Results 1 to 88 of 88

Smart Regulations for the Coming Driverless Car Revolution

As you read this, a future that features driverless cars on city streets, interstate highways and maybe in your driveway is steadily unfolding. But before this future fully arrives, policymakers need to think hard about how to properly regulate these new technologies. Regulations, after all, are powerful and often blunt tools — they can be used to foster innovation, competition and economic growth, and they can be used to prevent change, snuff out invention and slow technological advances. The predicted benefits of autonomous vehicles to society are large and widespread, and Michigan needs to be ensure that its residents can take full advantage of these upsides.

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Issues and Ideas Forum: Luncheons and Experts

Overview, e-mail notifications, and archives. Listen to Expert Speakers Over Lunch. more

What Can We Learn from Michigan Parents Using School Choice?

An increasing number of Michigan families are exercising choice within the public education system. More than 300,000 students attend either a charter school or another public school across district lines, most often through Schools of Choice. While there has been much debate about how school choice is working in Michigan, the voices of parents seeking educational alternatives have largely not been included in the discussion.

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The New Fight for the Right: Where the Conservative Movement is Going

The Republican Party fully controls most states and at the national level has captured the House, Senate and presidency. By many measures, the party has more power than it has had in many decades. But will that control last? And, more importantly, what policy priorities are coming about from these political victories?

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Home Sharing: Michigan’s Next Property Rights Battle

Renting out the family summer cottage is a common practice in Michigan, but with today’s technologies, it’s easier than ever, empowered by companies like AirBnB, HomeAway, VRBO and more. These short-term rentals mean vacationers can find a place much more easily and inexpensively, while owners can earn some extra money. It seems like a win-win.

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Fighting for Free Speech on Michigan University Campuses

Some institutions of higher education have cracked down on free speech. Even in Michigan, universities have speech codes that restrict students’ speech, campus groups have prevented speakers from delivering talks and administrators have stopped individuals from handing outcertain literature.

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From the Model T to Driverless Cars: How Michigan Can Lead in Transportation Innovation

You may not have seen them on the highway yet, but autonomous vehicles are here. The potential benefits of this and related technologies are immense. But they also present new and unique regulatory and infrastructure challenges for state and local governments. Brent Skorup of the Mercatus Center has written extensively on these issues and will lay out the principles and practices policymakers should pursue when determining how to regulate these new technologies.

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Why Trump is Wrong About Trade

There aren’t many policies that get near unanimous support from economists, but free trade is one of them. Despite this, a central theme of the 2016 presidential campaign, heard from both political parties, was that free trade was somehow harmful to the United States and corrective action was needed. Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, will make the case for why President Trump’s assessment of free trade is misguided.

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After Obamacare: How Michigan Can Deliver on Patient-Centered Health Care

Michigan’s health care choices in a new political environment

Obamacare repeal-and-replace is underway, and regardless of whether it passes or fails big, changes are coming for Michigan’s medical services and insurance industry, and the state’s social welfare system, especially Medicaid.

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Foot Patrol Policing: Engaging Michigan Communities One Step at a Time

Issues and Ideas Forum

As police departments seek to reduce crime, restore trust in law enforcement and improve the strained relationship between officers and civilians, many have begun shifting to more community-oriented operations.

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Bottleneckers: Gaming the Government for Power and Private Profit

Issues and Ideas Forum

A “bottlenecker” is someone who uses the power of the government to limit competition in the market and artificially boost their own profits. Bottleneckers use a variety of methods to achieve their goals, including tax loopholes, regulations, occupational licensing requirements, minimum wage laws and many more. The end result when these special interest bottleneckers succeed is fewer choices and higher prices for consumers, fewer job opportunities for workers and less innovation throughout the economy.

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Worker’s Choice: Freeing Unions and Workers From Forced Representation

Issues and Ideas Forum

Unionized workers are forced to accept union representation whether they want it or not, even though Michigan is a right-to-work state.  Right-to-work takes away a union’s ability to get a worker fired for not paying them. However with the law unions are still given a monopoly to represent all workers on a job. They must provide representation even to those not paying them. While unions like their monopoly they still complain about what they call “free riders” – those forced to accept their services but not paying for them.  Unions have brought legal challenges in several states claiming right-to-work violates constitutional takings clauses because of this so-called free rider issue.

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How Pensions Are Bankrupting Cities and States and How to Fix It

Issues and Ideas Forum

Retiree benefits are a national crisis, but some cities and states have made significant reforms that are saving money and preventing liabilities being pushed off onto future generations. This event will discuss the scope of the problem and what Michigan should be doing to solve it.

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The Boundaries of Educational Choice: Surveying Michigan's Private School Landscape

Issues and Ideas Forum

Nonpublic schools serve tens of thousands of Michigan elementary and secondary students, yet a clear understanding of the state's diverse private education landscape has been lacking. While most states (including those on our borders) have enacted some kind of publicly funded choice program, Michigan private schools fight in the Legislature for a small share of funding to cover the state’s health and safety mandates. In order to expand choice, Michigan must overcome a stringent constitution, as well as some popular misconceptions about private schools.

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Free Market Solutions to Problems in Health Care

Issues and Ideas Forum

The Affordable Care Act dramatically changed the healthcare market throughout the United States and expanded the control of the federal government over healthcare policies. Despite this fact, there are still reforms that states can make that could expand the access and reduce the cost of medical services. This event will feature several experts who will discuss reforms that Michigan policymakers should consider if they want to improve healthcare services in this state.

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Can I Catch a Ride?: Regulating Uber and Lyft in Michigan

Issues and Ideas Forum

Ridesharing is a new service made popular by companies like Lyft and Uber. It relies on smartphones to connect those who need a ride to drivers willing to provide one — a riff on the traditional taxi system. Ridesharing has allowed thousands of Michiganders earn extra income as drivers and save money and time as riders. It currently operates in a legal gray area, because ridesharing drivers are not cabbies or chauffeurs. 

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Let Them Work: Solutions for Michigan’s Overbearing Occupational Licensing Laws

Issues and Ideas Forum

Occupational licensing is now the biggest issue in labor economics, with even more of an effect than unions.  On a national basis 25 percent of all Americans need the government’s permission and specific credentials before they can work.  That is more than twice as many people who are members of unions—11 percent and declining—and 25 times the number who earn the minimum wage.

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Why Can’t Tesla Sell Cars in Michigan?

Issues and Ideas Forum

Under current Michigan law, Tesla Motors and other car companies may not open showrooms or service centers to work directly with consumers.  Instead, to operate in Michigan, car companies have to enter into franchise agreements with independent dealers.  Telsa and at least one other start-up car company, Elio Motors, have stated that working through dealers would impair their ability to get into the market.  A number of other states have recently moved to permit direct distribution by manufacturers.  Professor Crane will lay out the case for direct distribution, showing its importance to innovation, competition, and consumer choice.

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Union Transparency: How to Make Michigan Public Unions More Accountable

Issues and Ideas Forum

Public workers in Michigan pay hundreds or thousands of dollars per year in dues to unions, but it’s very difficult for workers to find out how that money is being spent. The reason is that Michigan has weak reporting requirements for government unions, asking for only a few numbers on spending in broad categories. Under this system, union members cannot assess if their union is spending their dues money wisely or not.

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Civil Asset Forfeiture: How Government Seizes Private Property from Innocent Citizens

Civil asset forfeiture is a legal process by which allows the police to seize and sell private property, even if no crime has been charged against the owner of that property. Several states have recently reformed their civil asset forfeiture laws, and Eric Holder, the U.S. Attorney General, has called for improving federal laws pertaining to this practice.

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Not As Good As You Think: Why Middle-Class Parents in Michigan Should be Concerned about Their Local Public Schools

Issues and Ideas Forum

Many middle-class Michiganders think that most low-performing schools are located in poor inner cities such as Detroit, not in their nice neighborhoods or in their smaller towns. They need to think again.

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Overcriminalization in Michigan

Issues and Ideas Forum

Michigan’s vast, disorganized criminal law inherently places residents at risk of unintentionally violating a growing array of regulatory crimes that are difficult to discover and understand. The complexity of administrating such a criminal code threatens to divert scarce resources away from the enforcement of serious violent and property crimes. This event will feature ideas about how to protect Michigan residents from overcriminalization and improve the state’s criminal law.

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Government Against Itself: Public Union Power and Its Consequences

Issues and Ideas Forum

Please join the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in welcoming Daniel DiSalvo, assistant professor of Political Science at The City College of New York-CUNY and senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute's Center for State and Local Leadership.

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Our Guild-Ridden Labor Market: The Curious Case of Occupational Licensing

Issues and Ideas Forum

Occupational licensing has had a curious and unusual history both in the U.S. and other nations. During some periods it was virtually nonexistent, but now in the U.S., it is growing rapidly and has developed into a stealth form of regulation. Dr. Morris Kleiner, a nationally recognized expert on occupational licensure, will address this issue and provide answers to why some occupations became heavily regulated and others did not. In addition, he’ll outline the economic effects of occupational licensing on mobility, wage determination, prices and the quality of services delivered.

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Economic Freedom: What It Is and Why It Matters

Issues and Ideas Forum

A necessary building block of a prosperous society is economic freedom. History shows that freer countries tend to become wealthier countries, with the United States typically leading the way. But is the United States moving in a different direction?

Dean Stansel, an economics professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, will discuss the current state of economic liberty in the United States. Stansel authors the Fraser Institute’s annual “Economic Freedom of North America” report, and will compare states by this measure. Finally, Stansel will assess how well Michigan supports economic freedom.

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How to Mitigate the Damage Caused by Michigan’s New Minimum Wage Hike and Why More Labor Reforms Are Necessary

Issues and Ideas Forum

James Sherk, senior policy analyst in labor economics at The Heritage Foundation, will present on ways to mitigate the economic harms caused by a higher minimum wage and on ways to hold government unions more accountable to their members.

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The Detroit Bailout and Meaningful Pension Reform

Issues and Ideas Forum

Our speakers will be Richard Dreyfuss, a senior fellow with the Commonwealth Foundation in Pennsylvania and Stephen D. Eide, senior fellow with the Center for State and Local Leadership at the Manhattan Institute in New York.

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How States Are Fixing Pension Problems – And Michigan Can Too

Issues and Ideas Forum

How states like Michigan can fix perennial pension problems will be the topic of this Issues and Ideas Forum. The featured speaker will be Dan Liljenquist, who spearheaded pension reforms in Utah while he served as a state senator. For his role in the Utah reforms, Liljenquist was named a 2011 “Public Official of the Year” by Governing Magazine, and has since a become national expert on this issue and highlighted by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, among others outlets.

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Collective Bargaining Reform: Are Districts in Conflict With State Law?

Issues and Ideas Forum

This Issues and Ideas Forum will present Mackinac Center findings from a review of more than 100 teachers union contracts, which analyzed the various ways school boards have attempted to comply with the 2011 reforms regarding teacher evaluations, placement and tenure. Our featured speaker will be Representative Ken Yonker, R-Caledonia, who will share his thoughts on the intent of the 2011 reforms and how districts have implemented them.

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Free-Market Approaches to Immigration Reform

Issues and Ideas Forum

This Issues and Ideas Forum will look at the question from a free-market perspective. Our speakers will be Alex Nowrasteh, an immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute, and Helen Krieble, founder and president of The Vernon K. Krieble Foundation and creator of the “Red Card Solution,” a plan that could curb illegal immigration by offering non-citizen work permits that do not lead to citizenship.

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Expanding the Electricity Market: A Good Choice for Consumers

Issues and Ideas Forum

This Issues and Ideas Forum features Dr. Ted Bolema, a Mackinac Center adjunct scholar and senior policy editor for the Mercatus Center in Washington, D.C. who will make the case for why Michigan needs to give Michigan electricity customers more options.

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Criminal Minds: The Importance of Defining Intent in Criminal Statutes

Issues and Ideas Forum

This Issues and Ideas Forum features Paul Larkin of the Heritage Foundation, Marc Levin of the Texas Public Policy Foundation and Michael Reitz of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy who will discuss the need to define intent in Michigan criminal statutes.

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The Higher Ed Bubble: Finding Financial Sanity on Campus

Issues and Ideas Forum

Join Dr. Vedder for insights on this issue and hear his ideas to solve the high cost of a college education

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Issues Ideas Forum

The Future of Unionized Government

“The Future of Unionized Government” featuring Paul Kersey, Mackinac Center Labor Policy Director, David Masud, Managing Partner Masud Labor Law Group, Tom Eaton, Deputy Director of Human Resources, County of Oakland, and Barbara Ruga, Labor Lawyer, member of the Clark Hill Law Firm.

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JUNE 23 ISSUES IDEAS FORUM