At Tom McMillin’s recent town hall held at the Rochester Hills City Hall, McMillin answered several questions about whether any legislation he’d sponsored or voted on created any new jobs in Michigan.
This is especially relevant since in recent months Michigan’s unemployment rate has increased to 9.4%, from 8.1% in April 2012.
McMillin’s answers to creating jobs in Michigan mostly centered around the idea that getting rid of regulations is an efficient way to create jobs.
However, McMillin was a strong opponent of Michigan’s then-growing film industry that had created thousands of good paying jobs in what was then a burgeoning field.
Raleigh Studios in Pontiac once had a goal of being able to do seven productions a year and employ 3,000 people. As of today, the facility employs 15-20 people.
As for eliminating regulations creating jobs, according to a Pro Publica article from September 2011, there doesn’t appear to be much of a case that eliminating regulation has the effect of creating jobs.
“There are many instances of regulation causing a specific industry to lose jobs,” said Roger Noll, co-director of the Program on Regulatory Policy at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. Noll cited outright bans of products—such as choloroflorocarbons or leaded gasoline—as the clearest examples.”
“That’s supported by recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which shows employers attributing a small fraction of job losses to governmental regulations. In the first half of 2011, employers listed regulations as the cause of 0.2 to 0.3 percent of jobs lost as part of mass layoffs. But the data doesn’t track the other side of the equation: jobs created.”
To be fair, McMillin has actually focused on some things we agree on, such as a bill to allow homeowners to opt out of DTE’s smart meter installation program. There are health and privacy concerns with the meters. McMillin also mentioned a bill he is working on that would make it harder for people to be priced out of being able to obtain documents under the Freedom of Information Act by putting limits on what can be charged by government entities for complying with FOIA requests.