Features and Highlights

Will Southfield Privatize the Arts?

The Detroit suburb is considering selling its poorly managed and underused performing arts center. … more

Sinking Proposal A

A bill 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 limits. … more

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. … more

Privatize the "Porkies"

Does the state really belong in the ski resort business? … more

An Open Letter to Legislators

A nationally recognized economist explains what sound economic development policy is, and what it is not. … more

Enron, Worldcom, and Congress

Are more laws really the answer to corporate financial scandals? … more

Privatizing Prisoners

It's time to reform a state program that uses cheap prison labor to provide goods and services at the expense of private-sector businesses. … more

Hunting for Pork

With the help of lavish government subsidies, an out-of-state sporting goods company unfairly competes with a Michigan institution. … more

Privatization and the Blues

Why privatizing Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a good idea. … more

Government's Bad "Investments"

A government "economic development" program is boldly going where three have failed before. … more

Michigan: A Renaissance State?

The tax relief bestowed upon certain government-selected "Renaissance Zones" should be applied throughout the entire state of Michigan. … more

The Feds vs. "Big Food"

The federal government has found a new crisis to valiantly battle: America's alleged "obesity epidemic." … more

Teaching Our Teachers

Should education courses be a primary focus of a teacher education program? … more

Cigarette Taxes Financing Terrorism?

Terrorists may be profiting from the resale of cigarettes smuggled from low-tax states such as North Carolina into high-tax states such as Michigan. … more

Drug Price Controls the Wrong Prescription

Political proposals to control drug prices don't take into account how "expensive" drugs help prevent even costlier treatments such as surgery. … more

The Crystal Gazer of Crystal Falls

Michigan's Emil Hurja helped transform American politics by pioneering the use of polling data. … more

Remembering Jefferson

Inspiring words from the author of the Declaration of Independence. Happy Independence Day from the Mackinac Center! … more

Repeal the Item Pricing Act

An outdated law prohibits Michigan retailers from taking advantage of cost-saving electronic price labeling.  … more

Summer Reading

Why not improve your mind while you work on your tan? See this list of classic free-market books to take to the beach. … more

Gold and Unemployment

A student Asks the Economist about how a gold standard would affect the unemployment rate. … more

Former Mackinac Center Scholar on C-SPAN

C-SPAN's "American Writers" series explores the life and work of Russell Kirk this weekend. … more

Michigan Wants School Choice; Not Necessarily Vouchers

New poll shows 67% support a Mackinac Center-style plan.  … more

No Autonomy for Special Ed

New special education rules make few changes for districts, students. … more

Dioxin Fear Makes Bad Policy

Unsubstantiated allegations of risk tarnish the reputation of a healthy community.  … more

Assaulting Free Speech by Suing

Washington Post columnist George F. Will predicts the Mackinac Center will easily defeat the MEA's "frivolous" lawsuit in court.  … more

Ingham County Commissioners Trample Employee Rights

County Commissioners improperly send letter approving unionization.  … more

Emergency Financial Manager Needs More Power

The Legislature needs to expand the authority of Emergency Financial Managers. … more

"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. … more

Sinking Fund Debt - Another Proposal A End Run

A bill before the Legislature would allow school districts to do an "end run" around Proposal A. … more

Redford District Must Prove Sound Financial Management

Voters reject tax increase for Redford Union schools. … more

New Data Bolster Finding of Right-to-Work Report

A new study by two Ohio University economists bolsters the argument for a Michigan right-to-work law. … more

Election Consolidation?

Combining school and other elections would improve turnout and accountability. … more

Minority Students Achieve

A privately managed charter school in Flint is helping disadvantaged kids learn. … more

More Charter Schools?

A bill to raise the number of charter schools Michigan public universities can authorize failed in May, but may be revisited this month. … more

"Merit Pay" for Teachers

Should outstanding teachers be able to earn more than their peers with average or mediocre ability? … more

"Strict Discipline Academies"

Dealing with students whose conduct threatens the safety of school staff and other students. … more

The Next Energy Boondoggle?

Gov. Engler's attempt to involve the state in development of alternative energy sources is sure to be a fiasco. … more

Administrative Costs Soar

A growing percentage of Michigan public school funds are spent on administration rather than on teaching. … more

Schools to Get Grades

The State Board of Education has adopted a plan to give schools a letter grade according to their performance. … more

Got Taxes?

The federally mandated fees used to fund agricultural ad campaigns are disproportionately drawn from small-time farmers. … more

Time to Dispatch the 9-1-1 Mandate

An unfunded federal mandate regarding 9-1-1 services is causing a mess and costing a fortune. … more

Cut Taxes on Jobs

Congress should abolish the federal unemployment tax and allow states to run their own unemployment programs. … more

The Lottery and Schools

Michigan's state lottery, sold to voters as a way to provide additional funds for education, has turned out to be no great windfall for schools. … more

MEA Attacks Mackinac Center

Watch the Mackinac Center/Institute for Justice press conference on the MEA's lawsuit.  … more

Where in the World Is School Choice?

A Michigan home schooler's victory in the National Geography Bee provides the latest example of why more parents want alternatives to mediocre public schools. … more

It's the Spending, Stupid

Repealing Michigan's costly prevailing wage law would help balance the state budget.  … more

The MEA vs. Free Speech

Why is the Michigan Education Association suing the Mackinac Center? … more

Terms of Service

Gov. Engler has re-appointed Director of Labor Policy Robert Hunter for another term on the Michigan Civil Service Commission. … more

Currency Exchange Rates

A student Asks the Economist about exchange rates among world currencies. … more

Snake Oil vs. Crude Oil

Politicians proposing controls on the cost of gasoline are just selling political snake oil to voters who want lower prices at the pump. … more

Ethanol and Gas Prices

Ethanol subsidies return with a vengeance in the pork-laden farm bill signed into law Monday by President Bush. … more

Virtual Nonsense

Birmingham's "Virtual Reality fee" is really a punitive tax on the city's business community. … more

Privatizing Social Security

Why the collapse of Enron is not an argument against private, personally owned retirement accounts. … more

Thanks to Two Think Tanks

Happy 25th anniversary to Washington, D.C.'s Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation! … more

Dialing Without Dollars

Unfunded federal mandates regarding the 911 emergency system are imposing huge new costs on Michigan cell phone users. … more

Straightening It All Out

Is it time to end straight-ticket voting in Michigan? … more

A New Policy Blueprint

Mackinac Center policy recommendations to keep Michigan moving toward greater freedom and prosperity in the 21st century. … more

Federal Prison Industries Inc.

A division of the U.S. Justice Department that uses prison labor to provide goods and services to the federal government wants to expand into the private sector. … more

Health Car

What the cost of medical care has to do with your rising auto insurance premiums. … more

Rudyard and Kipling

The story of how two Upper Peninsula towns came to be named after a Nobel Prize-winning British author. … more

Keeping Clean and Green

Truly effective environmental policy is based on sound science, not doom-and-gloom propaganda. … more

Got Privatization?

The results of American School & University's annual privatization survey in Michigan Privatization Report… more

Free at Last!

Today is Tax Freedom Day for Michigan citizens-the day when we stop toiling exclusively to pay federal, state, and local taxes. … more

Privatization and Schools

The Grand Rapids school district could overcome its budget crisis by privatizing school support services. … more

Perils of Privatization

A recent book offers sound advice for officials who wish to avoid common mistakes when privatizing public services. … more

Overcutting or Overspending?

Michigan's current budgetary problems are the result not of recently enacted tax cuts but of state overspending. … more

Privatization in Michigan

The state of Michigan has produced a balanced report that should prove useful for the future of privatization.  … more

Federal Labor Law Reform

Mackinac Center Director of Labor Policy Robert Hunter has accepted a position on a special panel of the U.S. Department of Labor. … more

Reforming Education

Mackinac Center President Lawrence Reed testifies before Congress on ways to improve education for all children. … more

Prison Monopoly Threatens Jobs

A government agency that uses prisoners to produce goods is unfairly competing with private-sector firms. … more

Keeping the Faith

The issue of whether "faith-based" charities should receive public funding received national attention in the last presidential campaign. St. John's Home in Kent County shows how it should be done. … more

Conserving Government Waste

It's time to privatize Michigan's Depression-era, government-funded "Civilian Conservation Corps." … more

Virtual Nonsense

Birmingham's "Virtual Reality fee" is really a punitive tax on the city's business community. … more

Government Keeps on Taxin'

Citizens must keep digging to pay taxes long after April 15, as this classic Mackinac Center Viewpoint explains. … more

Taxes: Is Flat Really All That?

Is there a free-market case against moving to a flat, single-rate federal income tax? … more

Term Limits and State Government

It's too early to declare Michigan's experiment with term limits a failure. … more

Let There Be Light

Problems at Detroit's government-run Public Lighting Department could be alleviated by privatization. … more

Air Regs Threaten Jobs

A recent court decision has given the green light to new EPA air quality regulations that could prove costly to Michigan workers. … more

Minding Michigan's Business

Job creation in Michigan often has occurred in spite of, not because of, gimmicky state "economic development" programs. … more

Play Ball!-With Your Taxes

Introducing a new statistic for the 2002 baseball season: the government subsidies-to-victory ratio. … more

Hockey and Diversity

Sports fans gearing up for the hockey playoffs can take a lesson from this classic Mackinac Center Viewpoint about the free market's power to overcome old hatreds in the service of a larger goal. … more

Government and Recession

A student wants to know what steps government can take to help revive a flagging economy, so he Asks the Economist… more

Energy Policy and Oil "Dependence"

Proposals to deal with America's "dependence" on foreign oil are an example of the cure being worse than the disease. … more

Time After Time

Standardized time zones were a private-sector innovation that government fought against. … more

Of Trees and Tariffs

Anti-protectionist J. Sterling Morton, who established Arbor Day in 1872, would be appalled at the new tariffs placed on imported lumber. … more

Disclosing Union Finances

A bill in the Michigan Legislature would require public-sector unions to disclose their finances to the same extent as publicly held corporations. … more

Supply and Demand of Labor

What causes shifts in the supply and demand curves for labor? A student Asks the Economist… more

Was the Economy Ever "Unrestrained"?

A student Asks the Economist about the "unrestrained" economic activity of the 19th century. … more

Can Free Trade Prevent War?

Mackinac Center Board of Scholars member Richard Ebeling explores the question at a recent conference for Austrian economists. … more

In Defense of Outsourcing

How and why privatization creates a win-win situation for organizations and workers. … more

School Property Taxes

Is Gov. Engler's proposal to move the due date for the state school property tax to July really a tax increase for some Michiganians? … more

The Future of Education

Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman calls for school choice at a conference co-sponsored by the Mackinac Center. … more

Mr. Smith Is in Washington

Too many people believe in the "Frank Capra Theory" that someday Mr. Smith will go to Washington, end the corruption, and restore our liberties. … more

Of Bush and Beck

President Bush could act to protect union workers' rights by appointing to the National Labor Relations Board members who will uphold the Supreme Court's Beck decision. … more

Holding Unions Accountable

A bill inspired by a recent Mackinac Center study would help unionized public-sector employees see where their dues go. … more

Separating State and Internet

Will state legislators learn from Hillsdale's failed attempt at government-provided Internet access? … more

The Economy and the Budget

Is the proposed state budget a sound way to get through tough economic times or a quick political fix? … more

A Tariff-ic Cost to Consumers

This classic Mackinac Center Viewpoint about a Michigan Congressman from the 1930s perfectly illustrates the economic folly of protectionism. … more

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