(Note: The numbered points below are key policy recommendations that the Mackinac Center is distributing around the state on pocket-sized cards. Here, under each point, we incorporate links to other documents that provide further explanation and documentation. Dozens of additional policy suggestions can be found in a 2002 study from the Mackinac Center entitled "Keeping Michigan on Track: A Blueprint for a Freer State" and in a 2005 speech entitled "Michigan at the Crossroads: A State of the State Address.")
In today’s global environment, Michigan’s economy must be strong and competitive. Anything less means we lose jobs and businesses to other states and countries. A strong economy means we can better support our families, our schools and universities, our charitable institutions, and our local communities. Here’s a partial list of what we need to do:
Eliminate the Single Business Tax. The SBT has been rated the worst business tax in the nation. Removing it, not redistributing its burden, is critical to job creation and expansion.
Impose constitutional restraints on expenditures. Future state spending increases should be limited to population and inflation in the form of a Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights amendment to the state constitution.
Restore financial integrity to Detroit. The appointment of an emergency financial manager for Michigan’s largest city is necessary to restore the fiscal management Detroit needs to once again be a driver, not a drag, for the state’s economic development.
Eliminate discriminatory economic development programs in favor of broad-based reforms. The state should focus on creating a fair and positive environment for everyone, not picking winners and losers through subsidies or selective tax favors.
Require legislative approval for new regulations. State agencies should submit major regulations for approval by the legislature before they become law. Regulations should be subject to rigorous analysis of their costs, benefits and implications for the rights of property owners.
Repeal the Prevailing Wage Act. It needlessly balloons the cost of state and school construction/renovation costs by nearly $300 million every year.
Expand the ability of parents to choose the best and safest schools. Make schools more competitive, accountable, cost-conscious and choice-driven. Reform tenure, certification, teacher health insurance and school finance to empower parents and school boards instead of union hierarchies and distant bureaucracies.
Protect property rights. Enact a statutory prohibition against the exercise of eminent domain for private economic development and require compensation to property owners for regulatory "takings."
Deregulate telecommunications and electricity. Michigan’s archaic regulatory regime is stifling innovative technologies and keeping rates artificially higher than the national average.
Pass a Right-to-Work Law to ensure freedom in workplace representation. No worker should be compelled to pay money to a labor organization as a condition of employment. The 22 Right-to-Work states have all outpaced Michigan in economic growth.