Dark Side of the Mitten

Once upon a time a band named Pink Floyd was a fixture on the Billboard album chart. For 741 weeks, the band's "Dark Side of the Moon" reigned as one of the top-200 selling albums in the United States. The album's themes range from mortality to madness.

Sadly, the album now comes to mind when you think of Michigan. The state's unemployment rate is 14.1 percent for the month, making it the nation's highest for 48 months straight. In a self-destructive spiral, Michigan policies have killed not only jobs, but also the desire of many to live here.

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If Michigan continues its catastrophic regulatory, tax and labor policies, it will continue to top the unemployment charts. If the state had an apocalyptic concept album on the madness leading to its demise, the song list might include the following (with extreme apologies to Mssrs. Gilmour, Mason, Wright and Waters):
"Dark Side of the Mitten"

Speak to Me — A sonic montage of departing moving vans and the closing doors of Michigan businesses.

Breathe — A plaintive lament from the point of view of Michigan residents to its political leaders to reverse policies that prompt business failures.

On the Run — A song depicting the residents fleeing Michigan for employment opportunities elsewhere.

Time — A quick synopsis of Michigan history, where failed policies are tweaked rather than abandoned entirely until it's too late and the state succumbs to its own inertia.

The Great Gig in the Sky — A political gathering where the state's leaders encourage residents to "dance with government."

Money — Sung by the persona of a sinister politician who believes, in the words of the Temptations' song "Ball of Confusion," that "more taxes will solve everything. And the band played on."

Us and Them — Sung by the state's remaining residents who don't understand the economic disparities between Michigan and neighboring states.

Any Colour You Like — Another ditty performed by the politician persona, who lobbies for an official Scottish tartan for the state.

Brain Damage — The unfortunate confusion of Michigan residents who have beaten their heads against walls in the vain anticipation of policies that encourage businesses to locate in Michigan and create jobs.

Eclipse — The end result of job-killing policies is a state abandoned by all of its productive residents. One might even hear Mackinac Center analyst Michael LaFaive proclaiming in the background, “Will the last resident to leave the state please turn out the light?”