The Detroit Free Press notes that the Michigan is placing its hopes on developing its high-tech industry on the launch of the Chevy Volt:

GM announced the Volt in 2007. But the company kept hurtling toward its 2009 bankruptcy, bringing on the negativity North American President Mark Reuss said fell on all of Detroit.

Still, Volt development continued. And as GM restructured, so did Michigan.

Today, the state has 17 companies that help make batteries for electric vehicles, projected to create 63,000 Michigan jobs in the next decade, Gov. Jennifer Granholm said Tuesday at a Volt celebration at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant, which builds the car. More jobs are now on their way to an industry carving a path for a greener auto industry.

On Tuesday, GM and Chrysler announced plans to each hire 1,000 new workers, mostly engineers, as they ramp up production of new models. Michigans manufacturing-related jobs already are increasing, with 467,000 jobs in October, up 33,000 jobs from a low of 434,000 in June 2009.

This would be great if electric cars were a result of innovation and efficiency produced through competition in a free market. But, unfortunately for Michigan, the production of electric vehicles is instead the result of government mandates and subsidies.

As we’ve shown in our publications, Economic Development: Texas Style and Competitive States 2010: Texas vs. California, relying on government to create jobs-green or not-doesn’t work. Which is why the economies of both Michigan and California have suffered greatly of late. Texas, however, has relied on individuals-entrepreneurs, workers, and consumers-to produce economic growth, which is why we’ve created more jobs over the last 10 years than the rest of the country combine.

People-not government-is the best hope we all have for economic growth.

– Bill Peacock