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  1. Hopes for the New Year
     
  2. Charter Bill’s Demise Signals Opportunity for Granholm Administration Legislation
     
  3. Reflections at Year-End From The Mackinac Center for Public Policy Staff

    The holiday season and the end of a year is a time of reflection and introspection. In that regard, I recently asked the Mackinac Center staff three questions:

    Which freedoms mean the most to you and why?

    What fruits of freedom do you treasure the most and why?

    What is it about the work we do at the Mackinac Center that gets you excited, motivated, and passionate?

    The answers reveal much about the things our staff members hold dear, especially our institutional commitment to freedom, without which it would not be possible to freely celebrate the holidays as we do in America. I have assembled the answers below. For brevity’s sake, I have added very little narrative and in any event, the comments speak well for themselves.

    Visit our "Current Comment" feature again on December 30-January 2 when we post the responses of our staff to the question, "What are your hopes for 2003?"

    ----Lawrence W. Reed


     
  4. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST December 23, 2002
    * Senate may vote on charter school plan in late December
    * Oakland school board to inform public on school finance investigation
    * Massive fraud alleged in Washington teacher union funds
    * State graduation rate at 80 percent
    * Drop out age debated
    * Pennsylvania kindergartners suspended for behavior problems

     
  5. Curtailing Carnage at the Traffic Light:
    Are Cameras the Answer?

     
  6. Taxes and the Fight to Cut Them Defined Engler Years
    Michael LaFaive on Engler's tax policy in Gongwer News Service .
     
  7. Permanent Enactment of Medical Savings Accounts Is Needed
     
  8. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST December 17, 2002
    * Six habits to save school budgets, increase funds for classroom
    * Charter plan would allow 15 more charters in Detroit
    * Leading schools-of-choice district loses students
    * Detroit schools may lose $152 million due to military lists
    * School official repays district for personal expenditures

     
  9. Keep Politics Out of Mutual Funds
     
  10. The Unintended Consequences of Cigarette Tax Hikes
     
  11. Henry Ford’s 1927 Reinvention and the Implications for Public Education
     
  12. Six Habits of Fiscally Responsible Public School Districts Forum
     
  13. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST December 10, 2002
    * Survey: Charter schools get high marks
    * Engler cuts state budget by $337 million; cuts include education funds
    * Detroit district develops new financial auditing plan
    * Inkster school board argues with appointed financial manager
    * Opinion: Detroit school reforms deserve credit
    * Students afraid despite increased school security measures

     
  14. "Six Habits" Recommended to Improve Public School District Finances
    New study will help schools marshall scarce resources for better education. Register for Wednesday forum.
     
  15. Union Contract Prevents Budget & Classroom Reforms
     
  16. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST December 3, 2002
    * Affirmative action case may affect K–12 schools, workplace
    * Kent County schools to offer "guaranteed" diplomas
    * Detroit reading initiative launched
    * Teen's suspension overruled
    * EDITORIAL: Reform state school board
    * NOTICE: 6 Habits of Fiscally Responsible Public School Districts Forum

     
  17. The Six Habits of Fiscally Responsible Public School Districts
    An Assessment of What Michigan Public School Districts Can Do to Save Money Without Laying Off Teachers or Other Essential Staff
     
  18. A Green Light for Choice
     
  19. Time to Stop Beating Up on Charter Schools
    The dirty little secret of Michigan’s education establishment is that it doesn’t really believe the system (that is, itself) needs to be reformed. That’s why reformers devised the idea of charter schools, and vouchers and tax credits: as ways to impose reform from outside the system.
     
  20. The Forgotten Robber Barons

    To Plunkitt, taking from some and giving to others was a key ingredient in the recipe for reelection. He saw nothing wrong with it, morally or otherwise. Using the political machine to bestow benefits and buy votes came quite naturally to him.


     
  21. Friend of the Court Not Very Friendly (Viewpoint on Public Issues)

    ...when the same FOC office that failed to collect for Nancy Fox for a decade got wind of the private agency’s success, it mandated that Supportkids route the ex-husband’s payment through the FOC, at which time it would take its “processing fee.”


     
  22. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST November 26, 2002
    * Engler's education legacy: Proposal A
    * Group petitions U.S. Supreme Court over state takeover of
    Inkster schools
    * Detroit schools lose students, funding
    * State Board of Education lowers bar for school failure
    * Commentary: Freedom Fund provides choices for parents, children
    * NOTICE: 6 Habits of Fiscally Responsible Public School
    Districts Forum
    * NOTICE: Fall 2002 issue of Michigan Education Report released

     
  23. A Toxic Thanksgiving Menu
     
  24. MACKINAC CENTER: CLEAN MICHIGAN BONDS INCREASED COSTS
     
  25. From Crystal Palace to White Elephant in 150 Years
     
  26. Granholm Should Move MEAP Test Administration Back to Education Department
    MIDLAND—Governor-elect Jennifer Granholm should move the administration of the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) test back to the education department, says Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D., director of education policy at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
     
  27. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST November 19, 2002
    * COMMENTARIES: Tax credits vs. vouchers for education
    * State to grade safety of schools
    * Vouchers for special education
    * Ann Arbor school board violates Open Meetings Act
    * Detroit special education class crowding eased
    * NOTICE: 6 Habits of Fiscally Responsible Public School Districts Forum
    * NOTICE: Fall 2002 issue of Michigan Education Report released

     
  28. Control Shifts in Nation's Highest Labor Tribunal
     
  29. Michigan Education Report (2002-04)
     
  30. John Engler’s Impact on State Government
     
  31. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST November 12, 2002
    * Election results: Granholm governor, GOP controls Legislature
    * Michigan Legislature considers school election reforms
    * Parents take MEAP tests
    * OPINION: School case may end choice bigotry
    * OPINION: Prop 4's failure not the end to scholarship debate

     
  32. Issues & Ideas Luncheon, November 2002
     
  33. Labor Freedom Makes Sense, Morally and Economically
     
  34. PROPOSAL 02-4: Reallocation of Tobacco Lawsuit Proceeds

    The initiative would change the way money from the national tobacco lawsuit settlement is spent in Michigan. It would mandate that fixed percentages of the settlement proceeds be spent each year on certain specified items and groups. The mandate would be a part of the Constitution.


     
  35. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST November 5, 2002
    * State may lower standards to keep schools off "failing" list
    * Engler presents Golden Apple, Governor's Cup Awards to schools
    * STUDY: Privately managed charters improving student test scores
    * Union's may be "losing their grip" on education policy
    * STUDY: Spending doesn't necessarily help achievement
    * Parents get chance to experience MEAP test
    * OPINION: Mich. lottery money a small percent of school funds
    * STUDY: Computers don't improve student performance

     
  36. An Inspiration for All Time
    The great day finally came on July 26, 1833, when Britain became the world’s first major power to unshackle an entire race within its jurisdiction.
     
  37. Where There's Smoke, Is There Asthma?
    ...we may waste vast sums of money on remote threats, while ignoring the real sources of environmental problems.
     
  38. The Message of the Nonvoter
     
  39. Michigan Not a Big Supporter of National Certification Program
    Such findings are in keeping with a growing mountain of evidence that teacher certification, whether on the state or national level, doesn’t translate into teacher excellence.
     
  40. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST October 29, 2002
    * NEA allows religious members to redirect dues to charity
    * "Unsafe school" label will trigger school choice options
    * Watkins battles Engler over Dept. of Ed. positions
    * Detroit schools' overtime costs balloon
    * Gubernatorial election debate: Prop A, education plans
    * State board of education candidates profiled
    * More Proposal 4 debate

     
  41. Review of Environmental Bond Fund Uncovers Inflated Costs, Misplaced Priorities
     
  42. The Clean Michigan Initiative: An Assessment
    An Examination of the Goals, Results and Fiscal Consequences of Michigan's Most Ambitious Environmental Bond Program
     
  43. Should State Borrow Money for Environmental Programs?
     
  44. Delinquency on Audit Means City of Detroit is in Violation of Uniform Budget and Accounting Act
     
  45. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST October 22, 2002
    * Firm files school choice lawsuits
    * Students give schools mediocre grades
    * Proposal 4 debate continues
    * Middle school model losing ground
    * Sen. Schwarz: Proposal A "worked well"
    * NOTICE: Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence Seminars

     
  46. Pfizer credit “corporate welfare,” some say
     
  47. Democrat & Republican Candidates Agree: Award-Winning Web Site Uncovers Legislative Voting Records
     
  48. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST October 15, 2002
    * Financial scandals exposed in 10 Metro Detroit school districts
    * School reopens after bus accident
    * Two Michigan teachers receive national awards
    * Saginaw student stabbed
    * ACLU defends student newspaper
    * Ann Arbor school board debates $112.8 million bond proposal
    * Opinion: Boston Globe writer criticizes MEA lawsuit against think tank
    * NOTICE: Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence Seminars

     
  49. SPECIAL UPDATE: MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST October 15, 2002
    Grand Rapids Board votes to part ways with state school board association.
     
  50. Proposal 3 costs debated
     
  51. Privatization Michigan: Should a Privatized River Run Through It?
     
  52. Regulatory Wrangling Stymies Telecom Competition
     
  53. League of Women Voters Opposes Straight-Party Voting Ban
     
  54. ‘Privatize Federal Lands’ says Newest Nobel Laureate
     
  55. Standing Up for Principles When Politicians Won’t
     
  56. Marketplace or Morality Play?
     
  57. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST October 8, 2002
    * River Rouge school officials suspended over financial scandal
    * Editorial: Proposal 4 is bad policy
    * Report: School security lax
    * Editorial: Don't overbuild school districts
    * Rep. Hart: Give Michigan Education Department more authority
    * Union targets school official
    * Editorial: Livonia school board botched superintendent search
    * Students protest program cuts
    * Opinion: Union's No. 1 goal is not learning

     
  58. Election tests term limits
     
  59. Position mischaracterized
     
  60. Banning the Straight-Party Vote Option
    Surely, the right to vote is precious enough to be worth the effort of a thoughtful casting of votes, issue by issue, candidate by candidate.
     
  61. If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It
    Proposal 3 would impose a slow, expensive labor negotiation process on the state of Michigan, while uprooting a civil service system that has worked well for both the state and its employees.
     
  62. Making Health Care Healthy Again
    ... if Michigan adopts Vermont-style Medicaid vouchers, and employees take advantage of the new HRA option, Michigan citizens will be able to obtain better insurance at lower cost.
     
  63. Mackinac Center/MEA lawsuit on the G. Gordon Liddy Show
     
  64. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST, October 1, 2002
    * Schools use tricks, treats to lure students on "count day"
    * Voucher study finds test scores same, parents more satisfied
    * Detroit bills suburbs for transfer students
    * New federal program challenges students to take tougher classes
    * Charter school attendance steady in Lansing area
    * State school board candidates debate at forum
    * School buses pass inspections around the state
    * Proposal A history
    * Educators worried about boys' achievement "gender gap"
    * Clintondale school officials indicted, budget surplus gone
    * NOTICE: Moscow ballet offers school assemblies in Michigan

     
  65. Michigan fairgrounds' future up to next governor
     
  66. Alleviate the Organ Shortage with the Golden Rule
     
  67. New Online Resource Helps Michigan Voters Evaluate Four Statewide Ballot Proposals
     
  68. Proposal 3: Establishing a Constitutional Requirement Extending Mandatory Collective Bargaining and Binding Arbitration to State Government Employees
    On Nov. 5, 2002, Michigan voters will consider Proposal 02-03 ("Proposal 3"), an amendment to the state constitution that, if passed, would fundamentally alter the relationship between the State of Michigan and its employees.
     
  69. Ballot Proposal 3 Would Replace a Good State Employee Bargaining System with a Slow, Litigious, Expensive One, Analyst Says
     
  70. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST September 24, 2002
    * MEA letter reveals attempt to burden, eliminate charter schools
    * REPORT: 6 million students at risk of failing in school
    * Former Michigan Attorney General Says "no" to Proposal 4
    * OPINION: Redundant tests irk teachers
    * Mt. Clemens ousts Edison

     
  71. An Inside Look at the Government-School Mentality
     
  72. The November 2002 State Ballot Proposals
     
  73. Staffing Services Industry Under Fire
     
  74. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST September 17, 2002
    * U.S. Secretary of Education says teacher shortage contrived
    * Opinion: Has Michigan spent enough on school buildings?
    * Wayne County threatens parents of truants with jail time
    * Debate over Prop 4, Merit award scholarships escalates
    * NOTICE: New issue of Michigan Education Report released

     
  75. Lawsuit Filed to Stop $130 Million State Building
     
  76. IMPACT! Fall 2002
     
  77. IJ & Mackinac Center Fight For Free Speech
     
  78. PROPOSAL 02-1: Referendum on Straight Ticket Voting Legislation

    Brief Overview

    In December of 2001, Republican majorities in the Michigan House and Senate passed a bill to remove the single-action straight party (or “straight ticket”) voting option from ballots in the state. (See vote details.) Currently, general election ballots provide an option whereby voters can with a single mark on the ballot vote for either all Democrats or all Republicans in every partisan contest. Many contests are not partisan, such as judges, local officials, and initiatives and referenda, and a voter must still make individual choices on these.

    The Michigan Democratic Party sponsored a petition drive which successfully placed the legislation on the ballot for a referendum. Under the Constitution, none of its provisions will go into effect unless a majority of voters on Nov. 5 answer “yes” to the question, “Should this law be approved?” Because of the referendum, the single-action straight party voting option will still appear on ballots in the Nov. 5, 2002 general election.


     
  79. PROPOSAL 02-2: Bond Authority for Sewer Infrastructure Improvements

    Brief Overview

    In May of 2002 the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives passed with the required 2/3 majorities, a measure to place a bond proposal before Michigan voters at the 2002 General Election on November 5, 2002. (See vote details.) Michigan law requires a vote of the people to increase state debt. If passed, this proposal would authorize the state to sell up to $1 billion in bonds to pay for reducing combined sewage overflow from municipal sewer systems. Combined systems are those in which sanitary sewers and storm sewers are connected, and can cause problems during heavy rains when sewage from homes flows into waterways via storm sewer runoff.


     
  80. PROPOSAL 02-3: Collective Bargaining and Binding Arbitration for State Employees

    Brief Overview:

    On November 5, voters will consider a proposal to amend the state Constitution to give state government employees an absolute right to collective bargaining. Prior to 1980, collective bargaining by state employees was not allowed. Since 1980 the Civil Service Commission has allowed collective bargaining, but that right is not written into statute or the Constitution.

    The amendment would also give state employees (but not the state) the power to compel binding arbitration in the case of labor negotiation impasses. Under current law, only emergency workers like police and firefighters have this power.


     
  81. The True Meaning of Patriotism
     
  82. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST September 10, 2002
    * Opinion: Legislation would erode Proposal A, allow for tax hikes
    * More students choosing charter schools in Detroit
    * Editorial: Consolidate school and general elections
    * Editorial: Stop "bashing" charter schools
    * Detroit reform board member ousted
    * NOTICE: New issue of Michigan Education Report released

     
  83. Michigan Education Report (2002-03)
     
  84. Michigan’s Public Charter Schools See MEAP Scores Rise Faster than Regular Public Schools
    Charter school students scored lower, but are improving faster, than those in regular public schools.
     
  85. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST September 3, 2002
    * Don't "tweak" Proposal A, Headlee warns
    * Idaho study shows teachers well paid
    * NBER study shows school competition raises school achievement
    * S.A.T. math scores up, verbal down
    * Charter schools take "problem" students, achieve lower, study
    finds
    * California Supreme Court rules students can transfer,
    regardless of race balance
    * Edison Schools returning school supplies in Philadelphia
    * Changes mark beginning of school year in Detroit
    * State offers school districts grant money for computers
    * NOTICE: Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence Seminars

     
  86. Land Grab: State Wrong On Development Rights
     
  87. $20 Million DNR Proposal a “Land Grab,” Analyst Says
     
  88. Public-Private “Land Exchanges” Could Help Resolve Property Rights Disputes
    When government is free to put up barriers to development and make property owners bear the cost, its ability to infringe on private property rights is unchecked.
     
  89. Bypassing Proposal A Through the “Sinking Fund” Gambit
    With both gubernatorial candidates favoring the proposal, homeowners could be socked with billions in additional property taxes.
     
  90. A Choice Option that Saves Money for Public Schools?

    A well-crafted tax credit plan will simply relieve the public schools of the obligation to teach a relatively small percentage of students across the state, while providing the resources to increase the average student expenditure.


     
  91. Performance Warranties for Roads: An Idea Whose Time Has Come
    Warrantied projects require less supervision and testing than standard projects, thereby reducing the state’s costs and giving motorists more value for their gas tax dollars.
     
  92. Government Regulation of Hospital Purchasing -- Michigan Patients Pay a Heavy Price
     
  93. Michigan Voters Support Labor Reforms
    Poll shows majorities favor new union disclosure rules, paycheck protection law
     
  94. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST August 27, 2002
    * Metro Detroit grades rise higher than achievement test scores
    * One in four Michigan teachers not trained in their subjects
    * School administrators sue Detroit Schools Chief Burnley
    * Study claims Michigan Merit Award racially biased
    * Detroit education summit yields no easy answers
    * George Will takes NEA to task for Sept. 11 lesson plan
    * Detroit to scrap promotion test for students
    * National class of 2002 ACT scores dip
    * MEAP test not the only option for testing Michigan students
    * Computerized system of student tracking instituted in Chicago
    * They pay taxes: Home schoolers and public school sports
    * National Heritage Academies going strong, making profit
    * Detroit area back to school: New elementary, high schools, early
    learning centers, building upgrades, and push for better grades
    * Two charter schools close
    * Bonuses Never Paid, Detroit Teachers Say
    * NOTICE: Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence Seminars

     
  95. The Privatization Song
    Now that songs are sung about public policy, we're near the tipping point.
     
  96. Who Reviews the Peer Review?
    Should published research be pre-approved by other researchers, or should the market decide its worth?
     
  97. The Federal "Freedom Car": Back to the Future
    Based on a speech given by Michael LaFaive June 22, 2002, at Northwood University's annual "Freedom Seminar" in Midland.
     
  98. More Logging Can Reduce Housing Prices and Forest Fires
    Responsible logging of national forests can increase the supply of wood, lower prices, and make homes more affordable for people—all while clearing brush and fallen logs to the degree appropriate for fire safety.
     
  99. Politics and the Race for Michigan Governor
    Has the race to serve as Michigan’s next governor raised any new policy proposals or solutions, or just shown more of the same?
     
  100. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST August 20, 2002
    * Colleges swamped with remedial students
    * Texas teachers exploit Social Security loophole
    * Cleveland school voucher applications soar
    * Home schooling illegal in California?
    * NEA history sites cast blame on Americans for Sept. 11
    * NOTICE: Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence Seminars

     
  101. If Marx Had Been Groucho
    Karl and Groucho: two men named Marx. Both brought tears to the eyes of millions but for very, very different reasons
     
  102. Cigarettes, Taxes, and Terrorists
    It's big business and getting bigger. Bootleggers re-selling cigarettes here in Michigan to raise money for terrorists.
     
  103. Charity and the Presidency
    The president can do our nation a world of good if he understands the indispensable role of voluntary charity in a civil society, and then communicates the vitality of that message in both word and deed.
     
  104. Concentrated Philosophies
    What are the implied message and philosophy behind a bumper sticker that reads PEOPLE NOT PROFITS?
     
  105. Digging the Big Ditch
    A book review of "How Wall Street Created a Nation: J.P. Morgan, Teddy Roosevelt, and the Panama Canal."
     
  106. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST August 13, 2002
    * School infrastructure spending soars
    * "Blaine Amendments": The next school choice battleground?
    * Florida judge allows vouchers until state Supreme Court hears case
    * State appoints manager for Inkster
    * CORRECTION: Florida court strikes down vouchers
     
  107. Can Southfield Afford a "Feel-Good" Wage Law?
    Southfield's "living wage" ordinance is a prime example of how good intentions, linked with shallow thinking, can lead to terrible policy.
     
  108. Issues & Ideas Luncheon, August 2002
     
  109. Federal "Anti-Fat" Bill Nothing But Meddlesome Pork
    Too many Americans are too overweight, according to some U.S. senators. Their recently introduced bill to make us slimmer is a breathtaking example of meddlesome social engineering—according to 19th-century economist Frédéric Bastiat.
     
  110. Berlin, August 1961: An Anniversary We Should Never Forget
    August marks the anniversary of the building of the Berlin Wall that for 28 years thereafter, divided the city of Berlin and closed off the only remaining escape hatch for people in the communist East who wanted freedom in the West.
     
  111. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST August 6, 2002
    * Florida court strikes down state voucher program
    * School supplies - worth $3.8 million - collect dust in Detroit
    * UK plan would cut pay for deficient teachers
    * Parents sue teachers for students' failing grades

     
  112. Michigan Workers Are Ready for Right-to-Work
    Freedom of association is the legitimate basis upon which the union movement helped establish legal protections for workers in national and state labor laws. But what about the freedom to not join or pay dues to a union in order to get or keep a job? Right-to-work laws—operative in 22 states, but not Michigan—respect this individual choice of workers, and a new study shows states with such laws also enjoy greater economic prosperity.
     
  113. Time to Tame the Tax Beast in Michigan
    Even after Gov. John Engler’s efforts to cut taxes, Michigan remains one of the most highly taxed states in the union, resulting in lost jobs and forgone economic opportunities. To get a handle on high taxes and runaway state spending, Michigan needs to follow the lead of 14 other states and adopt a constitutional amendment or law requiring a legislative supermajority before any tax can be raised.
     
  114. Amtrak: The Federal Government’s Own Corporate Financial Scandal
    With the fraud scandals of Enron, WorldCom, and other corporate giants roiling the stock market, along comes Amtrak to announce a shutdown unless it gets an emergency $200 million cash infusion. But the government should stop subsidizing the failed national rail service, which has wasted billions of tax dollars, and allow the market to punish mismanagement with bankruptcy—exactly as it is doing with the corporate malefactors.
     
  115. Cigarette Taxes and Smuggling Interview on WKAR
    Staff Economist Michael LaFaive is interviewed on cigarette taxes and smuggling.
     
  116. Debate Workshops 2002
     
  117. The Muckrakers Reconsidered
    According to the conventional (but false) version of history, the so-called muckrakers of a century ago shined the light on the nefarious excesses of capitalism and ushered in the age of benevolent government regulation.
     
  118. Industrial Policy Interview on Michigan Public Radio
    Mackinac Center for Public Policy Staff Economist Michael LaFaive talks about industrial policy in an interview with Michigan Public Radio.
     
  119. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST July 30, 2002
    * School tax hike proposals debated
    * Choice students bring funds to Lansing schools
    * Michigan voters skeptical of vouchers, may consider tax credits
    * Congress: Special ed revamp likely

     
  120. Cigarette Taxes Are Hazardous To Our Health
    Politicians who say they’re helping our health by taxing cigarettes so heavily are not counting all the costs of their effort with as much care as they count their tax revenue.
     
  121. Candidates Use Award-Winning Legislative Web Site for Opposition Research
    Michigan legislative candidates are using the Mackinac Center's Michiganvotes.org to investigate the voting records of their opponents, or just to better follow and understand complex legislation.
     
  122. With Clear Eyes, Sincere Hearts and Open Minds
    Mr. Andrew J. Coulson writes this introspective piece embodying the exact characteristics described in its title: clear eyes, sincere hearts, open minds. A non-political, logical, heart-felt, and very necessary in-depth look at America's system of schooling.
     
  123. Bill Would "Sink" Proposal A Property Tax Limits
    A bill in the Legislature that would allow school districts to use "sinking funds" for the same purposes as regular school bonds would effectively circumvent Proposal A's property tax limitation.
     
  124. Pushing the Right Buttons
    A bill introduced in Congress by U.S. Rep. Charlie Norwood would address "push-button unionism" and other defects of federal labor law.
     
  125. Issues & Ideas Luncheon, July 2002
     
  126. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST July 23, 2002
    * Detroit spends $1.5 million on PR campaign
    * Poll: Blacks favor charter, private schools
    * National teachers' union calls for moratorium on charter schools
    * Military base public schools thrive

     
  127. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST July 16, 2002
    * Detroit school officials investigate principal salary padding
    * Newspaper: Revise teacher certification
    * Legislator, Washington Times call for school vouchers in D.C.
    * "Efficiency study" of Detroit schools operating inefficiently
     
  128. Are More Laws the Answer to Corporate Scandals?
    Corrupt activity by corporate executives is on the way out now. Congress is passing new legislation to put tighter clamps on business. That’ll solve the problem. Or will it?
     
  129. Would Privatization Cure the Ills of Blue Cross Blue Shield?
    Should Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan be privatized, and what would be the effects if it were?
     
  130. Privatization: Industrial Policy: Can Government Really "Create" Jobs?
     
  131. Bush Revisits School-Voucher Talk With Focus on Tuition Tax Credit
     
  132. Would You Like Taxes with That?
    The federal government has found a new crisis: It is America’s “obesity epidemic.” Something must be done, and naturally government must do it.
     
  133. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST July 9, 2002
    * State education leaders defend Michigan schools
    * Bush, commission encourage vouchers for low-income, special education students
    * Grand Rapids School Board President calls for "Parental Bill of Rights"
    * Detroit teachers, school district, reach tentative agreement on contract
    * After-school programs shackled by regulations

     
  134. Jefferson's Words Best Choice for July 4
    Two hundred and twenty-six years ago this week, the Second Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia gave birth to the greatest experiment in human freedom the world has yet recorded-the United States of America.
     
  135. Bush Revisits School-Voucher Talk With Focus on Tuition Tax Credit
     
  136. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST July 2, 2002
    * Michigan has more failing schools than any other state, report says; State officials reply they are "not ashamed"
    * Supreme Court upholds school voucher program
    * Detroit principals protest 12-month work year
    * Lansing school district fails to get background check on teacher
    * Detroit special education classes crowded
    * Commission recommends state takeover of Inkster schools
    * NEA fined $800,000 for "intentional" law violations
     
  137. Summer Reading
    A list of good free-market books to take with you to the beach this summer.
     
  138. Law Prevents Electronic Pricing
    Michigan is one of the few states where retailers are not allowed to use new electronic price labeling technology because of an obsolete law, the Item Pricing Act, passed in 1976. This law requires paper tags on most merchandise. Allowing stores to use the new technology-as called for in a bill currently before the Legislature-would result in savings that would be passed along to consumers in the form of lower prices.
     
  139. The Crystal Gazer from Crystal Falls
    Emil Hurja, a native of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, was the pioneer of political polling, and was instrumental in the success of the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his political program, "The New Deal." Later, a disillusioned Hurja broke with Roosevelt over policy and lost a run for Congress. Known as "the Crystal Gazer from Crystal Falls," Hurja was a local boy with a national impact.
     
  140. Evaluating New Drugs: Remember the Bigger Picture
    Critics of high-priced pharmaceutical products are missing the bigger picture: Over the past several decades, better, more expensive drugs are making far more expensive treatments such as surgery no longer necessary, in many cases. Michigan lawmakers should stop being "penny-wise and pound-foolish," explain to their constituents why drug prices seem so high, and allow the health-care market to come up with the best treatments for the lowest prices.
     
  141. The Gold Standard and Unemployment
    Wouldn't a gold standard have a deflationary, and thus, pro-unemployment, bias and wouldn't it inhibit the Federal Reserve Board's ability to provide liquidity and credit when needed?
     
  142. Cigarette Smuggling: Financing Terrorism?
    The tax differential is so great between low-cigarette-tax states like North Carolina and high-cigarette-tax states like Michigan, that the U.S. government is beginning to uncover a startling trend: Suspects linked to Middle East terrorist groups have been discovered making "cigarette runs," buying them in North Carolina and selling them at thousands-of-dollars profit in Michigan.
     
  143. Former Mackinac Center Scholar's Life Explored on C-SPAN
     
  144. Michigan reacts to Supreme Court decision
     
  145. Mackinac Center for Public Policy Poll Conducted by EPIC/MRA
     
  146. SPECIAL UPDATE FROM MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST
     
  147. U.S. SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS SCHOOL CHOICE PROGRAM; MICHIGAN POLL RESULTS
     
  148. SPECIAL NOTICE: MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST
     
  149. Historic Supreme Court Voucher Decision Imminent
    Support for school choice in Michigan remains strong, with a decided preference for tax credits as the way to achieve it.
     
  150. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST June 25, 2002
    * Supreme Court expected to issue voucher decision this week
    * School district superintendent alleges physical threats from union; Union rep says she will sue him
    * East Detroit school officials face prison for misuse of school funds
    * Edison Schools company unstable, state warns
    * Washington Post column says MEA lawsuit threatens free speech
    * D.C. eyes Arizona tax credit program
    * U.S. Supreme Court rejects student privacy violation lawsuit

     
  151. Politics of Fear Makes Bad Policy
     
  152. Ingham County Commissioners Trample Employee Rights
     
  153. Emergency Financial Manager Needs More Power
     
  154. Dunn Helps Support and Defend Center's Work
    The Mackinac Center for Public Policy's work is focused on Michigan but as our influence and reputation continue to grow, it's only natural good people from other states support what we do.
     
  155. Leaving a Legacy of Freedom
    There is a way to make the most of your nest egg while helping the Mackinac Center for in its work to advance liberty and opportunity in Michigan.
     
  156. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST June 18, 2002
    * Looming U.S. Supreme Court ruling may decide future of school choice
    * Proposal A debate persists
    * Mt. Clemens ends Edison contract
    * Court upholds state's takeover of Detroit schools
    * Federal report says teacher qualifications lacking
    * Local legislator says more school choice needed
    * Report charges state Department of Education with poor charter school oversight
    * National survey shows many anti-school-choice legislators send their children to private schools
     
  157. Study: Right-to-Work Is Powerful Economic Development Tool
     
  158. "Statesmanship: A Most Worthy Cause"
    The best politician knows how to deftly manipulate the levers of power for personal advantage, but the statesman's allegiance is to loftier objectives.
     
  159. It Wasn't Government That Fixed Your Clock
    What time is it? Thanks to creative entrepreneurs, no matter where you live, there's been a uniform answer to that question for about a century.
     
  160. Statesmanship: A Most Worthy Cause
    What's the difference between a statesman and a politician?
     
  161. IMPACT! Summer 2002
     
  162. Sinking Fund Debt - Another Proposal A End Run
     
  163. MACKINAC CENTER: UNIONS MEAN SLOW GROWTH
     
  164. Redford Union Voters: District Must Prove Sound Financial Management
     
  165. Issues & Ideas Luncheon, June 2002
     
  166. New Data Bolster Finding of Right-to-Work Report
    Economists calculate half-century cost of union policies at $50 trillion.
     
  167. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST June 11, 2002
    * Voters reject tax hikes in school elections
    * Private school enrollment drops in Michigan
    * Failings cause Detroit summer school enrollment to double
    * Grand Rapids Press: Leave Proposal A alone
    * ACLU sues school over suspension of student writers
    * NOTICE: New issue of Michigan Education Report released

     
  168. Is there a case for election consolidation across the state or should such matters be decided at the local level?
    A package of bills making its way through the Legislature would make major improvements in the way in which public schools handle school board and finance elections.

     
  169. Is Next Energy the Next Energy Boondoggle?
    Promoting energy R&D in Michigan does not require yet another government bureaucracy allocating favors to firms willing to relocate to state-owned property.
     
  170. Right-to-Work Laws Accelerate Economic Development, New Study Finds Michigan Losing Ground to Right-to-Work States
     
  171. 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.
     
  172. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST June 4, 2002
    * Burnley: Detroit schools' MEAP scores "plain awful"
    * Detroit Free Press calls for support of $1-billion plan for school
    construction
    * Commentary says competition among schools boosts learning
    * Republicans seek tax credits for public, private education
    * Commentary questions MEA's challenge to free speech
    * Mackinac Center names new director of education policy
    * NOTICE: New issue of Michigan Education Report released
    * NOTICE: Free seminar for economics teachers
    * NOTICE: Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence seminars
     
  173. A Good Time to Cut Taxes on Jobs
    Washington is keeping most of the revenue collected from employers under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA), a tax that is supposed to fund the administration of state unemployment insurance programs. Congress should abolish this tax-which constitutes a direct tax on employment-and hand states back the responsibility of running their own unemployment programs.
     
  174. The Great 9-1-1 Tax Pileup
    In 1996, the Federal Communications Commission told states to create cell-locator 9-1-1 emergency phone service and pay for it themselves. Washington miscalculated both costs and capacity, and today only 21 of 83 Michigan counties have even partially implemented this "unfunded mandate." Meanwhile, the overpaid taxes are piling up. The federal government should scrap its plan and allow the private sector to come up with the most reliable, cost-effective 9-1-1 service.
     
  175. Farmers Getting Angry over "Checkoff" Programs
    "Got Milk?" and other agricultural ad campaigns are paid for by farmers through mandatory "checkoff programs," an offshoot of federal price supports run by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. Small farmers are increasingly unhappy because checkoff programs cost them more as a percentage of their incomes than they cost large agribusinesses. The best solution to unfair assessments on small farmers is to end federal agricultural price supports.
     
  176. State Lotteries vs. Truth-in-Advertising
    In 1972, voters approved the Michigan Lottery, hoping it would prove a funding windfall for education. Today it does little for schools. But its government sponsors do spend $18 million per year on advertising that denigrates hard work and initiative, while luring money from those who can least afford to throw money away. Michigan should be a trendsetter and get out of the lottery business.
     
  177. Michigan Education Report (2002-02)
     
  178. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST May 28, 2002
    * Lawmaker suggests elimination of MEAP tests
    * Business leaders rate schools
    * National Education Association warned by feds for unfair treatment of
    religious objectors
    * Posthumus: Scrap Detroit school board vote
    * Michigan ranks 12th in per-pupil funding levels
    * Young Michigan home schooler wins national geography bee
    * NOTICE: Free seminar for economics teachers
    * NOTICE: Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence seminars
     
  179. POLICY BRIEF: Which Educational Achievement Test Is Best for Michigan?
    A number of commercial firms publish high-quality, low-cost educational achievement tests that could potentially replace the MEAP test. A Comparison of the MEAP, SAT-9, and ITBS.
     
  180. Home Schoolers Make Case for School Choice
    The victory of 10-year-old Calvin McCarter, a home-schooled student, in the National Geography Bee provides the latest example of why so many parents are demanding alternatives to mediocre public schools.
     
  181. Institute for Justice/Mackinac Center News Conference on the MEA's Lawsuit Against the Mackinac Center
    The Mackinac Center for Public Policy and the Institute for Justice held a joint news conference in Lansing May 21 to explain the union's attempt to intimidate and stifle the Mackinac Center, and why the MEA's lawsuit will fail.
     
  182. Issues & Ideas Luncheon, May 2002
     
  183. Environmental Panel to Examine Great Lakes Protection
    On Wednesday, May 22, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy presents, as the May installment of its monthly Issues and Ideas luncheon, a panel discussion on issues related to the Great Lakes.
     
  184. Media Advisory
     
  185. Transcript of Battaglieri Remarks
     
  186. The Michigan Education Association Tries to Take the "Free" Out of "Free Speech"
    Information on the Michigan Education Association's lawsuit against the Mackinac Center for Public Policy
     
  187. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST May 21, 2002
    * Michigan schools face billions in repairs
    * MEA sues Mackinac Center for quoting MEA president's own words
    * MEAP scores show some students from low-income families perform well
    * Inkster school district refuses to pay Edison; Faces state takeover
    * NOTICE: Free seminar for economics teachers
    * NOTICE: Mock legislature summer program offered for teens
    * NOTICE: Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence seminars
     
  188. Keeping the "Free" In Free Speech: Mackinac Center and Institute for Justice Defend Against Michigan Teachers' Union Attack
     
  189. Currency and Exchange Rates
    Are flexible exchange rates and floating exchange rates the same thing?
     
  190. Before Cutting Services or Delaying Tax Cuts, State Should Save $110 Million by Repealing Prevailing Wage Law, Analyst Says
    MIDLAND-Before Michigan lawmakers delay tax cuts or cut services in order to make up a $382 million budget shortfall next year, they should repeal a law that unnecessarily costs the state an estimated $110 million every year: Michigan's prevailing wage law.
     
  191. Governor Re-appoints Mackinac Center Labor Policy Director to Michigan Civil Service Commission
    Gov. John Engler has re-appointed Robert P. Hunter, director of labor policy for the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, as a member of the Michigan Civil Service Commission.
     
  192. Gasoline Price Controls Will Lead to Shortages
    Concern over rising gasoline prices has some states, most notably Hawaii, considering or passing gas price controls. But if politicians really wanted to lower the price of gas, they would slash taxes, which add up to as much of a third of the price at the pump.
     
  193. Michigan Education Report (MER): www.educationreport.org
    View the Michigan Education Report (MER) at www.educationreport.org and/or subscribe for a paper copy.
     
  194. Ethanol: Field of Political Dreams
    Ethanol subsidies have resurfaced in Congress as part of both energy legislation and the pork-laden farm bill. But this favorite of farmers, among the most hallowed of special interests, serves politicians' ambitions much more than it does sound economic or environmental policy.
     
  195. "Virtual Reality Fee" Virtually Kills Development
    Birmingham's "virtual reality fee," which assesses steep taxes on business owners who want to paint or otherwise modify their buildings, is a threat to the city's economic well being.
     
  196. Farm Bill Interview on WNEM TV-5
    Mackinac Center for Public Policy Executive Vice President Joseph Lehman explains the damaging effects of the $190 billion federal farm bill signed into law May 13, 2002.
     
  197. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST May 14, 2002
    * State takeover of Inkster school district expected
    * New federal guidelines likely to promote same-sex schools
    * Nine Detroit Catholic schools to close
    * Editorial calls for increase in charter cap
    * Michigan students have many Internet learning opportunities, study says
    * NOTICE: Free seminar for economics teachers
    * NOTICE: Mock legislature summer program offered for teens
    * NOTICE: Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence Seminars

     
  198. Thanks to Two Think Tanks
    This week two giants of the think tank movement, the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation, both in Washington, D.C., celebrate 25 years of helping turn free-market ideas into public policy.
     
  199. Dialing (911) for Dollars
    Michigan consumers are forking over millions of dollars annually for more sophisticated 911 services that have yet to materialize. Prescribed by federal regulators six years ago, the enhanced emergency calling system is beset by technical and financial difficulties that demonstrate the pitfalls of unfunded mandates.
     
  200. Straightening Out Straight-Party Voting
    As the Michigan Democratic party works to secure on the ballot a referendum on the Legislature's removal of straight party line voting as an option, is the law as passed true election reform or a GOP power play?
     
  201. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST May 7, 2002
    * House rejects charter cap increase
    * Michigan Gubernatorial candidates reveal education platforms
    * Study offers education policy blueprint for Michigan lawmakers
    * Officials debate changes to Proposal A
    * Bush visits, lauds Southfield school
    * Commentary calls for consolidated school elections
    * Judge orders truant's mother to school
    * NOTICE: Michigan Education Digest archives available online!
    * NOTICE: Free seminar for economics teachers
    * NOTICE: Mock legislature summer program offered for teens
    * NOTICE: Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence Seminars

     
  202. Mackinac Center Offers Comprehensive Policy Blueprint for New Administration, Legislature
    The Mackinac Center for Public Policy has released "Keeping Michigan on Track: A Blueprint for a Freer, More Prosperous State," a comprehensive policy blueprint with dozens of specific ideas for lawmakers to consider in crafting state policy for the next term and beyond.
     
  203. Two Michigan Towns with the Same Name
    All across Michigan are places whose names are rich with interesting but sometimes forgotten history. In the Upper Peninsula, two towns one hundred miles apart were named for the same man: Kipling and Rudyard, after British author Rudyard Kipling. Who he was and how the towns came to honor him is a story worth retelling.
     
  204. How Health Care Costs Help Raise Your Auto Insurance Premiums
    Most Michiganians would not think to associate the rising costs of medical care with higher auto insurance premiums. But thanks to state laws governing auto insurance, the one has a direct impact on the other. One way policy-makers could keep costs of both medical care and auto insurance down is by introducing market-friendly reforms, such as medical savings accounts, into the health care system.
     
  205. Unfair Competition from Prison Labor Requires a Congressional Fix
    Federal Prison Industries Inc., a unit of the U.S. Justice Department that uses prison labor to provide goods and services to the federal government, is set to expand its operations into the private marketplace. A bill introduced by U.S. Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., would rein in FPI's ambitions and protect jobs in crucial Michigan industries, such as furniture production, from FPI's unfair competition.
     
  206. Michigan Taxpayers Feeling the Heat from Government Greed
    April 29 is "Tax Freedom Day" for Michigan citizens, the day they stopped toiling exclusively to pay federal, state, and local taxes. This makes Michiganians among the most heavily taxed citizens in the nation, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation.
     
  207. Keeping Michigan on Track:
    New legislative opportunities will come with the fall elections for the Michigan House, Senate, and governorship. Read the Mackinac Center's policy recommendations for the next Legislature and governor below.
     
  208. Setting the Course for More Effective Environmental Policy
    Mackinac Center Director of Science, Environment, and Technology Policy Diane Katz's speech "Setting the Course for More Effective Environmental Policy," delivered April 29, 2002, at the Mackinac Center Issues and Ideas luncheon in Lansing.
     
  209. Bush Slides In Public's Eye On Issues He's Toiled Over
     
  210. Environmental Plans
     
  211. Rosenberg Salary At $175,000
     
  212. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST April 30, 2002
    * Forums aimed at altering Proposal A continue
    * Detroit school reforms may cost more than $100 million
    * Grand Rapids may allow parents more school choices
    * Court denies schools' claim to more special education funding
    * Complaint accuses NEA of misusing political funds
    * State budget cuts may eliminate programs for "at-risk" students
    * Detroit school principals to receive budgeting mentors
    * NOTICE: Michigan Education Digest archives available online!
    * NOTICE: Free seminar for economics teachers
    * NOTICE: Mock legislature summer program offered for teens
    * NOTICE: Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence Seminar
     
  213. Issues & Ideas Luncheon, April 2002
     
  214. Budget and Benefit Resources
     
  215. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy Library
    A list of classic free-market titles by Mackinac Center for Public Policy scholars.
     
  216. Overcut or Overspent?
    Michigan's current budgetary woes didn't come about because of the tax-cutting habits of Gov. John Engler and the Legislature, but because of state overspending.
     
  217. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST April 23, 2002
    * Statewide forums will consider Proposal A school funding changes
    * Parents confront Inkster school board
    * Competition leads to customer-service focus for schools
    * Charter school commission's recommendations stir controversy
    * Mackinac Center president testifies before U.S. House Education Committee
    * MEA endorses Granholm for governor
    * School employees fight outsourcing attempts
    * Philadelphia privatizes 42 schools
    * Notice: National Charter Schools Week ~ April 29 - May 3
    * Notice: Mock legislature summer program offered for teens
    * Notice: Hoogland Center for Teacher Excellence Seminar

     
  218. Hunter Joins Department of Labor Panel
    Mackinac Center for Public Policy Director of Labor Policy Robert P. Hunter has accepted a position on a U.S. Department of Labor panel that will direct the department's research for national worker training programs.
     
  219. Broadband Agency Taps Housing Money
    "What does a program designed to help low-income people get affordable housing have to do with wiring the state for high-speed Internet access?"
     
  220. Mackinac Center Manifesto on Economic Development
     
  221. Education Reform, School Choice, and Tax Credits
    Based on Mackinac Center President Lawrence Reed's April 16, 2002, testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Education Committee.
     
  222. Research Institute Launches Economic Development Clearinghouse
     
  223. Unfair Competition from Prison Labor Requires a Congressional Fix
     
  224. Prison Monopoly Threatens Michigan Jobs
    Federal Prison Industries Inc., a division of the U.S. Department of Justice that employs prisoners as laborers and pays no taxes, unfairly competes with the private sector.
     
  225. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST April 16, 2002
    * State-appointed panel recommends lifting charter cap
    * Detroit schools to toughen classroom standards
    * Detroit schools allocate $1.5 billion approved eight years ago
    * Proposal A debate continues, becomes gubernatorial race issue
    * Inkster schools face state takeover
    * Students ask to grade teachers
    * Study shows teens think cheating is acceptable
    * Watchdog says NEA broke rules
    * Study: Teens want small schools

     
  226. Privatization: All in favor of privatization, raise your hand.
     
  227. The Free-Market Case Against the "Flat Tax"
    Is a single, flat-rate income tax the best reform of the Byzantine U.S. tax code, or are tax credits for things such as education and health care a better way to go?
     
  228. Time to Repeal or Revise Term Limits?
    As Michigan voters prepare to go to the polls in 2002, the full impact of term limits will swing into effect. What have been the observable impact on residents and on the efficacy of the Legislature and state policy of the 1992 constitutional amendment?
     
  229. Time to Privatize Detroit's Public Lighting Department
    It's time to electrify Detroit by letting privatization come to the city's rescue.
     
  230. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST April 9, 2002
    * Detroit schools to redraw school boundaries, embrace
    "neighborhood schools"
    * Charter commission expected to report
    * Bush offers early childhood education plan
    * Detroit schools may lay off 450 administrators
    * Michigan has highest ratio of male teachers nationwide
    * Teachers' pay increases
    * Detroit school audits prompt change
    * School choice abroad offers hope for disabled students

     
  231. New EPA Air Regs Could Kill Michigan Jobs
    The regulatory state scored a major victory when a federal appeals court recently concluded that procedure matters far more than scientific fact in environmental rulemaking. Unless Congress intervenes, the ruling will prove enormously costly to Michigan workers and industry without yielding commensurate benefits.
     
  232. Michigan Business Succeeds Without State Aid
    In April 1995, the state created the Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA), an agency empowered to issue tax credits to companies that promise to expand in or relocate to, Michigan. The evidence from seven years of MEGA operation suggests that Michigan has enjoyed economic development in spite of MEGA, not because of it.
     
  233. A New Baseball Statistic for Opening Day
    As the Detroit Tigers take to the field in their home opener Friday, we would like to recommend a new statistic-perhaps a new category of statistics-for baseball's number crunchers: the subsidies-to-victories ratio.
     
  234. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST April 2, 2002
    * Protestors arrested at Detroit school meeting
    * Reform group, gubernatorial candidates meet over Proposal A
    * Major policy group calls for changes in teacher certification
    * Religious leader tells California parents to remove students from public schools
    * 20 students suspended for buying, selling drink-mix powder
    * Charter school closing seen as success for charter movement

     
  235. Government and Recessions
    What steps should be taken to bring the economy out of recession?
     
  236. Proposals for Oil Conservation More of a Threat than Energy Dependence
    A spate of proposals for reducing America's "dependence" on foreign oil have followed in the wake of Sept. 11. These proposals are misguided and would do more to undermine American strength, which lies in its economic power and stability, than dependence on foreign oil ever has, or will.
     
  237. Bill Would Require Public-Sector Unions to Disclose Finances
    A bill in the Michigan House of Representatives would require the state's public-sector unions to disclose their finances to the same degree of detail as publicly held corporations. The result would be stronger unions with less waste and a renewed focus on the workplace concerns of union members.
     
  238. The Other Meaning of Arbor Day
    J. Sterling Morton, who established Arbor Day in 1872, fought protectionist economic policies that allowed lumber companies to deplete forests and charge Americans a "bounty" in the form of inflated prices. As Americans celebrate the holiday this April 26, they should remember this feisty champion of impartial economic policies and small, efficient government.
     
  239. Did Anybody Really Know What Time It Was?
    The U.S. government didn't set up America's system of standardized time zones-private citizens did. Until 1883, time was purely a local matter. Then railroad officials set up the current system, to "make the trains run on time." Turns out they performed a service for the rest of us as well-but Detroit resisted the change until 1905, and the U.S. government didn't "approve" the system until 1918.
     
  240. Supply and Demand of Labor
    What causes shifts in the supply and demand curves for labor? How are equilibrium wage and quantity of labor determined?
     
  241. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST March 26, 2002
    * Gubernatorial candidates reveal education platforms
    * Detroit News poll: Voters still support Proposal A
    * Saginaw schools toughen graduation requirements
    * Clio school district offers incentive program to teachers
    * DeVos organization to support school choice candidates
    * NOTICE: Outrageous school regulations contest - Win a Palm Pilot!
    * NOTICE: Education Freedom Fund seeks scholarship applicants
    * NOTICE: "Student Mentor Partners" seeks Metro Detroit scholarship applicants

     
  242. Government Intervention and "Unrestrained" Competition
    Advocates of government intervention in the economy often make their case by attacking "unrestrained" competition. Is competition ever "unrestrained"? What were some of the important restraints on competition that operated in the U.S. economy in the 19th century when, according to some accounts, competition was "unrestrained"?
     
  243. Can Free Trade Really Prevent War?
     
  244. In Defense of Outsourcing
    Most of us recoil in disgust at the suggestion that wages should reflect nothing more than the cold calculus of supply and demand. Yet few of us realize just how essential this "cold calculus" is for the long-run welfare of laborers themselves.
     
  245. Is an Earlier School Tax Due-Date Really a Tax Increase?
    Engler's proposal to move the state school property tax due date to July would accelerate $490 million in tax revenue forward into the new fiscal year-but would it also result in a net tax increase for some Michiganians?
     
  246. Onerous School Regulations on WNEM TV-5
    Mary Gifford identifies onerous school regulations on WNEM TV-5.
     
  247. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST March 19, 2002
    * Watkins' school accreditation plan approved by State Board of Education
    * Teacher sues union over political expenditures
    * Detroit may limit access to school board meetings
    * U. S. Supreme Court to consider school drug testing policies
    * Schools require community service for graduation
    * NOTICE: Outrageous school regulations contest - Win a Palm Pilot!
    * NOTICE: Education Freedom Fund seeks scholarship applicants
    * NOTICE: "Student Mentor Partners" seeks Metro Detroit scholarship applicants
     
  248. Friedman Says Vouchers and Tax Credits Useful Route to Greater School Choice
    Competition among schools is the key to successful education reform, according to Nobel Laureate Dr. Milton Friedman, the keynote speaker at a recent conference held in Salt Lake City and co-sponsored by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
     
  249. Mr. Smith Is in Washington
    Too many people continue to invest in the fanciful hope-call it the Frank Capra Theory-that someday Mr. Smith will go to Washington, end the corruption, and restore our liberties.
     
  250. Of Bush and Beck
    President Bush will have an excellent opportunity in the coming months to revive the drive to enforce the Supreme Court's Beck ruling, the decision that affirmed workers' right to opt out of financially supporting union politicking.
     
  251. IMPACT! Spring 2002
     
  252. Center-Inspired Legislation Would Hold Unions Accountable
    Michigan public-sector employees will have a much better idea of what their unions are doing with their dues dollars if the Michigan Legislature passes, and Gov. Engler signs, a bill inspired by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy's labor policy team.
     
  253. Government Broadband Plan Was Tried and Failed in Hillsdale
    The city of Hillsdale's experience with failed government provision of broadband Internet access should warn state lawmakers against making the same mistakes. But will it?
     
  254. Is the New State Budget a Quick Political Fix?
    The state budget: getting us through the tough times, or a quick political fix?
     
  255. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST March 12, 2002
    * Engler, Watkins debate elected vs. appointed state school board
    * Detroit mayor may replace school board
    * New state special ed rules still subject of debate
    * National studies debate grade inflation, find promotion without mastery of skills
    * Substitute teacher requirements may change under new legislation
    * NOTICE: Outrageous school regulations contest - Win a Palm Pilot!
    * NOTICE: Education Freedom Fund seeks scholarship applicants
    * NOTICE: "Student Mentor Partners" seeks Metro Detroit scholarship applicants

     
  256. New Steel Tariffs Will Kill Jobs

    President Bush this week hiked tariffs from 8 to 30 percent on the majority of steel products imported into America. This move will result in lost jobs and higher costs to consumers.


     
  257. Steel Tariffs Interview on Michigan Talk Radio Network
    Mackinac Center economist Michael LaFaive was interviewed regarding the Bush steel tariffs.
     
  258. Mayoral Recall May Foreshadow Flint Bankruptcy
     
  259. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST March 5, 2002
    * Schools-of-choice program draws 33,000 Michigan students
    * Department of Education Supports Outrageous School Regulation Contest
    * State Senate OKs increase in school funding
    * City/State takeovers of troubled school districts becoming more prevalent
    * Primer for MEAP state achievement test goes online
    * Privately funded science program seeks improved student test scores
    * NOTICE: Outrageous school regulations contest - Win a Palm Pilot!
    * NOTICE: "Student Mentor Partners" seeks Metro Detroit scholarship applicants

     
  260. A Privatization Revolution-In a Most Unlikely Place
    Rwanda, in the heart of Africa, is engaged in the continent's most ambitious privatization campaign.
     
  261. Lighting the Way on the Dark Continent
    A candle has been lit in east Africa in the form of the region's first free-market research and educational organization, and the man who lit it is one remarkable 31-year-old Kenyan named James Shikwati.
     
  262. Bill would make public-worker unions open books wider
     
  263. Historic Principles over Government "Historic Districts"
    When buildings get to be of a certain age, they often take on historic significance. But is it necessary for that significance to overshadow time-honored principles of limited government, individual liberty, and private property rights? In August 2001, citizens of Owosso, Mich., answered a resounding "no" when they repealed a coercive city plan to regulate private homes of historic significance.
     
  264. Great Lakes Drilling: Environmental Threat or Phantom Menace?
    In February, the Michigan Legislature voted to ban the extraction of oil and natural gas from beneath the Great Lakes. But sound policy demands facts, and while there may be aesthetic reasons to support a prohibition against Great Lakes drilling, insurance data confirm that the actual environmental risks are remote.
     
  265. Free Trade a Sweeter Deal for Everyone
    Economists have argued for more than two centuries that protective tariffs and quotas on imported goods make nations poorer. Despite this, the United States continues its policy of sugar protectionism, which costs U.S. consumers nearly $2 billion every year. It's time for Congress to end this costly and wasteful policy.
     
  266. Michigan Public School Teachers Launch a Non-Union Revolution
    Public schools and their employees don't win many battles against the Michigan Education Association (MEA) union, the political and financial behemoth that dominates Michigan public education. But recent victories over compulsory unionism in two charter schools could signal a new dynamic in Michigan's public school system.
     
  267. CAFE = Causing Auto Fatalities Everywhere?
    The U.S. Senate will devote most of March to debating a $35-billion energy package that supposedly will protect Americans from both greedy sheikhs and global warming. But if enacted as proposed, the measure actually would result in a good deal of American blood needlessly spilled on U.S. highways.
     
  268. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST February 26, 2002
    * U.S. Supreme Court hears voucher case
    * Protesters shut down Detroit school board meeting
    * Education Week investigates education research and advocacy
    * Detroit Free Press: Home school students perform well
    * Court rules students can grade each other's papers
    * NOTICE: Outrageous school regulations contest - Win a Palm Pilot!
    * NOTICE: "Student Mentor Partners" seeks Metro Detroit scholarship applicants

     
  269. Issues & Ideas Luncheon, February 2002
     
  270. One on One Interview: Lawrence Reed, Mackinac Center for Public Policy
    A winter 2002 interview of Mackinac Center President Lawrence Reed by the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.
     
  271. Research: Researching the Researchers
     
  272. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST February 19, 2002
    * Engler calls for end to elected State Board of Education
    * Michigan school administrative costs skyrocketing
    * Accountability plan approved by State Board of Education
    * Detroit teachers plan "sick-out"
    * Bush touts tuition tax credits
    * U.S. Supreme Court to hear voucher case
    * NOTICE: Education Freedom Fund seeks scholarship applicants

     
  273. Mackinac Center Asks Teachers, School Administrators to Find Most Outrageous School Regulations, Rules
    The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is asking Michigan teachers, school principals, administrators and parents to help in its research on confusing, conflicting and overlapping mandates that hamper the operation of Michigan school districts, by coming up with the most outrageous school regulation or rule they can find.
     
  274. Michigan Education Report (2002-01)
     
  275. No Silver Lining to September 11
    The horrendous destruction of life and property on September 11 is an utter loss. Yes, billions of dollars will be spent to rebuild the lost assets. But those billions will be spent just to bring us back to where we were before, in material terms (the human capital is gone forever), when the sun rose on September 11.
     
  276. Of Meat and Myth
    Upton Sinclair's famous 1906 novel The Jungle, which led to new federal regulations on the meatpacking industry, is based upon anti-market fallacies
     
  277. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST February 12, 2002
    * Engler proposes new tax scheme to preserve school funding
    * Planned ballot initiative may end Merit Award scholarship program
    * Administrators demoted for financial mismanagement now overseeing Detroit school bond program
    * Schools transform curriculum in light of Sept. 11 terrorist attacks
    * NOTICE: Education Freedom Fund seeks scholarship applicants

     
  278. Politics Aside, Facts Show Little or No Risk from Slant Drilling
    Fear of a spill or other potential contamination has largely driven the debate over whether to ban the extraction of oil and natural gas from beneath the Great Lakes. But while there may be aesthetic reasons to support a prohibition against onshore drilling, insurance data confirm that the actual environmental risks are negligible.
     
  279. MEDC Fights for Its Political Life
    The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is in self-preservation mode. After years of using special tax incentives and subsidies to lure favored businesses to Michigan, the highly paid leadership of this quasi-state department must now contend with a changing of the guard.
     
  280. The Importance of Ideas
    In shaping public policy-including the larger question of free enterprise or socialism, democracy or dictatorship-ideas are of paramount, decisive importance.
     
  281. Michigan Schools Need to Be Frugal
    Over the long term, a healthy, competitive Michigan economy will do more for education and state services than short-term and short-sighted gimmicks like delaying tax cuts.
     
  282. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST February 5, 2002
    * Bush budget plan includes funding for Michigan schools, tax credits
    * Detroit News: It's time schools consider privatization to save money
    * State schools chief outlines planned special education changes
    * East Grand Rapids school board member says public schools-of-choice plan may be too much of a good thing

     
  283. "Teach for America" Success Points the Way to Teacher Certification Reform
    Much has been written on the failure of collegiate "schools of education" to properly prepare future teachers for the classroom. Now a new study highlights the good job that Teach for America, a private teacher program, is doing to place thousands of qualified and talented volunteer teachers in some of the nation's most troubled schools.
     
  284. Government "Condemnation" Power Makes Property Rights Less Secure
    Government abuse of its so-called condemnation power has unjustly deprived ordinary citizens of their private property for the benefit of big-league developers.
     
  285. Good News for the New Year: Americans Living Longer Than Ever
    There's good news for the New Year: Americans are living longer than at any time in history-76.9 years, on average. This is testimony to both the vibrancy of nature and the ingenuity of man-and the industrial and technological progress fueled by free minds and free markets.
     
  286. Gladstone, Michigan: A Little Town with a Big Name
    The little town of Gladstone, located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, is named after William Gladstone, one of Britain's greatest statesmen. Over one hundred years after his death, the former prime minister is remembered for his commitment to individual freedom, which continues to provide important lessons for citizens and policy-makers of today.
     
  287. No: Michigan Can't Afford to Postpone Reducing Taxes, Attracting Growth
    Should the state delay already-enacted income and business tax cuts? No, Michigan can't afford to postpone reducing taxes and attracting growth.
     
  288. Enron Failure Is No Excuse to Enlarge Government
    Proponents of the regulatory state have been building up the collapse of Enron as a huge political story, and using it to tarnish the presidency of George W. Bush. However, the entire Enron issue rests on a giant fiction, namely that the energy trading firm was an example of unregulated capitalism at work.
     
  289. Should the State Boost Broadband?
    In his 2002 State of the State address, Gov. John Engler touted the economic benefits to be derived from his proposed state government takeover of Michigan's high-speed Internet network. But a host of unrealistic assumptions underlie the governor's claims.
     
  290. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST January 29, 2002
    * Metro Detroit schools face budget cuts
    * Gubernatorial candidate Posthumus says "Vouchers are dead"
    * Inaccurate reporting from schools may cost state $300 million
    * Ritalin debate continues
    * Districts offer open enrollment to lure students, extra funding
    * Charter schools ordered to do criminal background checks
    * Home schoolers seek access to school clubs, extracurricular activities
    * Notice: New Michigan Education Report web site released

     
  291. Privatization and Hamtramck
    In November 2000, state-appointed Emergency Fincancial Manager Louis Schimmel swept away the government of Hamtramck, Mich., and literally took over the city-lock, stock, and barrel. The result may not be an argument for dictatorship, but it sure speaks volumes about the virtues of things like common sense and privatization.
     
  292. NLRB Nominations: No Joy for Beck Rights
    Unless the Bush administration reassesses NLRB appointments with respect to Beck rights, worker political freedom will remain in the deep freeze for the forseeable future.
     
  293. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST January 22, 2002
    * Detroit schools continue privatization plan to save money; layoffs draw complaints
    * Detroit Public Schools chief Burnley doing a good job, report says
    * Workers disrupt hearings on Michigan school accreditation
    * Grand Rapids Press calls for more public school choice
    * Despite layoffs, number of administrators at Detroit schools grows
    * Sixty-four Michigan schools near toxic sites
    * Schools use pep rallies, practice tests to prepare students for MEAP tests
    * CORRECTION: "Proposal A school funding reform Engler's 'greatest policy achievement'"

     
  294. Internet Access and the Role of Government
    What role, if any, should government play in increasing residents' access to broadband high-speed Internet service? Is there a supply problem or a demand problem?
     
  295. Issues & Ideas Luncheon, January 2002
     
  296. A Success Story Without the Success
    To skeptics who question the wisdom of his proposal for state control of broadband deployment, Gov. John Engler offers as validation the success of Michigan's housing development program. But the similarities are slim and the benefits disputed.
     
  297. Privatization: Lighthouse Privatization Shines
     
  298. Socialist Think Tank an Oxymoron
    An article in the August 14, 2001, Washington Post announced that a new "socialist think tank," called the "American Socialist Foundation," was being formed in Washington, D.C. "Socialism" and "think tank" are mutually exclusive-even contradictory. Socialism does, however, produce lots of tanks: tanks to suppress people who actually do think.
     
  299. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST January 15, 2002
    * Proposal A school funding reform Engler's "greatest policy achievement"
    * Hearings scheduled on softer school accreditation plan
    * Michigan students continue to struggle on state tests
    * Teacher retention, salaries discussed in Detroit
    * New federal education bill: false hope?
    * School bus driver fired after "sick-out"
     
  300. Wrong Road
    Surrounded by hundreds of gleaming new autos at the 2002 North American International Auto Show, Detroit's annual celebration of the internal combustion engine, U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham on Wednesday effectively conceded what the Big Three and their customers have known for years: the feds have no business dictating vehicle design.
     
  301. How We'll Know When We've Won
    "Are we winning?" That's a query I hear almost every time I speak to an audience about liberty and the battle of ideas. Everyone wants to know if we should be upbeat or distraught about the course of events, as if the verdict should determine whether or not we continue the fight.
     
  302. Privatization: Say 'Privatize' to Da U.P., Eh?
     
  303. Long Live Us
    There's good news for the New Year. Americans are living longer than at any time in history-76.9 years, on average. This is testimony to both the vibrancy of nature and the ingenuity of man.
     
  304. Engler's Broadband Ambition
    Gov. John Engler's ambitious plan for state control of high-speed Internet lines gets its first hearing in the Legislature today. In considering the proposal, lawmakers would do well to heed the dismal results of similar schemes in other states.
     
  305. A Man Who Didn't "Grow" in Office
    The small town of Gladstone in Michigan's Upper Peninsula is named for a giant of liberty: William Ewart Gladstone, the 19th-century British prime minister whose uncompromising policies promoted trade and individual freedom.
     
  306. MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST January 8, 2002
    * Expansive federal education bill passes
    * Detroit schools "faked" classes for more funding
    * Two parents jailed under new truancy laws
    * Fiscal responsibility causes Utica district to prosper
    * Pennsylvania takeover of Philadelphia schools OK'd
    * Announcement: New issue of MICHIGAN EDUCATION REPORT released
     
  307. Should D-DOT Work Weekends?
    Few people would deny that it's normal to want weekends off work. But generous union contracts that stipulate a strict Monday through Friday work schedule for Detroit Department of Transportation employees ensure the city's bus system is less reliable and more expensive. Poor city services in turn contribute to a poorer city, a smaller tax base, fewer jobs, and ultimately lower wages for city employees, including bus mechanics and drivers.
     
  308. Consumer, Not Corporate, "Greed" Is Ultimately Behind Layoffs
    A business writer at one of Michigan's largest daily newspapers recently denounced corporations, blasting layoffs by "heartless" businesspeople who apparently relish giving out pink slips. But corporations do not act in a vacuum: they are merely responding to the demands of consumers, who by buying or not buying certain products determine which corporations stay in business and which fail.
     
  309. Graduation Rates an Imperfect Measure of School Excellence
    Policy-makers at all levels of government are enacting policies that require districts to measure student and school performance. But one popular method of measurement, graduation rates, may not accurately reflect either student proficiency or school excellence. The only sure way to know whether schools are providing a quality education is to introduce more choice and competition into the system, so that schools have incentives to improve.
     
  310. Proposed Legislation a License to Kill Competitors for Big Auto Dealers
    In the name of "protecting the public," a recently proposed package of bills would require small-time "curbside" auto dealers to obtain a state license before they could sell cars. But instead of protecting the public, licensure laws are often used by larger businesses as a way to raise barriers to new competitors and restrict consumers' choices.
     
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