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"There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge" -- British author and mathematician Bertrand Russell.

* Muskegon County looks for cuts in spending. "The proposed budget anticipates $42.9 million in revenues for 2012, the lowest in at least six years and $1.3 million less than the current projection for 2011.":

http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2011/08/muskegon_county_proposes_healt.html

* In Schoolcraft Co;unty in the UP, the closure of a large employer and rising costs (40 percent bump in health insurance costs) has county commissioners scrambling to get the county into "survival mode":

http://www.dailypress.net/page/content.detail/id/531790/County-in--survival-mode-.html?nav=5003

* On a list dominated by California and Arizona, Metro Detroit snags a spot on a list of the 10 "fastest roads" in America. Eastbound Michigan 5 has a stretch where the fastest 5 percent of drivers are averaging more than 80 mph, Forbes.com reports:

http://www.forbes.com/pictures/ehlf45ll/eastbound-mi-5-michigan-highway-heading-into-detroit-from-the-i-275i-96-interchange-to-telegraph-road

* Tax foreclosures have increased about 300 percent in Jackson County since 2008:

http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2011/08/tax_foreclosures_hit_record_hi_1.html

* "Can the middle class be saved?" See what Don Peck has to say about it in The Atlantic Monthly:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/09/can-the-middle-class-be-saved/8600/?single_page=true

* Don't tell this to Republicans in the Legislature, or the AARP -- "Attacks on sorely-needed increases in state tax revenues often include the unproven claim that tax hikes will drive large numbers of households — particularly the most affluent — to other states. The same claim also is used to justify new tax cuts. Compelling evidence shows that this claim is false. The effects of tax increases on migration are, at most, small — so small that states that raise income taxes on the most affluent households can be assured of a substantial net gain in revenue.":

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3556

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