Economic Development

Jobs Braggadocio

The Granholm Administration wasted no time after the Michigan Economic Growth Authority monthly rubber-stamp board meeting on Tuesday to start pumping out press releases bragging that more than 2,800 new jobs were coming to Michigan as a result of selective tax break deals for the latest gaggle of "winner" firms and projects. The MEGA-related jobs claims should be discounted by 71 percent, based on a recent Mackinac Center study that found only 29 percent of the jobs promised by past MEGA deals actually happened. … more

Food Stamps and Dyseconomics

Political Class Desperation Index

Coincident Indicator?

More discriminatory tax breaks for the few won't fix Michigan

This chart might be called the "Political Class Desperation Index." The need for transformational reform of Michigan's tax, spending, labor and regulatory environments is indicated by the skyrocketing unemployment rate. The failure of the political class to buck special interests — including government employee unions — and finally undertake those reforms makes its members increasingly desperate to create the appearance of "doing something." Thus the massive increase in futile picking of winners (and losers) for receipt of discriminatory tax breaks and subsidies. These create diversionary "feel good" stories for local newpapers, but do nothing to reverse the state's economic decline — and may even accelerate it. ("MEGA" is the flagship program of Michigan's bureaucratic "economic development" empire.) … more

Turning Michigan Around

How to Fix Michigan? Cut Cost of Living, Working and Investing Here

On Oct. 9, 2009, Michael LaFaive, director of the Mackinac Center's Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, spoke at the invitation of Rep. Justin Amash, R-Kentwood, at an "Economic Town Hall" meeting convened by the representative. Here's what he told the participants: When I was first asked to participate here I was a bit taken back by the specificity of Representative Amash's request. He said, "Mike, my constituents have endured nearly a decade of bad news. I want you to tell them what we're doing right. Give them the good news." So, in conclusion let me say ...Obviously, I am joking but at the same time, I am not joking. … more

Terror on the Boardman River

As a senior in high school in 1976, I had the opportunity to view the 1968 Halloween horror film classic, "Night of the Living Dead" at the local university campus. A gentleman seated next to me asked for my opinion about halfway through the film, sparking a lengthy conversation on montage and mise-en-scene. The gentleman excused himself shortly thereafter, and appeared on stage as guest speaker upon the film's conclusion. The speaker was none other than the film's writer/director, George Romero. His last words to me before leaving were something along the lines of "You seem pretty sharp, kid. You might want to think about making horror movies yourself." Little did I know it would take me more than 30 years to realize that kind advice. Instead of populating my latest video with flesh-eating zombies and serial killers, however, this Property Rights Network video relates the horrors experienced by property owners on the Boardman River outside Traverse City. Of the four dams on the river, three have been slated for removal by city and county officials. … more

State Pols Fear Warming While Crops Freeze

Maybe Michigan farmers suffering from low crop yields from yet another cold Midwest growing season can recoup their losses by renting out their fields to combat global warming with state-subsidized wind farms? … more

Gov. Granholm Takes Washington Post for Ride on “Jobs” Numbers

In a profile that appeared in today's Washington Post, Gov. Jennifer Granholm misused data on her targeted business tax break and subsidy programs, the administration's primary response to a Michigan economy that has lost 632,600 payroll jobs since her inauguration back in 2003. The Post writes, "Since taking office in 2003, Granholm has created 163,300 positions, her office says," a reference to jobs directly attributable to business "incentive" programs. In fact, the most recent data indicates that MEGA, the state's flaghip corporate welfare program, can claim credit for just 7,755 new jobs during Gov. Granholm's six year, nine month tenure in office! … more

The West Bank of the Detroit River

Prosperity is measured by what it takes to shop for food. … more

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation: A Review and Analysis

Video by Kathy Hoesktra, Mackinac Center communications specialist … more

Is there a Ford in our presence?

Hart Enterprises

Requiem for Reason

Requiem for Reason

Creative Charlatanry 2.0

The “Scene” and the Unseen

State Works at Cross Purposes

2008 UVL Data

UVL Data, Migration Study Underscore Michigan Troubles

The Mackinac Center has long recommended a “Big Three” of tide-turning policies: Eliminate the Michigan Business Tax, prohibit employers from mandating union membership as a condition of employment and rein in oppressive regulation. … more
The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz Has No Clothes

The answer is simple: Politicians don’t care about job creation as much as they care about the perception of it. … more
Migration Grows chart

Lights Out?

Taxes Do Matter

City of Sylvan Lake

Frederick Bastiat

Globalization: What a Wonderful World

Despite Michigan’s recent economic woes, in 2004 it exported $35 billion worth of goods and services to the world, ranking it fourth among the states, up from sixth place in 1998. … more

Revitalizing Detroit

Transforming Michigan

The Price of Cool

Bad Food at a Good Price!

Imagine a restaurant with second-rate food, surly waiters, slow service and high prices. When the manager sees a customer getting restless, he rushes over and offers a 15 percent price cut. … more

Jobs Tomorrow: Deja Vu

Notes on Michigan’s Economy

Coupons or Value?

MEGA: 10 Years With Little To Show

MEGA’s attempt to pick winners and losers is a poor substitute for improving the fundamentals of Michigan’s business climate. … more
Michigan

MEGA: A Retrospective Assessment

April 18, 2005 marks the 10th anniversary of The Michigan Economic Growth Authority, a program established by Michigan government with the mission of spurring in-state job creation and business investment. The authority is the state of Michigan’s agent for selecting firms to receive Single Business Tax credits in return for creating new facilities and jobs in Michigan. … more

Breaking the Business Tax Deadlock

Her Own Personal Autoworld (Viewpoint of Public Issues)

More than 50 years of economic development history in Michigan should be enough to convince us that the economic development emperor has no clothes. … more

Trying Too Hard to Be Cool

Prudent Investor

Job Search

Business Tax Climates

Michigan at the Crossroads

The world economy is relentlessly, ruthlessly competitive. Michigan has no entitlement to a healthy economic future. Unless Lansing finds the courage to abandon “business‑as‑usual,” the state’s economy — and the people of Michigan — will fall further and further behind. … more

“Milking the Cow” of State Development Departments (Viewpoint on Public Issues)

We cannot lose sight of the fact that selective favors discriminate against those who do not receive them and distract policymakers from the broader business-climate reforms that would benefit everybody. … more
Consumer Price Index chart

Going Broke by Degree

I have looked carefully at the relationship between economic growth and state spending on universities. I found a strong negative relationship — higher state spending equals lower rates of economic growth. … more

The Record of “Economic Development” Policy in Michigan

Between 1995 and 2003, Michigan finished 51st among the 50 states and the District of Columbia in employment growth. … more
Study Cover

Recommendations to Strengthen Civil Society and Balance Michigan’s State Budget — 2nd Edition

An Analysis of Fiscal-Year 2003-04 Appropriations and Recommendations for 2004-05. … more
Foreign Firms chart

Jobs Outsourcing: Beneficial Trade by Another Name

Outsourcing greatly lowers our cost of consumption, raises our standard of living tremendously and directly supports many jobs. … more
New York’s SoHo neighborhood

How to Make Cities “Cool”

Our state and its city governments would do better to focus on their more important functions (schools, roads and public safety, for example), which are often carried out in ways that are anything but cool. … more
Major Uses of Michigan Land

Michigan’s Primary Land-Use Plan a Failure

By every measure, Michigan remains largely a rural state. More than 18 million of Michigan’s 36 million acres is forestland, a share that has actually grown by 2 million acres in the past 20 years. … more

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