I want to expand on a concept that I implied in several earlier posts.
The premise is that life will "normalize" more quickly if smaller geographic regions are allowed to dash out ahead of Michigan in terms of economic (and freedom of association) freedoms. I used the word "percolate" which implies liquid seeking its way through a jumbled mass of material attempting to hold the liquid back.
Like nearly all vague and obscure concepts, it has applications in real life. It has been studied. There are formal disciplines to optimize it. One of those disciplines is sometimes called Theory of Constraints and one of the gurus is named Eliyahu M. Goldratt.
One of the prime killers of productivity is unnecessary coupling or linking together of events. Let me share a few examples:
Imagine two production lines that make welded steel structures that are used to make automobile bodies. One line makes parts for the left side of the body and the other line makes parts for the right side. The parts are almost mirror images of each other and the equipment set is nearly identical.
The electrodes that contact the parts when making spot welds are a consumable part are need to be replaced on a periodic basis. That interval can be anywhere between 3000 and 10000 welds for a robotic welder.
Each welding robot has a counter and it alerts the maintenance department twenty minutes before it reaches the end of its allowable electrode life. That way, the maintenance technician can be waiting at the cell, tools and parts in-hand when the cell trips out.
All of the robots in the cell go into the cap-change position when the first robot trips out. The maintenance technician locks out the cell and changes the cap. Then he pushes a few buttons and the production worker resumes making parts.
These two hypothetical production line have a total of eight production workers so the impact of a robot "stepping out" should be (five minutes * 1/8) of its gross productivity.
That is how it is SUPPOSED to work.
How does it work in real life?
All eight workers walk off the line to the cafeteria and the entire line is down for a half hour.
Their thinking is "Station 3 went down. I work in Station 2. There is no point in me building in my cell when the station down-line isn't pulling parts"
And the folks on the left side rationalize walking away with the logic "They cannot build bodies if they don't have parts for the right side. There is no point in us "building up the bank" just so the assholes on the next shift can sit on their butts."
The maintenance technicians don't quibble. They change all of the electrodes on all of the robots, which might take half an hour.
The supervisor doesn't see the issue. That is the way it has always been done. Plus, he supervises forty employees and something is always going in the ditch somewhere.
Back to the design intent of the system: The engineers who designed the line placed ten part buffers between each cell. In theory, they would typically run at about half full. If the cell upstream of your cell went down for maintenance then you could build out of the five parts in the buffer supplying your cell. If the cell downstream of your cell went down then you could pack the buffer for an additional five minutes before you tapped out.
The system was designed to have buffers between the cells to decouple them. The cells were still coupled together via human nature.
Suppose there is some project that needs to get done at home. Let's say you want to redo the backyard patio. You want a new BBQ rig and the Mrs wants new pavers and landscaping.
One way to do it is for you to buy your BBQ without consulting the Mrs and the Mrs to contract the landscape work without getting you involved.
The other way to do it is to insist that they be done together. The Mrs wants to know what your BBQ looks like so she can coordinate the color palette. You want to be involved in the landscaping to ensure there is enough room around the BBQ rig to move a 400 pound hog and a skid-steer loader.
Guess which way of doing it takes longer?
Back to normalizing the economy
Insisting that "we are all in this together' and insisting that smaller sub-regions cannot be de-coupled from the other parts of the state guarantees that normalization will take a very, very long time.
One of Eliyahu M. Goldratt's metaphors is of a group of Boy Scouts hiking up a mountain. Herbie is a younger, fat kid with a case of soda-pop in his backpack. Guess who is the slowest kid?
One part of Goldratt's solution was to unpack Herbie's backpack.
That solution petrifies metropolitan areas. The analogy of unpacking Herbie's backpack is to allow less urban areas to operate at their potential and open-up ahead of Detroit. Then, employers in the Detroit area would out-source to those areas that were not drunk-and-disorderly.
What would that do to Detroit's tax base? Yup, it would vaporize which in-turn would further crater Michigan's budget.
There are elements in the government that are loath to sever Michigan's financial generosity to Detroit. They would insist that the ship be sunk before making adjustments.
Well, the ship is sinking. I can feel the water sloshing around my ankles.