants in South Carolina and Mexico, the latter of which pays workers $2 an hour, noted Lupe Ramos-Montigny, the Kent County Democratic Party chairwoman.
"To be competitive, we have to resort to getting paid less than the minimum wage?" Ramos-Montigny said. "Is that what she's saying? If that's the case, it won't work, because people won't be able to survive."
With Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry scheduled to campaign today in Ann Arbor on jobs issues, the rhetoric heated up Tuesday.
Greg McNeilly, the executive director of the state Republican Party, said Democrats will be hard-pressed to engage in what he suggested was class warfare.
"When it comes to who's more like Michigan's working class, I'll match my $8 Supercuts haircut to John Kerry's $1,000 hair trim," McNeilly said. "Grow-up, Mr. Hollowell. Playing the 'class card' is so Dukakis."
Hollowell said he hopes Kerry will use his Michigan appearance to single out DeVos' comments on high wages.
It has been a month since DeVos and Democrats got entangled in another war of words over the economy.
When it was announced that Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls Inc. was sending 885 jobs to its auto visor plant in Mexico, where workers earn $2 an hour, Hollowell said, "If (DeVos' family) were so concerned about job losses, they shouldn't have sold it to JCI in the first place."
The JCI operation in Holland was originally Prince Corp., founded by Betsy DeVos' father, Edgar Prince, and sold by the family in 1996 for $1.35 billion.
DeVos shot back, saying, "That is probably a commentary on what Butch Hollowell knows about business."
Hollowell said DeVos still doesn't get it when it comes to the economy.
"The fact that we had a manufacturing economy which paid people good wages is responsible for our middle class," Hollowell said. "They allowed people to send their kids to college, make improvements on their homes, save for their retirement. That's the American dream. This just underscores how remote the Republican leadership is from ordinary people. ... It means the Republican Party in general just doesn't get it."
I see YOU are calling me a liar. This, I believe, falls under the category of "personal attack", thus the A/M flag.
Given that the entire FTC notice I copied above pertains to a violation of the order mandating the company to provide the actual percentages in their promotions -- and, their failure to comply with that order -- I am force to wonder exactly what it is you read before blasting off your attack.
I suggest you read the FTC's notice again. The whole thing, this time.
Some highlights: "Amway violated the 1979 order by placing an advertisement in newspapers across the country that represented the earnings of distributors without the required disclosures. ... Amway violated the 1979 order by failing to include in its ad clear and conspicuous dis closures of the average earnings or sales of all distributors in any recent year or the percent of distributors who actually achieved the results claimed. ... Under the consent decree, Amway is prohibited from making claims about above-average distributor earnings or sales unless it makes the required disclosures about actual earnings or sales."
How much money do YOU make via Amway?
What percentile are you in?
What is your relationship to the company?
Time for you to put up or shut up.
And by YOUR "logic", Ted Bundy was a cultural icon. After all, HE was unique too.
You can't have it both ways. Either Amway is great for the average guy -- or, it's a meat-grinder for all except the "unique" few.
One more thing. It is a big deal that a modern big business actually supports conservative, not politically correct, causes.
Blah, blah, blah.
The scope of the outfit encompasses far more than the money they pitch to the Country Club "G"OP set that knows what side its bread's buttered on.
If you were trying to impress me, you did. Not necessarily in the way you intended, though.