Economic Development

Michigan Already Awash in Business Subsidies

Lawmakers should reject latest proposal for more

Lawmakers should reject latest proposal for more … more

One State May Do Away With Taxpayer-Funded Tourism Promotion

Why ending Florida’s 'Pure Michigan' counterpart would benefit residents and visitors

Why ending Florida’s “Pure Michigan” counterpart would benefit residents and visitors … more

New Subsidies More about Political Development than Economic Development

Economic conditions matter more than giving targeted taxpayer dollars to developers

Economic conditions matter more than giving targeted taxpayer dollars to developers … more

People First or Well Connected Developers?

We should provide tax relief for all instead of favors to a select few

We should provide tax relief for all instead of favors to a select few … more

Real Economy Creates 81 Jobs For Every 1 Promised by Business Subsidy Program

And don't look too hard at the record of those promises

Broad improvements to the business climate help more than special subsidies … more

Tourism Promotion Study Criticism Absurd, Ironic

MEDC criticism falls flat; still hiding behind secretive study … more

Plenty of Good Reasons to Oppose Business Subsidies

Giving taxpayer dollars to developers is ineffective

Giving taxpayer dollars to developers is ineffective … more

Profiles in Courage in Defense of Taxpayers

Cotter and Chatfield hold the line on cronyism

Cotter and Chatfield hold the line on cronyism … more

Michigan House Rejects Cronyism Bills

‘TIF on steroids’ legislation dead for now

‘TIF on steroids’ legislation dead for now … more

Mackinac Scholars Challenge Tourism Officials to Debate

Letter sent to key proponents of Pure Michigan campaign

Letter sent to key proponents of Pure Michigan campaign … more

Tourism Officials Invited To Debate Efficacy of Pure Michigan

Mackinac Center researchers challenge state to defend claim that program is worth its cost

Mackinac Center researchers challenge state to defend claim that program is worth its cost … more

Pistons Move to Downtown Comes With Big Taxpayer Price Tag

Mackinac Center experts comment on the deal in state media

Mackinac Center experts comment on the deal in state media … more

Study: New Sports Facilities Do Not Increase New Business Openings

Research discredits idea for ‘catalyst’ or ‘transformational’ developments

Research discredits idea for ‘catalyst’ or ‘transformational’ developments … more

Study: Pure Michigan a Poor Investment

New study raises questions about Pure Michigan’s effectiveness

New study raises questions about Pure Michigan’s effectiveness … more

Time to End the 21st Century Jobs Fund

New Mackinac study featured in state media

New Mackinac study featured in state media … more

Study Recommends Ending Michigan’s 21st Century Jobs Fund

The program has failed even by its own measurements

The program has failed even by its own measurements … more

An Evaluation of Michigan's 21st Century Jobs Fund

In 2005, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm launched a project intended to stimulate he state’s economy: the 21st Century Jobs Fund. At the time the state had not yet recovered from the 2001 national recession and was suffering the country’s highest unemployment levels.
After a tough political battle to establish the program and after making a number of compromises, the 21st Century Jobs Fund was created. The program was to be funded from 2006 to 2015, and in the 2013-14 legislative session, under a new governor and Legislature, it was extended until 2019 and provided with $75 million in continued annual funding.
After ten years of existence, this program has received little attention and its effectiveness has never been measured. All government programs should be reviewed regularly, and it is time for a close look at the 21st Century Jobs Fund. … more

A Quick Brief on the Housing Recovery in Michigan

Price of average home is approaching record levels

Price of average home is approaching record levels … more

Michigan Crushes Korea in Corporate Welfare Handouts

Nearly $9 billion in crony-capitalism subsidies

Nearly $9 billion in subsidies over two years … more

Blown Away By Flawed Research on Jobs Program

Michigan spent millions with little to show for it

Michigan spent millions with little to show for it … more

New Evidence: Film Incentives Still Don’t Work

Research from Michael Thom analyzes a variety of programs

Research from Michael Thom analyzes a variety of programs … more

Rumors of Taxpayer Spending

State job funds are expensive and underwhelming

State job funds are expensive and underwhelming … more

Economic Interference Week

Economic Development Week is no cause for celebration

Economic Development Week is no cause for celebration … more

Job Churn Shows Why Targeted Tax Favors Do Not Work

There is constant job loss and creation in the state economy

There is constant job loss and creation in the state economy … more

Pure Michigan Campaign Ineffective, Needs To End

New op-ed published in the Detroit News

New op-ed published in the Detroit News … more

Pure Flummery: Seeing Double on Corporate Welfare Spin

Pure Michigan ads are attractive corporate welfare

Pure Michigan ads are attractive corporate welfare … more

Reasons to be Optimistic Abound in Michigan Economy

State leads the way out of recession, but work still to do

State leads the way out of recession, but work still to do … more

Are Michigan's Record Labor Force Gains Real?

Can we celebrate recent record-breaking job growth figures? … more

Grand Rapids: Michigan's Boomtown

Recovered from recent recession and grown beyond its 2000 peak

Recovered from recession and grown beyond its 2000 peak … more

Tax Cuts Beat Selective Favors in Economic Growth

Only broad changes will improve the state's economy

Only broad changes will improve the state's economy … more

Michigan Competitiveness Stuck on Mediocre

Economic outlook has improved, but could be better

Economic outlook has improved, but could be better … more

College Grads Attracted to Opportunity Before Bike Lanes

To increase college grads, increase opportunities for all … more

LaFaive Op-Ed Published in The Detroit News

Why Michigan shouldn't single out Switch for tax breaks

Why Michigan shouldn't single out Switch for tax breaks … more

Addition by Subtraction

Detroit's economy stagnates under regulatory burden

Detroit's economy stagnates under regulatory burden … more

Republicans Backtracking on Previous Good Tax Work

More holes in the tax code with data center deal

Shooting more holes in the tax code with data center deal … more

The MEDC’s Pure Michigan Puffery: Part II

Reforms could make agency more credible

Reforms could make agency more creditable … more

MEDC’s Pure Michigan Puffery: Part I

Agency claims about success deserve more scrutiny

Agency claims about success deserve more scrutiny … more

Lawmakers Rushing Through Special Tax Breaks

Will GOP backtrack on select deals?

Taxpayers shouldn't subsidize Steelcase pyramid deal … more

Will Republicans Backtrack on Corporate Welfare Cuts?

Many economic development programs receive bipartisan support

Many economic development programs receive bipartisan support … more

How to Improve Economic Development Transparency

State considers changes to economic development disclosure

State considers changes to economic development disclosure … more

Film Incentives Clearly Hurt

Studies show a lack of positive economic impact

Studies show a lack of positive economic impact … more

So Long Film Subsidies

Other 'economic development' programs should be next

Other economic development programs should be next … more

The Problem of Corporate Welfare

Corporate welfare leaves smaller companies to struggle … more

House Republicans Should be Applauded for Trying to Cut ‘21st Century Jobs Fund’

The program has been a repeated failure

The 21st Century Jobs fund has repeatedly failed in its objectives, and any efforts to cut it would be positive. … more

State Tourism Spending Ineffective

For every $1 spent, hotel industry gets one penny … more

Pure Michigan Scare Tactics

MEDC deploys 'Washington Monument syndrome'

MEDC deploys 'Washington Monument syndrome' … more

Department Reorganization is New Wine in Old Skin

Corporate welfare doesn’t work, reorganizing won't fix it

Corporate welfare doesn’t work, reorganizing won't fix it … more

Economic Growth and Right-to-Work Laws

This study aims to measure the impact of right-to-work laws on states’ economic performance. It uses average annual growth rates in employment, real (inflation-adjusted) personal income and population to measure the economic well-being of right-to-work states. On the whole, the results of this analysis show that right-to-work laws have a statistically significant and economically meaningful positive impact, although the results vary. … more

LaFaive Cited in Macomb Daily

Repetitive language in press releases is tiresome. … more

Lansing Pols Recycle Press Releases

Tiresome and demeaning to taxpayers

Tiresome and demeaning to taxpayers. … more

'The Freeman' Interviews Rod Lockwood

Mackinac Center board member discusses Belle Isle

Mackinac Center board member discusses Belle Isle. … more

New Strategies Needed for Dealing With Blight

Turning over more property to land banks not the answer. … more

Pontiac Phoenix Center in Ashes

Stop the Presses! All of Michigan's Problems Solved

Bill would make Iosco County "birding capitol" of Michigan. … more

Is 5076 Montauk Blighted?

Questions arise over how county land banks operate. … more

GQ Hit Piece on GR ArtPrize

"Like fairgoers sampling sideshows at a carnival." … more

Land Bank Powers Abused, Costly to Taxpayers

Government shouldn't act as land speculators. … more

Kent County Taxpayers Question Land Bank

Group alleges "crony government gone wild" in tax lien sale. … more

Lansing Builds a 'Scaffolding for Plunder'

GOP Representative supports

House Bill 5667 has several flaws … more

Crime Hinders Economic Development

Michael LaFaive in The Saginaw News. … more

The Green Jobs Myth

Paying more to get the same thing does not improve the well-being of families, businesses, the economy or the nation. … more

Taxes and the Life and Death of Great American Cities

Low-tax metropolitan areas experience much greater growth than high-tax ones. … more

State Regulations Suffocate Hospitality Industry

Rep. Doug Geiss (D-Taylor) wants to ease some of the regulatory burdens on Michigan’s hospitality industry. … more

Another MEGA Loser

In the latest government economic development failure in Michigan, Evergreen Solar files for bankruptcy. … more

Good News From Marathon

Extra refinery capacity in Detroit will not only bring jobs and revenue, but also protect against gas price spikes and allow utilization of oil sands. … more

Strange Brew

Legislators to craft brewers: You don't count, but here's a cookie. … more

Some Good GDP News for Michigan

Michigan’s 2009-2010 state GDP growth rate was 2.9 percent, its best since 2002. … more

Lansing Township Action Puts Taxpayers at Risk

Government shouldn't be in the real estate business. … more

Michigan Tax Reform Signed

Changes will make Michigan more competetive

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

Stage Doors and Broken Windows

Brownfield Credits Are No Level Playing Field

There is nothing “fair” about unelected boards deciding which companies pay higher taxes and which companies pay less. … more

Who Benefits From Lower Business Taxes?

Just as individuals respond to changes in their personal financial situations, businesses, too, are affected. And taxing business will surely give us less of it. … more

'Book Him!': Michigan Film Subsidy Scandal Leads to More Charges

A scandal first exposed by the Mackinac Center last June has led to a second set of felony fraud charges. … more

Gov. Granholm Leaves Michigan to Find Work

Today is the 5th anniversary of Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s promise that Michigan residents would be “blown away” by the gobs of jobs her latest economic development program would create. How ironic then that she of all people would flee the state to find work… more

Business Owners Favor MBT Surcharge Repeal

Business owners are cheering a proposal in Lansing to repeal and reform the Michigan Business Tax and the 22 percent surcharge that comes with it, according to WJRT-TV12 in Flint. … more

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