Occupy to Protest Mackinac Center

A group calling itself “Occupy the Tri” from the Tri-Cities area of mid-Michigan plans to protest the Mackinac Center’s headquarters during non-business hours Saturday, according to The Saginaw News.

Michael Jahr, vice president for communications, told The News that the “Occupy Movement should find a lot to like in the Mackinac Center’s work,” in reference to the protestors’ dislike of bailouts.

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“We routinely highlight the unfairness and negative impact of cronyism and government favoritism,” Jahr said. “And we have long called for an even playing field and equal treatment under the law for everyone who lives and does business in Michigan.”

The Center for a quarter-century has been a lone voice in Michigan calling for an end to corporate welfare and a government system that attempts to pick winners and losers in the marketplace.

Mackinac Center analysts have called for an end to rent-seeking and have exposed the failures of central planning in major critiques of both the Michigan Economic Growth Authority and the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Investigative work has focused on taxpayer dollars being misused to prop up everything from film producers to electric car battery makers to sporting goods stores to alternative energy producers.

Given that body of work, one would expect the Occupiers to cheer, rather than protest. The organizer of Saturday’s protest, however, told The News he sees our work “differently.”

That’s because Center analysts couple their research with calls for less intrusive government and less spending. They realize it is better for the people the Occupy movement claims to represent to keep more of their own money and decide how best to spend it. The protesters prove as much — albeit unknowingly —  because aside from demonstrating in front of our headquarters they also plan what they call a “cash bomb” to support the various small businesses along Midland’s Main Street.

Ultimately, the Occupy movement isn’t about getting rid of crony capitalism and government favoritism; they just want to shift the spending to their own agenda.

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