Governor Who Oversaw Soaring Unemployment Will Teach Class on Job Creation


Merlin Elsner / Wikimedia Commons

This has to be one of the funniest higher education developments since the announcement that Paul Krugman would be paid $225,000 to do research at City University of New York's income inequality initiative: Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm will teach a course on job creation at the University of California-Berkeley.

As the Mackinac Center for Public Policy points out, Michigan lost roughly half a million jobs during Granholm's eight-year reign. Even so, UC-Berkeley believes she is qualified to teach Public Policy 290: "Creating Jobs through Better Government Policies for Innovation and Education."

She will cost the university quite a pretty penny, too:

That is the only class Granholm will teach in the fall. In the spring, she's listed as contributing to another course in Public Policy taught by another instructor. Granholm is listed as earning $84,331 in 2013 at the college.

Granholm's husband, Daniel Mulhern, is listed as earning $180,000 in gross pay in 2013 and is schedule to teach one class in the fall and two courses in the spring.

Granholm is not entirely, or even mostly, responsible for Michigan's high employment levels during the 2000s. But it would be quite a stretch to say that her government growth policies had any lasting positive effects. Granholm's favorite tools for trying to get Michigan's engines running again were subsidies for government-favored industries (like Hollywood), brutally high taxes on small business, green energy boondoggles, and anything else she could find in the lefty corporatist playbook.

Perhaps Granholm will surprise us all and begin her first lecture with a candid confession that nothing she tried worked and that the best method for the government to promote job growth is to get out of the way. Only time will tell.

It does look like Granholm will at the very least be doubling down on the necessity of environmental regulation for job creation, though. According to The College Fix:

In addition to job growth, the course aims to assist politicians with the rollout of new environmental protection rules.

"The class will coincide with the rollout of EPA rules regarding CO2 emissions, wherein states must formulate state-specific plans for cutting carbon pollution," the guide states. "The final state-based reports will be delivered to candidates and office-holders of both political parties in each of the states."

In the meantime, I wonder if UC-Berkeley is looking for a former Michigan politician to teach, say, "Ethics in Government" as well? Because Kwame Kilpatrick probably needs a job. (Maybe he could Skype from federal prison.)