Features and Highlights

The Ethics of Ethanol

While some politicians demand that automakers produce vehicles that consume less gas, the federal ethanol program continues to increase gas usage in America. … more

CAFE Standards: Markets or Mandates?

This week the U.S. House rejected stringent new fuel efficiency standards for SUVs that could have cost more-in dollars, jobs, and lives lost in auto accidents. A Mackinac Center adjunct scholar argues instead for eliminating government CAFE mandates entirely and letting the free market determine fuel efficiency standards. … more

How the Midwest Was Won

Mosquitoes may vex us now, but thanks to Michigan's early settlers, they no longer spread the dreaded illness malaria throughout the state. … more

A Popular Road Tax?

Auctioning off to the highest bidder popular "vanity" license plates for motor vehicles could be a less painful way to raise more transportation dollars. … more

Michigan Schools Deep in Debt

The Detroit Free Press cites Mackinac Center research in a recent front-page story on debt in Michigan school districts. … more

Government Unionism and Detroit

Detroit News columnist Bill Johnson consults the Mackinac Center to assess the harmful effects of excessive public-sector influence on Detroit politics. … more

The Proper Role of Government

Read this provocative open letter challenging the beliefs of "statists"-people who tend to view government as the solution to every social problem. … more

Flight Project Crashes and Burns

A proposed $120-million "Legacy of Flight" theme park-which includes $3 million in state funds-may never get off the ground, according to recent news reports. Months ago, the Mackinac Center criticized the project as wasteful and reminiscent of Flint's AutoWorld and other failed government theme parks. … more

Three Centuries of Motor City History

Anyone strolling by 58 Bagley Street in Detroit early in the morning of June 4, 1896, would have seen a strange sight: Henry Ford, ax in hand, smashing a hole in his garage. Read this classic Mackinac Center Viewpoint to find out what he was doing. … more

Heated Debate over Global Warming

In rejecting the flawed global warming treaty, the Bush administration is following the dictates of sound science and economic principles outlined years ago by the Mackinac Center. … more

Fighting Inflation?

A student wonders: Couldn't the government fight inflation simply by destroying excess currency? … more

Truth vs. Politics

As proponents of central planning weave new and seductive visions of political society, we need calm and reasoned scholarship to speak the truth in defense of liberty. … more

The Basics of Bonds

With the Federal Reserve on an interest rate cutting spree, one student Asked the Economist why bond prices rise as interest rates fall. … more

Flexing Our Policy Muscle

The "progressive" American Prospect looks at the state-based think tank movement and concludes the Mackinac Center's size and influence are "comparable to national organizations." … more

Stretching Education Dollars

A July 16 Detroit News editorial urging schools to improve their spending practices cites the Mackinac Center's offer to help a financially struggling school district save $350,000. … more

Trimming Wasteful Spending

Mackinac Center research recently indentified another opportunity for the state to save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars by eliminating a redundant government web site. … more

Welfare Reform and Incentives

For good or ill, human beings really do respond to economic incentives, as the unintended consequences of government welfare programs show. … more

Spendthrifts in Lansing

The Lansing State Journal quotes a Mackinac Center policy analyst on the dangers of politicians recklessly spending other people's money on such things as a $111-million "Hall of Justice." … more

School Districts: Less Is More?

Should Michigan's over 560 school districts be consolidated into larger districts for efficiency, or do more and smaller districts better serve students and parents? … more

State "Economic Development" Fails Again

Online grocery retailer Webvan Inc. announced Monday it is ceasing operations. In January, the Mackinac Center criticized state officials for unfairly singling out Webvan and other firms as "economic winners" deserving of special tax breaks unavailable to other companies. … more

Certified... or Qualified?

A Mackinac Center op-ed in the Detroit Free Press argues in favor of letting local school leaders, not distant state bureaucrats, determine who is qualified to teach in the classroom. … more

Local Control of Schools

Many parents and educators are concerned that Lansing and Washington are increasingly calling the shots in local schools. The Detroit News asked a Mackinac Center expert to comment. … more

The Fed and Interest Rates

The market is still reacting to a recent Federal Reserve cut in interest rates. A student Asked the Economist to explain the role of central banks and interest rates in the economy. … more

Declaring Independence-from Government

In a stirring 1995 testimonial before the U.S. Senate, Mackinac Center President Lawrence Reed reminds legislators why government must be strictly limited to the role of guarding our American birthright of liberty. … more

Microsoft and Anti-Trust

On June 28, a federal appeals court unanimously threw out a lower court's ruling that Microsoft must be split into two companies. Almost two years ago, a Mackinac Center Viewpoint wondered, "What was Microsoft's crime"? … more

A New Direction for Education Reform

One million readers of Hillsdale College's journal Imprimis consider the Mackinac Center case for education tax credits. … more

Michigan's Taxing Sales Tax

Gov. Engler is pushing to apply taxes to Internet purchases, but the sales tax as it stands now is already confusing and contradictory. … more

Does Wealthy Equal Healthy?

Research suggests that economic growth and prosperity, rather than being the enemy of environmental protection, may in fact be key to reducing pollution and preserving resources. … more

Tax Cut Lessons from the 1980s

As Americans begin to receive tax refund checks in the mail and some politicians talk of further tax relief, it's important to keep in mind the lessons from the tax cuts of the 1980s. … more

Free Markets and "Urban Sprawl"

A Mackinac Center scholar extols the virtues of freedom and property rights over coercive government land-use planning in testimony before the state House. … more

Worker Rights and the NLRB

In a special Detroit News letter, a Mackinac Center labor expert calls on the National Labor Relations Board to vigorously defend union workers' rights, following the lax enforcement of the past eight years. … more

Those Taxing Taxes

A new proposal to "streamline" Michigan's sales and use tax system could result in lost jobs and a heavier tax burden for citizens making purchases from out-of-state vendors. … more

The Economics of Prohibition

A special Mackinac Center op-ed in the Detroit News calls for a new approach to curbing drug use--an approach that applies the lessons of economics to a thorny social issue. … more

Educators Reforming Education

Education Week asks a Mackinac Center expert about a new association of educators dedicated to reforming the system from within. … more

Does Blight Make Right?

A Mackinac Center scholar argues in the Detroit News against a proposal to combat "urban blight" by making it easier for government to confiscate private property. … more

The Basics of Bonds

With the Federal Reserve on an interest rate cutting spree, one student Asked the Economist to explain why bond prices rise as interest rates fall. … more

Separation of Powers

Gov. John Engler has been a powerful and influential governor. Have his 10 years in office tilted the balance of power toward the executive branch at the expense of the Legislature? … more

The Road to Privatization

The Michigan Department of Transportation recently ended its experiment with privatized road maintenance. What were the results of the experiment? … more

Violence, Media, and Government

President Lawrence Reed responds to questions about the media and government's role in promoting or curbing youth violence. … more

Privatization and Public Employees

Many believe that privatization results in massive public employee layoffs. Evidence suggests, however, that public employees actually benefit in the long term from private-sector management of public services. … more

Capitalism and Growth

A student Asks the Economist why laissez-faire capitalism is the best way to achieve prosperity for the greatest number of people. … more

People and Privatization

At its core, privatization is about people coming together to find ways to solve their own problems, without relying on the cumbersome and coercive power of government. … more

Term Limits and Michigan

Barred from running for re-election in 2002, Gov. John Engler is lending his voice to a growing chorus of current and former public officials who want to extend or eliminate term limits. Is it time to rethink the law? … more

Vouchers or Tax Credits?

Mackinac Center policy analysts weigh the pros and cons of these two school-choice options in the current issue of School Reform News. … more

The ABCS of School Reform

Mackinac Center education experts tout the benefits of boosting competition among schools in a recent Detroit News op-ed. … more

Environment and Economy

Economic prosperity-rooted in private property, free markets, incentive, and entrepreneurship-is the best driver of environmental improvement, not top-down bureaucratic mandates. … more

Lessons from Detroit's Past

Detroit's next mayor should learn from his predecessor of 100 years ago and cut taxes to bring jobs and people back to the city. … more

Are SUVs Safe?

New research that shows motor vehicle fatalities decrease as more SUVs appear on American roads is not only good news for motorists, but also for the automakers that drive Michigan's economy. … more

Time for Tax Cuts

Americans are suffering under the largest federal tax burden since World War II. The time is most certainly right for Congress to provide tax relief. … more

Celebrating Our Free-Enterprise Past

This year Detroit celebrates its tricentennial, but 2001 marks another important anniversary for Michigan. … more

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