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  1. Saving Retirement in Michigan
    Social Security is going bankrupt, threatening the financial security of Michigan citizens. Retiring Baby Boomers are estimated to double the number of retirees in America by 2015, when Social Security will no longer collect enough in taxes to pay the benefits promised to recipients.

    Privatizing Social Security-allowing individuals to privately invest their own retirement savings-can avert the financial crisis. Countries including Chile and Great Britain have privatized all or part of their state pension programs, yielding retiree benefits much higher than the government systems, including Social Security's paltry 2.2 percent annual rate of return.

    This study recommends that the Michigan Legislature call on Congress to either privatize Social Security or allow Michigan to design for its citizens a sounder and more beneficial retirement plan.
     
  2. Private Investments Would Increase Retiree Benefits
     
  3. Russell Alger and the Spanish-American War
    One hundred years ago, former Detroit lumber baron and U. S. Secretary of War Russell Alger signed the treaty ending the Spanish-American War. Historians agree that Alger made a much better businessman than bureaucrat.
     
  4. Could Charter Schools Mean Fewer Educational Choices?
    Charter schools offer parents greater choices, but they shouldn't be the only available choice. Tuition tax credits would help offset the unfair competitive advantage that tax-funded charter schools enjoy over tuition-charging nongovernment schools.
     
  5. Paycheck Protection: First Aid for Michigan Workers
    A law known as "paycheck protection" would shield Michigan employees' union dues from unauthorized expenditures and allow the state's nearly one million union workers to keep more of what they earn.
     
  6. For the Health of It: A New Look At Protecting the Public
     
  7. Michigan Education Report (1998-01)
     
  8. Better Debt Policy Can Help Schools Earn Voters' Trust
    Michigan school districts that want to pass bond issues for needed building projects often face skeptical voters. Adoption of sound guidelines for debt issuance would help assure voters that their money would be wisely spent.
     
  9. Global Warming: Mother Nature Is Still In Charge
    Global warming alarmists want to impose burdensome energy restrictions on U. S. citizens, but scientists disagree over the role human use of fossil fuels plays in the earth's climatic changes.
     
  10. School Choice for Whom: Government or Parents?
    Bridgeport parents Ed and Becky Kohlhoff wanted their four-year-old son Justin to join his brother in neighboring Birch Run's schools, but their home district refused, preferring to keep Justin-and the state subsidy for educating him.
     
  11. "Urban Sprawl" and the Michigan Landscape: A Market-Oriented Approach
    Government officials and environmental activists use "stopping urban sprawl" as a mantra to support greater government control over private land use decisions in Michigan through central planning aimed at farmland preservation and urban revitalization. This study critically examines suburbanization and land use in Michigan to determine that the state's economy and farmland and citizens' quality of life are not threatened by economic growth and development, or what activists have dubbed "sprawl." The study argues that restrictions on suburban growth do not address the causes of why people move out of inner cities any more than the Berlin Wall addressed the problems of East Germany's repressive socialist economy. The study concludes by recommending a market-based approach to land use policy and identifying "urban sprawl" as the natural evolution of free people pursuing peaceful ends and their shot at the American Dream.
     
  12. Food Irradiation: Markets or Mandates?
    Astronauts and people in 28 countries eat food made safer by exposure to small doses of bacteria-killing radiation. Why aren't more American consumers able to take advantage of this potentially life-saving technology?
     
  13. Using Sugar to Wash Down the Pork: The Joe Fordney Story
    One hundred years ago, Saginaw Representative Joe Fordney was first elected to the U. S. House of Representatives. His 24-year career shows how protectionist tariffs hurt everyone-even the people they're supposed to help.
     
  14. Politics before Progress: How to Kill Regulatory Improvement
    Michigan Senator Carl Levin's efforts to improve the way federal regulations are issued have been stymied by political wrangling. State and local regulatory reform could help Levin's sensible reforms pass at the federal level.
     
  15. Class Size Reduction is Expensive
    The latest silver bullet to cure what ails failing government schools would bankrupt the state treasury and swell the ranks of teacher unions, but do little to improve student performance.
     
  16. NEA/MEA Prepare to Attack Groups that Push for Worker Rights
     
  17. Lead by Example
     
  18. IMPACT! Fall 1998
     
  19. Billy Durant and the Founding of General Motors
    Billy Durant wouldn't let his daughter ride in a car because he thought they were too dangerous. So he took advantage of Michigan's free-market business climate to found General Motors and make safer cars himself, ninety years ago.
     
  20. The Civil Rights Issue of the ’90s
    Nostalgia for the 1960s civil rights movement runs strong in the 1990s, and polls show that Michiganians believe that government recognition of parents' right to choose their children's schools is today's civil rights struggle.
     
  21. What Indianapolis Can Teach Michigan
    Detroit and other Michigan municipalities can learn a powerful lesson from the city of Indianapolis, which has used free-market competition to improve the quality of over seventy-five government services and dramatically slash costs to taxpayers.
     
  22. School Boards Should Fix Problems in Collective Bargaining
    Politicians promise to help children learn better by passing new laws and spending more money, but Michigan school districts could improve education themselves simply by negotiating better contracts with teacher unions.
     
  23. Paycheck Protection in Michigan
    The U. S. Supreme Court's 1988 landmark decision Communication Workers v. Beck established the rights of employees working under union contracts to pay only those union dues or fees necessary to cover the costs of a union's employee representation duties. However, the majority of Michigan's nearly one million union workers are unaware of their rights under the Beck decision for the simple reason that their unions neglect to inform them. This report shows how "paycheck protection" legislation would help safeguard worker Beck rights by requiring unions to obtain up-front, written approval from individual workers each year before they could spend the dues money on political or other non-workplace-related activities. The report recommends that Michigan policy makers adopt a paycheck protection proposal to help union workers enjoy their freedoms of speech and association as they refrain from involuntarily contributing money to union causes with which they disagree.
     
  24. Privatization: On The Honor Roll
     
  25. Study: Eight Ways to Improve School Labor Contracts to Help Public Education
     
  26. Take Out a Contract on Detroit Metro
    A nationwide survey of air travelers recently ranked Detroit Metro Airport dead last in quality and convenience. Contracting out the airport's management to a private firm-as other cities have done-could solve Metro's woes.
     
  27. The Injustice of Environmental Justice
    The Environmental Protection Agency's latest edict on "environmental justice" discriminates against poor minorities by discouraging industries from bringing good-paying new jobs to the disadvantaged residents of inner city neighborhoods.
     
  28. Teachers and School Choice

    Increased competition among schools would not only improve education for all children, it would reward dedicated teachers who excel in the classroom with good benefits and greater job satisfaction.


     
  29. In Wake of Daimler-Chrysler Merger, Michigan Needs Labor Law Reform
    Competition for jobs among states and other countries is heavy in the global marketplace, but Michigan's labor market is burdened by a policy of compulsory unionism that damages the state's long-term potential for prosperity and economic growth.
     
  30. Detroit Metro Airport: Let Privatization Take Off!
     
  31. Make Michigan Open for Business
     
  32. "Environmental Justice" Endangers the Jobs of Michigan’s Minorities
     
  33. Detroit Privatization Needs a Tune-Up
     
  34. Collective Bargaining: Bringing Education to the Table
    Michigan parents, citizens, and policy makers have begun an earnest discussion over the issues that affect the quality of children's education, but one issue that is rarely considered in discussions about education reform is public school union collective bargaining. This Mackinac Center for Public Policy study is the first ever to systematically analyze the hundreds of collective bargaining agreements for every school district in a state. It examines collective bargaining's impact on Michigan public education and makes recommendations that school boards should incorporate into their union contracts to improve their ability to direct maximum resources to the classroom and deliver quality education to students. The study also explains the historical and legal framework of public employee collective bargaining in Michigan, analyzes seven important court rulings that affect public collective bargaining issues, and advises districts on which subjects to negotiate or not negotiate into their labor contracts. Three appendices compare costs and benefits of various health care plans and present contract and financial data from the survey of Michigan's 583 school districts.
     
  35. School Choice is Good for Teachers, Too
     
  36. Mackinac Center Study: Government Property Seizures Threaten Rights of All
     
  37. Gala Marks Decade of Impact
     
  38. Teachers Deserve Good Benefits; Schools Deserve To Know What They Cost
    School districts being manipulated by union-controlled health insurance providers should look instead to less expensive alternatives to providing their teachers with high quality health care benefits.
     
  39. Market-Oriented Approach to Farmland Preservation Best Bet for Michigan
    Over ninety percent of Michigan is rural, yet environmental alarmists want government to restrict the use of land to curb the loss of farm acreage, creating a solution far worse than the perceived problem.
     
  40. Home School Heroes
    Children whose parents take an active role in their educations are among the most academically successful. The thousands of Michigan parents who teach their children at home should be applauded for demonstrating the ultimate in parental involvement.
     
  41. Dow Didn’t Sue Powerful Competitors; He Outsmarted Them
    Government interventionists argue that antitrust laws are needed to protect the public from Microsoft, but a lesson from Michigan history shows that brainpower and some old-fashioned free-market competition can break even the most powerful cartels.
     
  42. Is Mackinac Center Too Successful?
     
  43. Teacher Health Insurance Money Should Not Fund Politics
     
  44. You Call It Urban Sprawl, I Call It Home
     
  45. The Ultimate in Parental Involvement
     
  46. Beating Microsoft the Old-Fashioned Way
     
  47. Reforming Property Forfeiture Laws to Protect Citizens’ Rights
    The Framers of the United States Constitution understood that freedom depends upon the vigorous protection of private property rights and that this protection was therefore the most sacred obligation of government. However, despite Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment guarantees, recent years have witnessed a massive expansion of a legal practice known as "asset forfeiture," which allows government to violate the very property rights it is charged with protecting. Hundreds of asset forfeiture laws-many of them intended to stop illegal drug trafficking-give state and federal law enforcement agents the power to seize property even without proof of the owners' guilt in a criminal trial because, in many cases, the government considers the property itself to be the criminal. This study recommends nine reforms that will help guarantee that Michigan citizens enjoy the benefits of private property rights, limited government, and individual liberty, and remain protected from unjustified and arbitrary seizure of their personal possessions.
     
  48. Red Wings’ Victory Follows in Tradition of Detroit’s Melting Pot
     
  49. IMPACT! Summer 1998
     
  50. Privatization Keeps on Truckin'
    Privatization takes off in a special transportation issue, including feature articles on privatizing the nation's airports and air traffic control system, privatization and Detroit's port authority, and private driver's education. Other features discuss competitively contracted transit services, ending Amtrak subsidies, and the new book Curb Rights. 20 pages.
     
  51. Government's Hidden Bite out of Michiganians' Take-Home Pay
    Hidden payroll taxes are one reason Michigan ranks twelfth from the bottom nationwide in take-home pay. Workers should be informed of the full cost that government imposes on their pocketbooks.
     
  52. Minimum Wage Causes Maximum Pain
    The minimum wage hurts low-skilled workers by pricing them out of the labor market. Sixty years ago, New England textile workers afraid of Southern competition were counting on just this fact.
     
  53. Do Dollars Equal Scholars?
    Eighty-three percent of all spending on public education goes toward employee salaries and benefits, but over half of Michigan school employees never set foot in a classroom.
     
  54. Time to Change Michigan's Revenue Sharing Program
    Each year, over one billion dollars in state sales taxes are divided among Michigan municipalities. Why are cities with the highest tax rates rewarded with the lion's share?
     
  55. Michigan Municipalities Should Share Fair and Square
     
  56. Will More Money Improve Student Performance?
     
  57. Minimum Wage Hurts Teenagers and Minorities
     
  58. Out of Sight, Out of Mind?
     
  59. Greenhouse Gas Reduction Is No Simple Task
    President Clinton is telling Americans they must reduce carbon dioxide emissions to comply with the unratified Kyoto treaty, but he has yet to say how this will be done without sacrificing jobs.
     
  60. Michigan to Washington: Privatize Social Security or Let Us Opt Out!
    The looming bankruptcy of Social Security threatens the retirement security of millions of workers. Michigan lawmakers should call on Congress to either privatize the system or let states design alternate plans.
     
  61. Property Doesn't Commit Crimes, People Do
    American citizens are presumed innocent until proven guilty, but when government accuses their property of criminal activity, it's a whole new ball game.
     
  62. Privatization: Investing in a Secure Retirement
     
  63. Taxing Students
     
  64. Global Warming Agreement: Michigan Needs Answers
     
  65. Pleasant Ridge: Privatizing Public Works
     
  66. Asset Forfeiture Threatens the Rights of All
     
  67. The Need for Debt Policy in Michigan Public Schools
    Public school construction is booming across Michigan, but due to citizens' negative perceptions, many districts are finding it harder and harder to gain voter approval for bond proposals to fund needed projects. This analysis of Michigan public school bonding concludes that development of formal debt policies can help schools earn essential voter trust by managing bond monies in the most efficient and effective manner. The report recommends fifteen elements for a sound debt policy that school districts should adopt to avoid common pitfalls and problems in bonding, including excessive borrowing, improper accounting, and conflict of interest in debt issuance. 17 pages
     
  68. Senator Arthur Vandenberg: A Profile in Courage
    While 1930s Washington was abuzz with interventionist bureaucrats and politicians, Michigan Senator Arthur Vandenberg championed the free-market economy and was rewarded-by being elected to four terms.
     
  69. A Tax Credit Is Not a Voucher!
    Opponents of school choice for Michigan's children are misrepresenting tuition tax credits in order to recycle their shopworn anti-voucher arguments.
     
  70. Pay Up, Michigan: Using Tax Credits to Subsidize the Sunbelt
    President Clinton wants to curb "greenhouse gas" emissions by encouraging solar energy use through tax credits. Those in sunny states would enjoy blue skies and lower taxes as Michiganians went without both.
     
  71. $2.4 Million Headquarters Complete
     
  72. Is urban sprawl good for state? Yes
     
  73. Lower Taxes on the Sunny Side of the Street?
     
  74. Tuition Tax Credits Are Not Vouchers
     
  75. Privatize Social Security Now
     
  76. Sen. Arthur Vandenburg: Michigan’s Four-term Free-Market Champion
     
  77. Heroes Wanted
     
  78. U.S. Supreme Court case may help local union members
     
  79. IMPACT! Spring 1998
     
  80. Michigan Resists the New Deal
    The sixty-fifth anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt's inauguration is a good time to recall how two prominent Michigan businessmen upheld free market competition against the government's massive economic intervention.
     
  81. Union Workers: Know What Your Rights and Options Are!
    Recent court decisions have limited the ability of labor unions to compel membership and dues money for their political causes. Rank-and-file members should be aware of their rights.
     
  82. Urban Sprawl: Michigan's Bogeyman of the 1990s?
    What policy makers term "urban sprawl" may actually be a sign of social progress. Lowering tax burdens, not restricting growth, is how to lure people back to our cities.
     
  83. Politics Threatens Vaccine Lab Jobs
     
  84. Workers of the World, Know Your Rights!
     
  85. Michigan Citizens Provide Alternative to Government Welfare
     
  86. Michigan Resists the New Deal
     
  87. Rooting Out Privatization Opportunities
    Feature stories: One city's privatization of its public works department; county dental service privatization; private schools and the difficult-to-educate. Other articles include the privatization of Michigan's state-owned railroads; how civil service rules affect privatization, and how one family is privatizing welfare one person at a time. 20 pages.
     
  88. "Urban Sprawl": Solutions in Need of a Problem
     
  89. Politicians, Peers, Publishers, and Press Recognize Mackinac Center Scholars
     
  90. School Choice: 1998 is the Year!
    More than 65 percent of Michigan citizens favor allowing parents to choose the schools their children attend. Which political party will have the courage to take the lead on educational choice initiatives?
     
  91. Berry Gordy and Motown Records: Lessons for Black History Month
    The story of how Berry Gordy borrowed $800 and built his Detroit home-based business into a multimillion-dollar music empire is a powerful reminder of what black entrepreneurs can achieve in America.
     
  92. The Rediscovery of Booker T. Washington: Lessons for Black History Month
    Booker T. Washington's formula for entrepreneurial success-strong character and an "I can do it" attitude-is undergoing a revival among black inner city students.
     
  93. Michigan’s Next Assignment: School Choice
     
  94. Black History Lessons from Motown--and Beyond
     
  95. The Coldwater Cable Controversy
     
  96. Ready for School Choice
     
  97. A Tale of Two Presidents
     
  98. Governor Groesbeck: Road Builder and Defender of School Choice
    In the 1920s, a daring three-term Michigan governor took bold stands against unfair taxation and the Ku Klux Klan's anti-school-choice efforts.
     
  99. Applying the "Kaitlyn Test" to Recycling
    An inquisitive four-year-old tests the proposition that recycling is always the best way to preserve precious resources.
     
  100. Consumers Should Be Wary of "Securitization"
    Electricity deregulation lowers prices by offering consumers a choice of service providers. But Michigan's big monopoly utilities want you to pay them for the privilege of shopping around.
     
  101. Bardallis Writes Ticket to Mackinac Center Success
     
  102. MSU Dean and Former Insurance Commissioner Join Board
     
  103. Former Teacher and Union Negotiator Joins Mackinac Center Staff
     
  104. Great Myths of the Great Depression

    (Editor's note: This publication was updated in April 2010.)

    Students today are often given a skewed account of the Great Depression of 1929-1941 that condemns free-market capitalism as the cause of, and promotes government intervention as the solution to, the economic hardships of the era. In this essay based on a popular lecture, Mackinac Center for Public Policy President Lawrence W. Reed debunks the conventional view and traces the central role that poor government policy played in fostering this legendary catastrophe.
     
  105. Auto Brokers and Dealers: David and Goliath
     
  106. "Securitization": Another Word for Ransom
     
  107. Roads and Schools: Big Issues of Today and Seventy Years Ago
     
  108. Recycling and Conventional Wisdom
     
Results 1 to 108 for the year 1998
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