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‘A really bad deal’: Michigan awards GM $1bn in incentives for new electric cars | Electric, hybrid and low-emission cars

In September, Ford stunned Michigan when it announced plans to build two massive electric vehicle (EV) plants in the nation’s southeast instead of its midwestern back yard. Fearing the future of the automotive industry was leaving Detroit, the state’s political class swung into action.

Four months later, lawmakers responded by handing a staggering new subsidy deal to GM that they claimed would fortify the Motor City’s standing as the world’s auto capitol during industry electrification: In exchange for $1bn in tax incentives, the Detroit-based automaker promised $7bn in investment for new battery and EV plants that could create 4,000 new jobs.

“This news is great for us and for Michigan, the epicenter of where we’re developing EVs,” GM president Mark Reuss said during the announcement.

But what’s good for GM may make less sense for state taxpayers, a Guardian analysis of the deal finds. Once again large corporate subsidies – paid for by taxpayers – look set to benefit the corporations while leaving taxpayers out of pocket.

Michigan has effectively agreed to compensate GM more than $310,000 for each job created, but during the next 20 years, the positions are unlikely to generate more than $100,000 in tax revenue in the very best case scenarios.

Collectively, the plants’ jobs will probably return less than $300m of the state’s $1b investment when contributions to state income, sales, property and other taxes are factored in.

The state also claimed the direct and indirect jobs created by the project will generate $29bn in new income over 20 years, or the equivalent of 29,000 jobs paying $50,000 annually. Economists from across the ideological spectrum who reviewed the analysis said that level of job creation is highly unlikely and pointed to a US Commerce Department report that labels such claims “suspicious”.

Moreover, a state memo shows GM agreed to create only 3,200 positions – 800 fewer than it publicly promised, and the deal also allows it to close the plants within several years but keep most of the money.

The package is “a really bad deal for Michigan taxpayers”, said Greg LeRoy, executive director of corporate subsidy watchdog Good Jobs First. Michigan isn’t alone: The deal is among a new wave of colossal corporate subsidy packages that lawmakers across the country are cooking up to lure EV manufacturing and more giveaways are in the works. And like other huge corporate sweeteners – notably the $4.8bn used to lure Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn to Wisconsin – LeRoy warns these “trophy deal” announcements may help political campaigns, but are also reckless deals that threaten to blow holes in states’ budgets in the coming decades.

As the combustion engine is phased out, tax revenue from its production and use will drop off, and states will need EV revenue to replace it. EV manufacturing requires fewer direct and indirect jobs and adding generous subsidy deals further limits its financial returns.

Already, Michigan has handed out more subsidy deals, worth at least $50m, than any other state, and it has struggled with budget shortfalls stemming from billions it owes on combustion engine tax incentives that have yielded questionable job and revenue returns.

“You would think after all that history Michigan would be gun shy to do something like this that could bite them,” LeRoy said.

GM and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a quasi-public agency that negotiates the state’s subsidy deals, didn’t respond to specific questions about the package and keeps its math secret. But the MEDC wrote in an email that it’s up to taxpayers to “de-risk” large projects for corporations, and the subsidies are essential for landing auto investment.

“We cannot take for granted that they will stay in Michigan if we aren’t keeping up with our competitors,” a spokesperson said.

GM added, “It is always up to the government entities to determine if and when incentives are granted, but our experience has shown that incentives are an important part of supporting the business case.”

Critics say history also shows automakers are proficient in igniting economic war among states, a strategy former Ford and Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca detailed in a 1990 interview: “Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, all over the world, we would pit Ohio versus Michigan. We would pit Canada versus the US.”

GM is planning to spend $35bn on EV and autonomous production through 2025, and Michigan lawmakers say they are competing against the southeast. Though Ford pointed to the southeast’s cheaper electricity, geography, available land and geological advantages as motivating its decision, “Michigan lawmakers found themselves embarrassed by the loss and reacted swiftly,” said Michael LaFaive, fiscal policy director with the right-leaning Mackinac Center for Public Policy, which tracks corporate subsidies.

“These funds have more to do with job announcements than they do real jobs,” LaFaive said.

‘They turned their back on our state’

Between 2002 and 2006, Michigan taxpayers contributed incentives worth about $110m to fund expansions of GM’s Ypsilanti township and Warren transmission plants near Detroit. State documents show the company and MEDC projected hefty returns: about 20,000 new or retained jobs and $2bn in new state tax revenue by 2027.

Within several years, GM had created new transmission line jobs – in Mexico.

The automaker shuttered the Ypsilanti township plant in 2009 and shipped its few hundred remaining jobs to Ohio or overseas. Less than a decade later, GM pulled the plug on the Warren transmission plant.

For decades, Michigan automakers and the MEDC have hyped similarly extravagant subsidy packages as job- and revenue-creation troves, but MEDC documents obtained by the Mackinac Center and analyzed by the Guardian reveal a pattern of anemic returns on taxpayer investment in GM.

Perhaps most infamously, the company in 1981 took $460m in subsidies while convincing Michigan leaders to raze a Detroit neighborhood so it could build its Poletown plant, which leaders claimed would create 6,000 direct positions and 19,000 indirect jobs. Poletown briefly employed 5,300 workers in 1985, but that figure quickly declined, and it never came close to achieving its promised productivity.

Similarly, Ford took billions in Michigan tax incentives over the last 20 years before announcing its southeast EV plans. Michiganders have spent decades “investing in [automakers’] factories and what have they given us in return?” asked state Democratic floor leader, Yousef Rabhi.

“They’ve abandoned those factories, fired thousands of hard working Michiganders who they left out in the cold with no remorse and moved those jobs to China, to Mexico,” Rabhi said. “Frankly, they turned their back on our state.”

The new generation of EV factory incentives are effectively the same as those used to attract combustion plant investment in past decades, one of which the state auditor general found created about only 21% of its promised jobs, while LaFaive noted a large body of scholarly and other independent analysis that “demonstrate repeatedly that these programs have zero to negative economic impact”.

The MEDC disagreed, and said it is “grateful” for GM’s history of investment in the state while noting that the automaker employs nearly 50,000 people in Michigan.

When GM’s manufacturing job creation numbers in the state failed to live up to the subsidy package hype, the MEDC in 2020 changed the math to include more white collar jobs created at the company’s corporate headquarters in downtown Detroit.

Meanwhile, GM has recorded $70bn in profits since 2010 while taking $8bn in subsidies in recent decades – more than all but one company nationwide. The idea that it needed incentives to invest in Michigan “is absurd”, said Matt Gardner, a senior fellow at the progressive-leaning Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP).

Businesses report that tax subsidies infrequently determine where they invest, and Gardner pointed to Amazon’s decision to build its second headquarters in New York City even after the city yanked a proposed subsidy package worth billions.

“GM has the money: If they see the need to invest, then they’re going to do it with or without the incentives,” Gardner said.

Anatomy of a subsidy package

The value of local and state incentives for GM’s two new plants totals at least $1b and may generate 3,200 direct jobs – or about $312,000 for each direct job created.

GM says the positions will pay an average of $56,000 and $46,000 annually. For those earners, the conservative Tax Foundation and ITEP estimated an effective Michigan tax rate of between 9.2% and 10%, based on state tax law and IRS returns.

At that rate, the plants’ workers could contribute about $4,600 in taxes each year, and over 20 years, the time period the MEDC used in its analysis, they could collectively generate about $294m – well shy of the state’s $1b investment.

However, several economists called the analysis “very generous” to GM and the MEDC because it assumes the plants’ employees will provide new tax revenue. In other words, it posits “that these people didn’t have any jobs previously, that they weren’t spending any money”, Gardner said.

With unemployment low, GM is unlikely to hire many unemployed workers, so the jobs will probably generate much less than $294m in new tax revenue over 20 years, economists say. In January, the state also slashed electric rates for some large users, like automakers, which may shift the utility grid’s cost burden on to residential customers.

However, the analysis doesn’t include construction jobs or increases in GM’s state corporate taxes. The company and MEDC didn’t respond to questions about state taxes, but it’s unlikely to push the needle much: GM’s 2021 SEC filings show it paid between $102m and $272m in all 50 states in recent years.

Meanwhile, economists said they strongly doubted MEDC’s claim that the plants’ direct and indirect positions will generate 29,000 new jobs and $29b in new income over the next 20 years. Many indirect jobs are low-paying, and the program that industry and the MEDC uses to develop economic impact projections is easily and commonly manipulated.

Forecasting 20 years of economic impacts is nearly impossible, LaFaive said, and the MEDC’s job projection “strains credulity”.

“They can’t tell the future because they can’t tell the future,” he said.

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“The Creator”: A Glimpse Into A Future Defined By Artificial Intelligence (AI) Warfare

By Cindy Porter

In “The Creator” visionary director Gareth Edwards thrusts us into the heart of a dystopian future, where the battle lines are drawn between artificial intelligence and the free Western world.

Set against the backdrop of a post-rebellion Los Angeles, the film grapples with pressing questions about the role of AI in our society.

A Glimpse into a Future Defined by Artificial Intelligence (AI) Warfare

A Glimpse into a Future Defined by Artificial Intelligence (AI) Warfare

While the narrative treads familiar ground, it is timely, given the rising prominence of artificial intelligence in our daily lives.

A Fusion of Genres

Edwards embarks on an ambitious endeavor, blending elements of science fiction classics with contemporary themes.

The result is a cinematic stew reminiscent of James Cameron’s “Aliens” tinged with shades of “Blade Runner” a dash of “Children of Men,” and a sprinkle of “Akira” This concoction, while intriguing, occasionally veers toward familiarity rather than forging its own distinct identity.

Edwards’ Cinematic Journey

The British filmmaker, known for his foray into doomsday scenarios with the BBC docudrama “End Day” in 2005, has traversed a path from indie gem “Monsters” (2010) to the expansive Star Wars universe with “Rogue One” (2016).

“The Creator” marks another bold step in his repertoire. The film introduces compelling concepts like the posthumous donation of personality traits, punctuated by impactful visuals, and raises pertinent ethical dilemmas. It stands as a commendable endeavor, even if it occasionally falters in execution.

Navigating Complexity

In his pursuit of depth, Edwards at times stumbles into the realm of convolution, leaving the audience grappling with intricacies rather than immersing in the narrative.

While adept at crafting visual spectacles and orchestrating soundscapes, the film occasionally falters in the art of storytelling.

In an era where classic storytelling is seemingly on the wane, some may argue that this approach is emblematic of the times.

AI: Savior or Peril?

“The Creator” leaves us with a question that resonates long after the credits roll: Will artificial intelligence be humanity’s salvation or its undoing? The film’s take on machine ethics leans toward simplicity, attributing AI emotions to programmed responses.

This portrayal encapsulates the film’s stance on the subject – a theme as enigmatic as the AI it grapples with.

“The Creator”

Director: Gareth Edwards.
Starring: John David Washington, Gemma Chan, Madeleine Yuna Boyles, Ken Watanabe.
Genre: Science fiction.
Release Year: 2023.
Duration: 133 minutes.
Premiere Date: September 29.


Top 5 Movies by Gareth Edwards:

1. “Monsters” (2010)

– A breakout hit, “Monsters” showcases Edwards’ talent for blending intimate human drama with towering sci-fi spectacles. Set in a world recovering from an alien invasion, it’s a poignant tale of love amidst chaos.

2. “Rogue One” (2016)

– Edwards helms this epic Star Wars installment, seamlessly integrating new characters with the beloved original trilogy. It’s a testament to his ability to navigate complex narratives on a grand scale.

3. “End Day” (2005)

– This BBC docudrama marked Edwards’ entry into the world of speculative storytelling. Presenting five doomsday scenarios, it set the stage for his later exploration of dystopian futures.

4. “The Creator” (2023)

– Edwards’ latest venture, “The Creator,” immerses audiences in a future fraught with AI warfare. While not without its challenges, it boldly tackles pertinent questions about the role of artificial intelligence in our lives.

5. Potential Future Project

– As Edwards continues to push the boundaries of speculative cinema, audiences eagerly anticipate his next cinematic endeavor, poised to be another thought-provoking addition to his illustrious filmography.

“The Creator” stands as a testament to Gareth Edwards’ unyielding vision and his penchant for exploring the frontiers of speculative cinema.

While it doesn’t shy away from the complexities of AI, it occasionally falters in navigating its intricate narrative.

As we peer into this cinematic crystal ball, we’re left with a stark question: Will artificial intelligence be our beacon of hope, or will it cast a shadow over humanity’s future? Only time will unveil the answer.

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— By Cindy Porter

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Energize Your Property Value: The Surge In Demand For Home EV Charging Points

By Raza H. Qadri (ALI)

In a rapidly evolving real estate landscape, home electric vehicle (EV) charging points have emerged as a coveted feature. Here, we will explore the surge in demand for these charging stations and their potential to transform property value desirability.

Surge in Demand:

Estate agents are witnessing an unprecedented uptick in requests for properties equipped with EV charging points. Rightmove reports a staggering 592% increase in listings mentioning EV chargers since 2019. This summer, Jackson-Stops even incorporated EV charging points into their top-ten must-have property features for the first time.

Adding Value To Property:

Integrating electric vehicle (EV) charging points into residential properties has become a key factor in boosting their market value. According to insights from the National Association of Property Buyers, homes equipped with EV charging facilities can see an uptick in value ranging from £3,000 to £5,000. This trend aligns with the increasing demand for sustainable features in real estate. Rightmove’s Greener Homes report highlights a remarkable 40% surge in listings mentioning EV chargers in comparison to the previous year. Such statistics underscore the significance of these installations as a sought-after feature among buyers.

Beyond the potential increase in property value, homeowners can reap substantial benefits from dedicated EV charging points. These specialized units offer significantly faster charging speeds compared to standard three-pin plugs. With an output of 32 amps/7kw, a dedicated charger can provide up to 28 miles per hour of charging, a substantial improvement over the 9 miles offered by a standard plug.

Moreover, safety considerations play a pivotal role. Standard domestic sockets may not be designed for prolonged high-output usage, potentially leading to overheating and related wiring issues.

Therefore, the integration of a dedicated EV charging point not only adds tangible value to a property but also ensures a safer and more efficient charging experience for homeowners and their electric vehicles.

Benefits Beyond Convenience:

Dedicated charge points offer benefits beyond convenience. According to James McKemey from Pod Point, these units deliver significantly faster charging speeds compared to standard three-pin plugs. Safety considerations also come into play, as standard domestic sockets may not be built for prolonged high-output usage.


Charging an EV at home proves more cost-effective than relying on public charging stations. Smart charging capabilities enable homeowners to take advantage of lower rates, typically offered during off-peak hours, such as at night.

Charger prices vary, ranging from approximately £300 to over £1,000, with installation costs potentially adding another £400 to £600.

Solar Integration:

Solar integration presents a game-changing opportunity for homeowners seeking both environmental sustainability and financial benefits. The global solar energy capacity reached an astounding 793 gigawatts (GW), illuminating the rapid adoption of this renewable energy source.

For homeowners, integrating solar panels with an electric vehicle (EV) charging point can lead to substantial savings. On average, a standard solar panel system costs around £6,000 to £7,000 per kWp (kilowatt peak), with the typical installation size being 4kWp. This equates to an initial investment of approximately £24,000 to £28,000.

However, the return on investment is impressive. Solar panels can generate roughly 3,200 kWh (kilowatt-hours) per year for a 4kWp system in the UK. With the average cost of electricity sitting at 16.1p per kWh, homeowners can save approximately £515 annually on energy bills.

Moreover, the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) scheme allows homeowners to earn money by exporting excess electricity back to the grid. As of September 2021, the SEG offers rates ranging from 1.79p to 5.24p per kWh. Over the course of 20 years, a solar panel system can generate savings of over £10,000, demonstrating the substantial financial benefits of solar integration. This trend is expected to surge further as advancements in solar technology continue to drive down installation costs and boost energy production.

Regulations and Grants:

Regulations surrounding EV charging point installations vary, particularly for listed buildings, which require planning permission for wall-mounted units. However, for flat owners, renters, and landlords with off-street parking, there’s an opportunity to benefit from government grants.

These grants provide a substantial subsidy, offering £350 or covering 75% of the total installation cost, whichever is lower. This incentive has spurred a surge in installations, with a notable uptick in applications over the past year.

In fact, according to recent data, the number of approved grant applications for EV charging points has risen by an impressive 68% compared to the previous year. This demonstrates a growing recognition of the value and importance of these installations in both residential and rental properties.

Renting Out Your Charging Point:

Renting out your EV charging point also presents a compelling opportunity for homeowners to capitalize on the growing demand for electric vehicle infrastructure.

According to recent market trends, the number of registered electric vehicles worldwide surpassed 14 million in 2023, marking a significant milestone. With projections indicating an annual growth rate of 29% – 34% for the global electric vehicle market, the need for accessible charging solutions is set to skyrocket. In the UK alone, the number of electric vehicles on the road has tripled over the last three years, reaching over 857,000 at the end of 2023.

This surge in EV ownership underscores the potential market for homeowners looking to rent out their charging points. Platforms like JustPark and Co Charger facilitate this process by connecting drivers in need of charging with available charging stations.

By participating in this shared economy, homeowners not only contribute to the expansion of EV infrastructure but also stand to generate a supplementary income stream. This symbiotic relationship between EV owners and charging point hosts aligns with the broader shift towards sustainable transportation solutions.


Finally, we can conclude that the surge in demand for properties with EV charging points signals a shifting paradigm in real estate. With added convenience, cost-efficiency, and potential for monetization, these installations are poised to become a cornerstone of future property value and desirability.

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— By Raza H. Qadri | Science, Technology & Business Contributor “THE VOICE OF EU

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Business Transformation Expert Talks About Mass Layoffs

By Clint Bailey – ‘The Voice of EU’

By Clint Bailey – ‘The Voice of EU’

Raza H. Qadri (Ali), a Business Transformation expert and the Founder of Vibertron Technologies, a BizTech company, possesses extensive experience in the tech industry. Throughout his career, he has provided consulting services to both large corporations and SMEs undergoing significant restructuring initiatives.

In a recent interview with Voice of EU, Qadri highlighted the detrimental impact of mass layoffs on mid-career tech professionals and the businesses that implement such measures. He expressed his concern regarding the prevailing trend of widespread workforce reductions, suggesting that it represents a logical misstep.

“Considering the reputation of the tech industry for innovation, I had anticipated greater progress in recent developments. However, it appears that tech companies are regressing, particularly in their dismantling of established departments and structures that were intended to drive future growth.”

[Mass redundancies are] an outdated and traditional practice that most companies turn to as a first resort to create liquidity

Qadri says that most of the employees impacted by layoffs have “approximately 10-11 years of experience” and so are “not really junior staff that are easily replaced,” noting there would be “a loss of skills and knowledge in these companies.”

Additionally, he expresses concern regarding the potential loss of diversity at the technical and software engineering layer. Executives are increasingly focused on building and developing technology utilizing AI systems, which are known to possess biases due to limited training data.

Throughout his extensive experience working across various industries and regions, Qadri has observed that more than 70% of digital transformation initiatives either fall short or fail to achieve their intended outcomes. He emphasizes that one critical component, often overlooked, that can make or break digital transformation is the “people element.”

Emulating Technology & The Copycat Phenomenon

“In my view, the companies seem to be copying each other’s operations strategies” says Qadri. According to Qadri, these companies view the situation as an opportunity to streamline their workforce by letting go of the additional employees they had hired during the pandemic-induced surge. Many believed that the future would be dominated by virtual meetings and peripheral manufacturers would continue to experience significant profits.

However, in contrast to the significant revenue growth experienced by many companies during the global lockdowns, a notable trend has emerged. Numerous organizations have initiated large-scale job cuts.

According to data compiled by, 693 technology businesses have already laid off 197,945 employees this year, with the year not even reaching its midpoint. This figure surpasses the 164,591 individuals laid off by 1,056 companies throughout the entirety of 2022.

Qadri quoted Henry Ford’s aphorism – “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it” – saying that mass redundancies were “an outdated and traditional practice that most companies turn to as a first resort to create liquidity.”

Shareholders, Profitability & Financial Performance Driving the Bottom Line

Qadri said: “The impact of layoffs on profitability may not be immediately evident, as increased expenses and significant severance packages (usually spanning 3-6 months) need to be accounted for in the short term. However, the dismantling of established departments and structures by tech companies is perceived as a regressive step. This approach reflects short-term thinking, lacking a focus on sustainable strategies for the digital future.”

Raza Qadri

Business Transformation Exec. Raza Qadri Talks About Mass Layoffs.

Qadri, who recently introduced a new remote work tech transformation algorithm MCiHT (Multi-Channel Integrated Hybrid Technologies) for Vibertron Consulting Solutions, notes that while companies are laying off people, they are investing billions in AI, IoT, and automation, citing the billions Microsoft has put into OpenAI so far.

In recent months, Microsoft announced its intention to reduce its workforce by 10,000 employees, which constitutes approximately 4% of the company’s total staff. This decision was prompted by Satya Nadella’s remarks highlighting the necessity for productivity enhancements. Microsoft is not the only company taking such measures; other prominent organizations like Salesforce, Amazon, Google, Meta, and several others are also trimming their workforce to align with the excess hiring made during the growth spurred by the COVID-19 lockdowns.

On the company’s most recent earnings call last month, Nadella noted: “During the pandemic, it was all about new workloads and scaling workloads. But pre-pandemic, there was a balance between optimizations and new workloads. So what we’re seeing now is the new workloads start in addition to highly intense optimization drive that we have.”

CFO Amy Hood then quickly responded to this, stating the company had “been through almost a year where that pivot that Satya talked about, from [here] we’re starting tons of new workloads, and we’ll call that the pandemic time, to this transition post, and we’re coming to really the anniversary of that starting. And so to talk to your point, we’re continuing to set optimization. But at some point, workloads just can’t be optimized much further.”

Not singling Microsoft out specifically, but speaking to the point of moves made by tech companies in a ‘maturity phase’. Qadri said, “Layoffs significantly impact this key performance indicator (KPI), despite the fact that these companies may possess substantial reserves. Such measures serve as a swift means to align with investor expectations and share prices, enabling them to quickly optimize their size and structure.”

Is It A Sustainable Approach?

During our conversation, we inquired with Qadri about the notable and unprecedented cuts that occurred at Twitter following Elon Musk’s involvement with the company.

He said: “I find it difficult to believe that only 30 percent of the organization was responsible for managing the entire structure. Even if that were the case, it would require considerable time to evaluate the existing structure, realign roles and responsibilities, and implement transformative measures to enhance efficiency.

The sudden loss of a significant portion of the workforce within a few weeks raises concerns, and I anticipate witnessing a restructuring of the top leadership with the arrival of the new CEO. Considering the online statements made by individuals like him, I am apprehensive about the values and direction that tech leaders of this nature promote.”

“Conversely, individuals whose skills are no longer retained by the tech industry now have opportunities to pursue financial independence and may choose not to revert to traditional roles within companies. Some are exploring avenues as independent contractors, leveraging their technical expertise to manage multiple full-time jobs enabled by remote work.”

Ultimately, the tech industry is “not really in a dire situation financially,” he says. While it “might have some loss of revenue [it is] not in the red yet. Layoffs should be last resort in truly bad financial situations, rather than first resort in slightly uncertain conditions.”

According to Qadri, one of the proposed solutions is for companies to resist the urge to follow the crowd and instead prioritize addressing the people element. By gaining support from investors and other stakeholders, companies can shift their focus towards long-term objectives rather than short-term gains. This entails establishing a robust ecosystem of internal and external stakeholders.

Photo credits: Vibertron.

Clint Bailey — Senior Business & Technology News Editor at ‘The Voice of EU’ & Co-Editor of EU-20 magazine.

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