Features and Highlights

Hopes for 2003

Ideas for a better Michigan and nation from the staff of the Mackinac Center … more

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

A pilot program by AAA Michigan and the City of Detroit demonstrates a sound alternative. … more

Keep Politics Out of Mutual Funds

Unions want to force mutual funds to vote on public policy measures involving wages, layoffs, and other issues that advance union politics. … more

Unintended Consequences of Cigarette Tax Hikes

Michael LaFaive's speech today in Washington explains that terrorists can profit from unwise tax policy. … more

Henry Ford's Reinvention and the Implications for Public Education

Government schools can learn what Michigan's most famous entrepreneur learned 75 years ago this month. … more

Federal Law Allows School Choice Options

Michigan is slow to enact them. … more

Union Contract Keeps Money & Teachers Out of the Classroom and in the Bureaucracy

Rigid union rules keep Detroit Public Schools from doing the right thing for kids. … more

Six Habits of Fiscally Responsible School Districts

New study will help schools marshall scarce resources for better education. Register for Wednesday forum. … more

A Green Light for Choice

Opportunities and cautions regarding the Supreme Court's decision upholding vouchers. … more

Friend of the Court Not So Friendly

Is there a private alternative when government fails to collect child support payments? … more

The Forgotten Robber Barons

Does government produce "robber barons?" … more

A Toxic Thanksgiving Menu?

Don't let health scaremongers or a few naturally occurring toxins spoil your celebration. … more

Engler's Education Legacy

Proposal A, public school choice, district takeovers, voucher opposition, and at least $6,700 in per-child funding. … more

From Crystal Palace to White Elephant in 150 Years

Britain's "Millenium Dome" flop is a sad symbol of the decline of the industrial "workshop of the world." … more

Grand Rapids Schools Opt out of School Board Associations

Huge, cash-strapped district bases decision more on principle than the $17,000 it will save. … more

Control Shifts in Nation's Highest Labor Tribunal

Worker rights are in good hands with new chairman from Michigan. … more

Scandals Bilk Public School Students out of Millions of Dollars

The same districts say they need more tax money. … more

Engler's Impact on State Government

Has Gov. Engler altered the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches? … more

Why Tax Credits Are Better than Vouchers

Senior Fellow Andrew Coulson writes for The Independent Review. (pdf file) … more

Schoolhouse of Hope

This private school is so good, public school union members donate their union dues to help. … more

Privatize MacMullen Conference Center

Does the state need its own multi-million-dollar lakeside conference hideaway? … more

If the Food Doesn't Kill You, the Wait Will

Everything in Canadian health care is political -- even the food. [PDF file] … more

Labor Freedom Makes Moral and Economic Sense

If compulsory union dues were put to a moral test, they would flunk. … more

Ann Arbor & Pontiac May Privatize Garbage Pickup

Pontiac's current system runs million-dollar deficits. … more

Special-Interest Ballot Proposals a Threat to Democracy

In yesterday's election, two special interests sought to grab for themselves massive streams of public dollars. … more

The Message of the Non-Voter

Is higher turnout needed to "make democracy work?" … more

Where There's Smoke, Is There Asthma?

Michigan counties show no correlation between particulate concentration and childhood asthma. … more

An Inspiration for All Time

Some of the world’s greatest accomplishments required perseverance against seemingly insurmountable odds. … more

Michigan Not a Big Supporter of National Teacher Certification

The state is wise not to expend resources on national certification as a way to improve teaching. … more

No Business in Snow Business

Should taxpayers be forced to pay for an Upper-Peninsula ski resort? … more

Government Unions Want Binding Arbitration

The reason: Fear they won't be able to compete with private bidders. … more

Should the State Borrow Money for Environmental Projects?

Before deciding on Proposal 2, voters should examine how $675 million approved in 1998 is being spent now. … more

The DNR's Latest Land Grab

The DNR says private land enjoyed by the public must be brought under state control to be … enjoyed by the public. … more

Public Policy & Public Interest Litigation

Policy research and public interest law have more in common than meets the eye. … more

Incentives and Trash Collection

Should residents pay the same amount no matter how much trash they generate? … more

The Value of Asking Questions

One parent's experience with her child's school. … more

Detroit Mayor Won't Watch the Grass Grow

He calls a private contractor instead. … more

Marketplace or Morality Play?

The market rewards good behavior, and punishes bad, more effectively than the state. … more

Regulatory Wrangling Stifles Telecom Competition

Should Ameritech be subject to bureaucratic scrutiny or market discipline? … more

Newest Nobel Laureate Calls for Privatizing Government Land

Michigan's government owns 12% of the state's land. Can officials learn from modern economic research? … more

Michigan Ballot Proposal 4: Tobacco Money

Should voters amend the constitution to reallocate tobacco lawsuit proceeds? … more

Michigan Ballot Proposal 2: Sewer Bonds

Voters should ask questions before voting on $1 billion worth of sewer projects. … more

Making Health Care Healthy Again

Two market-based innovations reward consumers for choosing wisely. … more

If It Ain't Broke ...

Michigan Ballot Proposal 3 would needlessly mandate binding arbitration for 44,000 unionized state employees. … more

Banning Straight Party Votes

Michigan Ballot Proposal 1 asks voters if they approve of a law that would ban straight-ticket voting. … more

School Choice Down Under

New Zealand's progress leaves U. S. behind. … more

Alleviate the Organ Shortage with the Golden Rule

A voluntary, incentive-based organ donation program saves lives. … more

New Web Resource Helps Michigan Voters Evaluate Statewide Ballot Proposals

'Hot Topics' provides objective descriptions and pros and cons of policy issues in the news. … more

Michigan Ballot Proposal 3

Should Michigan's constitution mandate binding arbitration for 44,000 unionized state employees? … more

An Inside Look at the Government-School Mentality

A letter from a union president vividly captures what reformers are up against. … more

Michigan's November Ballot Proposals

Commentary on sewer bonding, straight-party voting, and mandatory binding arbitration for state employees. … more

Which Educational Achievement Test Is Best?

Comparing the MEAP to two private alternatives. … more

Staffing Services Industry Under Fire

The state's "Michigan Works" program threatens the existence of 500 Michigan companies. … more

Lawsuit Would Stop State "Rent-to-Own" Project

Such projects bypass accountability and cost taxpayers more. … more

Agency Says Michigan Teacher Quality Lagging

Federal law will require new teacher training and certification standards. … more

Fighting for Free Speech

How the Institute for Justice defends a think tank under attack by a labor union. … more

Supreme Court's Voucher Decision Was the Right One

Cleveland program helps school children and protects religious freedoms. … more

School Choice Can Save Money for Public Schools

It all depends on what the state does with the money it saves when a child chooses a non-public school. … more

Should Road Builders Warranty Their Work?

Road builders in ten states warranty their work. Why not Michigan? … more

Resolving Property Rights Disputes

Land exchanges help one Michigan city settle disputes with property owners it regulates. … more

Michigan Charter School MEAP Scores

Charter school students scored lower, but are improving faster, than those in regular public schools. … more

The Sinking Fund Gambit

Slick legislation to expand uses of "sinking funds" is an open door to higher school property taxes. … more

Regulation of Hospital Purchasing

Once this is regulated, hospitals will have no way to control costs other than reducing the level of care. … more

Poll: Unions Should Open Their Books

Nearly three-fourths of Michigan voters want union books open to scrutiny, just as corporate books are. … more

The Privatization Song

Now that songs are sung about public policy, we're near the tipping point.  … more

A Peer Review Without Peers

Should published research be pre-approved by other researchers, or should the market decide its worth? … more

Back to the Future?

Government's "car of tomorrow" relies on yesterday's failed policies. … more

Logging is Good for the Environment

It can help prevent catastrophic forest fires, like the ones now raging out west, as well as reduce housing prices. … more

Fourth Time's the Charm?

Builders broke ground Wednesday on a new, government-subsidized supermarket in Kalamazoo—near a site where three private supermarkets have failed before. … more

Politics and the Governor's Race

Are the candidates for governor adequately addressing the most pressing concerns of Michigan citizens? … more

If Marx Had Been Groucho

The world would be a much different place if the humor of Groucho Marx replaced the destructive ideas of Karl Marx. … more

Cigarettes, Taxes, and Terrorists

WNEM-TV5 asks a Mackinac Center economist about the link between cigarette smuggling in Michigan and Middle Eastern terrorism. … more

Charity and the Presidency

The president can do our nation a world of good if he understands the indispensable role of voluntary charity. … more

Concentrated Philosophies

What is the implied message and philosophy behind a bumper sticker that reads PEOPLE NOT PROFITS? … more

Digging the Big Ditch

A new book sheds light on the double-dealing, deception, and dollar diplomacy involved in the creation of the Panama Canal. … more

Can Southfield Afford a "Feel-Good" Wage Law?

The "living wage" ordinance is a prime example of how good intentions, linked with shallow thinking, can lead to terrible policy. … more

Guns, Cigarettes, and Cheeseburgers

A recent lawsuit against fast food restaurants is the kind of economically destructive litigation this classic Lawrence Reed Viewpoint warned about in 1999. … more

If You Build It, They Can't Leave

Remembering the tragedy of the Berlin Wall, which for 28 years prevented many thousands from escaping communist tyranny. … more

Federal Pork to Fight Obesity

A $200-million bill that's supposed to combat Americans' alleged obesity is meddlesome social engineering. … more

Michigan Education Digest

Stay current with the trends and stories that affect education in Michigan: Subscribe to the Mackinac Center's weekly Michigan Education Digest. … more

Taming the Tax Beast

Highly taxed Michigan should adopt a law requiring a supermajority of legislators to approve any tax hikes. … more

Ready for Right-to-Work

Michigan citizens support workers' right to not join or pay dues to a union in order to get or keep a job. … more

Enron, Worldcom, and... Amtrak?

While Congress thumps its collective chest over corporate malfeasance, it continues to perpetrate an even greater fraud on the American people: Amtrak. … more

The Trouble with Tax Favoritism

Staff economist Michael LaFaive criticizes the selective "corporate welfare" programs of state government. … more

The Muckrakers Reconsidered

"Capitalism has failed; more government regulation is needed!" Today's headlines could have been written 100 years ago... and were. … more

Candidates use MichiganVotes.org

Michigan political candidates are using the Mackinac Center's innovative legislative tracking web site to see how their opponents voted on key issues. … more

Warning: Cigarette Taxes Hazardous to Your Health

Politicians who advocate ever-higher taxes on cigarettes are not counting the costs of their efforts with as much care as they count their tax revenue. … more

Guarantee of
Quality Scholarship

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is committed to delivering the highest quality and most reliable research on Michigan issues. The Center guarantees that all original factual data are true and correct and that information attributed to other sources is accurately represented.

The Center encourages rigorous critique of its research. If the accuracy of any material fact or reference to an independent source is questioned and brought to the Center’s attention with supporting evidence, the Center will respond in writing. If an error exists, it will be noted in a correction that will accompany all subsequent distribution of the publication. This constitutes the complete and final remedy under this guarantee.