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UAW strike, possible government shutdown, and internet insecurity are topics in latest MSU IPPSR State of the State podcast

This month’s State of the State podcast from Michigan State University’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research has Matt Grossmann and Arnold Weinfeld from the institute and emeritus economics professor Charley Ballard discussing the state of the national and Michigan economies, the UAW contract strike against the Big 3 automakers, and a possible government shutdown.

Keith Hampton, director of academic research at Michigan State University’s Quello Center, joins the group to discuss a new study from Michigan State University that warns that gains made to address broadband and internet connectivity in Michigan rural communities are beginning to fade.

Conversation Highlights:

(1:27) – “One of the big stories in Michigan the last two thirds of a century is the relative shrinkage of the auto industry.”

(3:13) – “Best case scenario for Michigan is a relatively short strike with an agreement that is generous enough to the workers that it puts more money in their paychecks, which they can then spend at the grocery store and the hardware store, but not so generous that it cripples the companies going forward.”

(5:23) – “Public opinion polls show more support for organized labor then they have in the past, but they’re still in a long slide downward.”

(8:00) – “Flint is the poster child for the decline of the auto industry.”

(12:30) – “There’s a lot of theatre so far. There’s really not much support for a government shutdown, even in the Republican caucus.”

(17:04) – “Women’s earnings…the gender earnings ratio – the ratio of the earnings of the average woman to the average man – increased to an all-time high for the 10th year in a row.”

(18:45) – “Over the pandemic, we went from rural students who did not have any kind of internet access at home to cutting that to about four percent during the pandemic.”

(23:22) – “Hot spots have been a surprisingly good intervention.”

(25:16) – “Wouldn’t it be great if you could get out of high school and earn middle class wages? That was once true in Michigan 50 or 60 years ago. It isn’t true anymore.”

(27:14) – “The issue of internet insecurity and access is particularly problematic.”

(29:34) – “One place where there has been a lot of policy movement lately is in election reform. We have recently been called a blueprint for election reform nationally.”

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