VIEWPOINTS

Constitutional Convention Won't Fix Michigan's Problems

April 2010   V2010-10

In November, Michigan voters will decide whether to call a constitutional convention. There is no guarantee that a convention would fix problems now plaguing our state, and revising the document could make things worse.

Taxpayers Never Get Early Retirement

April 2010   V2010-11

Policymakers don't seem to have a problem with across-the-board tax increases that impact nearly all Michiganders, but they don't apply the same fervor to keeping their spending in line.

Online Learning Can Improve Michigan Public Education

April 2010   V2010-12

Online schools can increase student achievement and are less expensive to operate than conventional schools.

Michigan Service Tax Defended by Phantom Facts

May 2010    V2010-13

Gov. Jennifer Granholm and the Legislature should not pursue expanding Michigan's sales tax to services as a way of correcting their overspending crisis.

The Paying Class vs. the Government Class

May 2010    V2010-14

The salaries and benefits of Michigan's government class — including politicians — need to be brought back in line with that of the private-sector workers who are paying the bills.

Michigan's Gift to Texas? People

May 2010    V2010-15

Calls for higher taxes in Michigan — on top of the state's fettered economy — will send more Michigan residents packing. Many of them, statistics show, will end up in Texas.

How Michigan's Foundation Allowance Works

June 2010 V2010-16

Laws governing how Michigan funds public schools can be complex. This commentary explains the foundation allowance and corrects some common myths surrounding the term.

Michigan Taxpayers Have Already Made Compromises

June 2010  V2010-17

Proposed changes to public employee benefit plans will not correct a system that has grown too expensive in past years — and will increase in cost in future years — to offset the tax hikes that legislators desire.

More and More a Political Animal

June 2010 V2010-18

A review of reports filed by the nation's largest unions reveals two things: Public-sector unions are growing while private-sector unions are shrinking; and politics, not collective bargaining, dominates unions' focus.

JOURNALS

MichiganScience

MS2010-02

Key stories: Cancer research, risk assessment, state of the Great Lakes.

MichiganScience

MS2010-03

Key stories: Risk assessment, engineering in high schools, nuclear power plants.

STUDIES

Chetly Zarko v. Howell Education Association

S2009-11

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation and the Michigan Press Association filed a joint "friend of the court" brief before the Michigan Supreme Court in a case involving a citizen political activist's request for e-mails created on a public school computer server. A faulty decision would seriously damage the state's Freedom of Information Act and the public's ability to monitor the actions of elected officials.

VIDEO

Golden Ticket

Many charter public schools are forced to hold "lotteries" because there are more students than seats available. This video documents the lottery held in March at South Arbor Academy. Due to an arbitrary cap on the number of charter schools in Michigan, some 12,000 students are on waiting lists.

Film Noir

An investigation by Fiscal Policy Director Michael LaFaive and Communications Specialist Kathy Hoekstra uncovered several unanswered questions surrounding a multimillion dollar investment in a Grand Rapids-area movie studio that had been listed by a real estate agent for a fraction of that amount just months ago. The studio has applied for a large refundable tax credit through the Michigan Film Office.

Knockout Punch 

Education Policy Director Michael Van Beek and Communications Specialist Kathy Hoekstra apply a "truth-o-meter" to Michigan Education Association ads that claim teachers are treated like "punching bags" by the Michigan Legislature. The video explores claims that school employee concessions have saved taxpayers $1 billion in recent years, that class sizes are increasing and that teachers spend an average of $500 annually out-of-pocket on classroom supplies.

SPECIAL PROJECTS

Civil Society

SP2010-01

President Joseph G. Lehman's essay, originally published in The Heritage Foundation's October 2009 booklet "Indivisible: Social and Economic Foundations of American Liberty," was reissued as a Mackinac Center pamphlet.