Economic Development

Michigan Tax Reform Signed

Changes will make Michigan more competetive

The Michigan Business Tax will soon be no more. … more

GlobalWatt Sells Someone Else’s Solar Panels – on eBay

Just in time to brighten the holidays, GlobalWatt, a Saginaw-based solar panel manufacturer, is selling five solar panels on the popular auction website, eBay. But GlobalWatt did not make the panels. A company in India did. … more

Tear Down This 'Film Industry' Facade

Ending the handouts would send a signal that this state is done playing games with ephemeral and failed "economic development" programs, and instead will focus on a real economic growth agenda, including across-the-board tax relief, labor law changes and other regulatory reforms. … more

Center Analysts Cited on Job Growth, Road Construction

Skepticism surrounds a recent report from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. that claims its "21st Century Jobs Fund" helped "save or retain" 20,000 jobs in the last five years, according to WOOD-TV8 in Grand Rapids. … more
Charlie Owens

Small Businesses vs. Big Governments

Citizens, Investors and Legislative Circus Poodles

We all pay a price when government treats investors, entrepreneurs and households as circus poodles made to jump through hoops in order to collect selective tax-break or subsidy "biscuits" handed out at the whim and discretion of bureaucrats and legislators. … more

Playing Favorites

Senate Bill 323 Hands Out Lucrative Favors on Prime Real Estate

In studies and blog posts, this author and others have argued that state "jobs" programs are really political development programs used by term limited legislators to advance their own political careerism by handing out special tax favors and subsidies to select corporate "winners," all under the guise of "economic development."
Consider Senate Bill 323, sponsored by state Sen. John Pappageorge, R-Troy. … more

Free-for-All

An estimated 35,000 city residents rushed the doors of Cobo Hall in a desperate attempt to grab 5,000 federal assistance applications made available to Detroit as part of the "Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program," a federal stimulus fund designed to help residents pay rent and utility bills.
The resulting chaos is symbolic not only of Detroit's plight but also of the wild lunge for free money that has been the hallmark of the $18 billion in stimulus money thrown at Michigan since last spring. … more

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation: A Review and Analysis

Video by Kathy Hoesktra, Mackinac Center communications specialist … more

The Scene and the Unseen: Act III

The Michigan Film Office's much-anticipated annual report about the Michigan Film Incentive program appears to significantly misrepresent a key figure, omits important information on Michigan job numbers, and fails to provide much of the detail the law requires, raising questions about the Film Office’s compliance with the law and its administration of the incentive program. … more

State of Crisis

The Scene and the Unseen: Act II

The Scene and the Unseen: Act I

The Federal "Freedom Car": Back to the Future

Government's Car of Tomorrow Relies on Yesterday's Failed Policies

Based on a speech given by Michael LaFaive June 22, 2002, at Northwood University's annual "Freedom Seminar" in Midland. … more
Right-to-Work Cover

The Effect of Right-to-Work Laws on Economic Development

The right to decide for yourself whether or not to support a union in your workplace: union officials dismiss it as "the right to starve", but for the last thirty years Right-to-Work states have been outperforming compuslory unionism states such as Michigan. This report demonstrates how individual freedom and higher productivity give workers in Right-to-Work states the edge in job opportunities, employment, and purchasing power. … more
Graphic

Economic Freedom, Not Government Favoritism, Brings Jobs to States

Companies base their decisions about where to create new jobs not on government programs that offer them selective subsidies or tax credits, but on the overall freedom of a state's business climate. … more
Michigan's Tax Burden Compared

Economic Freedom among the States: How Does Michigan Compare?

A recent report ranked the 50 states according to how much economic freedom each government allows its citizens to enjoy. How free are Michigan citizens? … more

IMF Bailouts: Foreign Aid or Recovery Delayed?

The International Monetary Fund 's efforts to bail out failing foreign economies with American tax dollars harm not only those economies but also Michigan workers whose jobs depend on exported goods. … more

End the War Between the States

States are battling one another with arsenals of corporate welfare that use public money to attract select new factories and businesses. These counterproductive and discriminatory incentive programs should be replaced by more broad-based tax cuts and government reforms. … more

Wanted: A Line Between Public and Private

Most people think government should do some things, but not every thing. Expanding government programs for things like "job creation" and "economic development" blurs the line between public and private. … more

Corporate America Feeds the Hand that Bites It

Many business people say that they're for free enterprise while simultaneously undermining it by aiding its opponents. … more

Where Does Economic Development Come From?

It doesn't come from government subsidies; it springs from incentives and free markets. … more

We Consume Because We First Produce

The notion that Americans are economic pigs because we are just 7 percent of the world's population and consume 40 percent of the world's wealth is based on economic ignorance. … more

Regional Economic Development: Downriver as a Case Study

The seventeen communities of the Downriver Detroit area have traditionally been economically vibrant. Their decline in recent years is due in great measure to excessive tax burdens and the politicization of community services. The authors explain how this area can revive by rolling back property taxes, privatizing a number of municipal functions, avoiding government-directed economic development schemes, and making certain improvements to the transportation infrastructure. The many lessons from the Downriver experience are applicable to communities all across Michigan. 32 pages. … more

Let's Take Another Look at Government as an Investor

Economic development schemes promoted by government usually amount to nothing more than thinly disguised subsidies for people with political clout. Flint, Michigan, is a case in point. … more

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