Features and Highlights

Freedoms Worth Fighting For

Government has a distinct role in protecting us from foreign attacks, but it is private citizens working individually and together who create wealth, build institutions, help those in need, educate our children, and defend our liberties from all threats. … more

Education Tax Credits or Vouchers?

After Michigan and California voters last year rejected two school voucher proposals, education tax credits are becoming the preferred vehicle to expand educational opportunities for children across the country. … more

School Finance Reform in Michigan

A Mackinac Center education expert testifies before a Pennsylvania House of Representatives education reform committee on Michigan's experience with Proposal A. … more

Putting More Teachers in the Classroom

Nearly two million new teachers soon will be needed due to class-size reductions, teacher retirements, and enrollment increases. One way to avoid a shortage is to cut the needless government barriers that keep many qualified teachers out of the classroom. … more

Gold Reserves and the U.S. Dollar

A student Asks the Economist what would happen if the U.S. suddenly sold all of its gold reserves. … more

School Funding and Proposal A

Proposal A of 1994 dramatically altered the way government schools are funded in Michigan. Seven years later, debate continues over Proposal A's effects. … more

Motor City Needs a Tune-Up

In November, the citizens of Detroit will elect a new mayor. Regardless of who they choose for the job, residents should insist that their new executive consider privatization of assets and services as a way to give the Motor City the financial tune-up it desperately needs. … more

Making Social Security Secure

The best option for younger workers, minorities, and low-wage earners shortchanged by Social Security is a new system that allows them to reap more retirement income by privately investing their payroll taxes in stocks and bonds. … more

"Streamlining" the Sales Tax

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that state and local governments cannot force out-of-state companies to collect taxes for them. But some public officials aren't content with that ruling and are casting about for ways to further enhance already overflowing government revenue coffers. … more

Regulating Charter Schools

Will more government regulation bring greater accountability to charter schools? A recent study suggests the opposite: that less regulation leads to increased accountability and student achievement.  … more

MEA vs. Teacher Salaries

Many Michigan Education Association union employees are earning salaries more than twice as high as the average teacher, according to recently released U.S. Department of Labor data. … more

Unions and Right-to-Work

Last week, with support from Mackinac Center labor experts, Oklahoma became the 22nd state to adopt a law affirming every employee's right to work without being compelled to join a union. Read how Michigan can work toward this same goal of a free market in labor representation for its workers. … more

Freedom and Fear

A Mackinac Center scholar examines free-market responses to terrorism and security precautions against future attacks that do not constrict Americans' liberties. … more

Surveying Schools

Many Michigan districts report satisfaction with the benefits-including cost savings and improved quality-that they've received from privatizing food, janitorial, transportation, and other non-instructional services. … more

Home Education and Public Schools

Families who home-school their children still must pay taxes to fund public schools, so many parents are taking advantage of those schools' extensive extracurricular programs in music, athletics, and other areas. … more

Charity or Commercialism?

Corporate donations have become increasingly popular as a way for school districts to raise extra education dollars, but critics fear the "commercialization" of public schools. … more

Students Tackle Timely Issues

Media coverage of the Mackinac Center's 2001 High School Debate continues as hundreds of Michigan students gather to discuss sound methods for dealing with terrorism and the threat of weapons of mass destruction. … more

Killing the Economy?

The federal government's response to the September 11 attacks threatens to harm even more Americans as economic freedom is undermined. … more

Charter Schools: Lessons from Arizona

A former Michigan teacher's experience running a successful charter school in Arizona has valuable lessons to teach policy-makers. … more

Timely Workshops Help Students

Detroit News and Free Press coverage of the Mackinac Center's 14th Annual High School Debate Workshops highlight our expert speakers from New York and Washington, D.C. on the subjects of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. … more

Keep Your Government Accountable!

Log on to the Mackinac Center's new MichiganVotes.org to track legislators' votes on the issues that are important to you and make your voice heard. … more

A Time for Charity

The American spirit of charity is greater than any government program, as shown by the millions of people now volunteering to help the victims of violence in New York and Washington, DC. … more

Tax "Fairness" and the Internet

A National Governors' Association scheme to tax Internet commerce is neither "fair" nor economically sound. It could cost many jobs in Michigan and other states and lead to even worse things-including a new federal sales tax. … more

Economies of School

School districts that are too small to outsource can band their operations together to entice for-profit firms to perform non-instructional services. … more

Politicians and Protectionism

A student learns a lesson about the harmful economic effects of protectionism and the reason many politicians continue to embrace protectionist policies anyway. … more

School Story Missing Some Chapters

A recent PBS series purports to provide viewers with an unbiased history of public education in America. But with programs produced by a government-run network, Americans are treated to only the government's point of view. … more

Smile! You're on Traffic Camera!

More cities and states across America are adopting controversial traffic cameras in an attempt to crack down on speeders. Should Michigan join them? Mackinac Center scholars weighed the pros and cons in a 1995 Viewpoint… more

Drop the Microsoft Suit!

On Thursday, the Justice Department announced it would not seek a breakup of software firm Microsoft, which is being sued by the federal government and 18 states, including Michigan, for antitrust violations. A better decision would be to drop the suit altogether. … more

Savings Rates and Living Standards

How and why do high rates of saving lead to higher standards of living? A student Asks the Economist for the answer. … more

The High Cost of Higher Ed

A little-known provision of the new federal tax relief law makes affording college a bit easier for many Michigan families. … more

The Brawl over Sprawl

Lansing policy-makers should consider how and why local goverments and the free market are best equipped to deal with "sprawl" issues. … more

Those Lazy, Hazy Days of Labor

This Labor Day weekend, take a little time in between drinking beer and grilling burgers to learn about the past, present, and future of the labor movement. … more

Schools and Money

Some public school officials are blaming Proposal A for their present budget woes. But school revenues are up, raising the question, "Can districts better manage the resources they already have?" … more

Michigan and the Info Age

Michigan cities need to slash onerous taxes, cut burdensome regulations, and deliver high-quality services in order to attract the high-tech firms so essential to the new economy. … more

Public Schools and Success

Mackinac Center education experts respond to The Detroit News's question, "Do Michigan public schools succeed?" … more

Union Dues and Politics

Have you heard the one about the union that spent none of its members' dues on political campaigns and lobbying? National Review Online readers got the scoop in a recent Mackinac Center op-ed. … more

The Wonderful Washing-ton Machine

Hot on the heels of the government-mandated "low-flow" toilet comes the new, more "efficient" Washing-ton machine. … more

The Vanity Clause

The Washington Post likes the Mackinac Center's idea for funding transportation needs by auctioning off vanity plates to the highest bidder. (Scroll down to "All Is Vanity.") … more

Tax Relief for All, Not Some

While Gov. Engler stumps for tax "fairness," his administration continues to dole out special favors only to selected firms. In a recent Detroit Free Press article on state incentives for a single corporation, the Mackinac Center continues to champion real fairness: across-the-board tax relief for everyone. … more

Let Freedom Ring

Forty years ago this month, the Berlin Wall was erected to prevent refugees from communist brutality from escaping to the West and freedom. The Mackinac Center remembers in a National Review Online article. … more

The Great Depression Overseas

A student Asks the Economist why Germany suffered particularly badly during the Great Depression. … more

The Myth of Overpopulation

A new book pays tribute to the late Julian Simon, an economist who debunked fears about "overpopulation." Read this 1998 article on the subject from Mackinac Center President Lawrence Reed. … more

Running on Empty

By every measure of science or economics, the federal ethanol program is a costly failure. The Bush administration should pull the plug on this special-interest boondoggle. … more

Parental Involvement in Education

A teacher cites Mackinac Center research in her Detroit Free Press op-ed arguing for more parental involvement in education. … more

"Market Failure" and Fishing

Is "overfishing" in the Great Lakes an example of Keynesian market failure? The Economist, of Ask the Economist fame, answers. … more

Pioneers and Privatization

The history of Michigan reveals fascinating stories of how the state's settlers embraced private solutions to public problems following many failed government attempts. … more

Political Labels vs. Critical Thinking

"Liberal" and "conservative" are just two of the labels many people unthinkingly apply to the ideas of others. It's time to re-assess our terminology and develop a more nuanced and thoughtful way to frame the important issues of our time. … more

Tax Rebates and Spending

As millions of Americans receive checks from the IRS for a change, Detroit News columnist Laura Berman ponders the economic ramifications of tax rebates with help from a Mackinac Center policy analyst. … more

Giving (Tax) Credit Where Due

National Review Online recently highlighted the Mackinac Center's case for K-12 tuition tax credits over vouchers. … more

Unions and Financial Disclosure

Workers have a right to know exactly how their unions are spending their dues dollars. … more

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