Occasionally the Mackinac Center digs into their file of donors, finds one who isn’t afraid of having their identity disclosed, and runs a profile on them. One of their recent profiles was interesting, to say the least.
In March, they featured a guy named Jack Engelhart, who founded Quality Pool Supply. How was Jack’s pool business so successful? They asked him [emphasis mine]:
At the time there were quite a few pools going in because General Motors, because of the union, had a very high wage rate and a lot of them were working a lot of overtime and they didn’t have time to go on vacation. So they decided to put a pool in their backyard because the income was relatively high. It was a vacation in their own backyards. We filled a need. It’s a very inexpensive way to go.
Engelhart would likely agree with Gov. Snyder that Michigan’s economy peaked around the time he started his business in 1968. But what could possibly be to blame for that?
The fact is, the Mackinac Center was founded to weaken Michigan’s institutions, drive down the wages of middle-class families, and dismantle unions. Unfortunately for Jack Engelhart’s kids, weaker unions will continue to drive down Michiganders’ wages, leading to less success for business owners and regular people alike.
How did the Mackinac Center get so much power over the State?
Money, money, money – from devos and the koch brothers to name a few. This is how they got so much power over the repubs in MI. And remember devos ran for Governor and was soundly beaten. MI does not want what he’s selling. So he does an end run around it all – puts the nerd up for a vote with the nerd pretending to be a moderate and there you go. They have managed in the few years in office to turn the MI economy on its head. Wages are down, prices are up, taxes are up but only on the middle class and the poor, we now have un-elected tyrants ruining many of our cities with their undemocratic policies, and many of our young are fleeing the state because they can’t find jobs and the jobs they do find are all minimum wage. This is what the wack mackinac center has helped do to our beloved state. So we will mobilize and vote the (put your own term here) out of office and start to re-build our state.
They have power because they give right-leaning legislators “intellectual” cover.
I think of our state legislators as rubes, easily impressed by people with good suits and haircuts and fancy titles like “senior fellow” and “scholar.”
A technical point … The Mackinac Center was founded by Lawrence Reed to turn his hobby (free market politics) into a good living. His business proposition (to the wealthy): Give us lots of money, and we’ll get you the victim status you deserve.
Privatization, union-busting and destroying the middle class are among the practical manifestations.