Acton Institute Powerblog


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Last night, at Acton’s 15 Year Dinner in Grand Rapids, former president of El Salvador Francisco Flores gave a reason for his county’s great economic success: it stopped blaming others. Compare this with another statement yesterday by another politician, Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm. In a bid to the federal government to help the ailing Michigan manufacturing industry, she said (among other things) that “a crisis is upon us and the Federal Government needs to step up and do its share” presumably because “NAFTA and CAFTA have given Michigan the shafta.”

Now, I may be a sucker for semi-witty wordplay, but the reason I bring this up is simply to point out the following: one politician, whose state was once in a financial ruin Michiganders cannot imagine, pulled his country to increased prosperity with a “don’t blame others; take responsibility for yourself” mentality (to read another speech he gave along these lines, click here); another politician, whose state is on the economic slide, blames the policies of the federal government for it and then demands that the same federal government fix the problem. The irony that these two politicians made these two statements on the same day in Michigan evokes in me–well, lafta.

David Michael Phelps


  • Excellent wordplay, Mr. Phelps. With regard to Granholm, well, let’s just say she’s not known for making [url=]intelligent discourse[/url] a hallmark of her administration to begin with.

  • In other words, what Michigan gets from the Granholm Administration. Over at the Acton PowerBlog, Dave Phelps sees Granholm’s wordplay and raises her. Touché…

  • Marc,
    Since when was politics ever about “intelligent discourse”?

    As Lord Acton wrote, “All partisanship depends on concealment. Mere strong language and special pleading take in nobody.”

  • Good point, but one can dream…

  • Josh the Michigander

    Hmm. Did any government above Ecuador’s have full control over Ecuador’s imports and exports (as the Federal government has with its power to regulate interstate commerce)? Did any government above Ecuador’s impose costs on the Ecuadorian government (as the Federal government is doing with the No Child Left Behind Act and the Real ID Act)?

    If we’re going to talk responsibility, then maybe the Federal government should start funding its own mandates, and maybe it should think about the economic effects its trade agreements will have on its citizens before it implements them. Just a thought.