Features and Highlights

Vindicating Property Rights

The Michigan Supreme Court restores individuals' defenses against government seizures of their property. … more

Make America Safer by Making Government Smaller

Government will fail to do what it is supposed to do if it does too much of what it is not supposed to do. … more

The Better Choice for School Choice

The National Conference of State Legislatures hosted Joseph Lehman to compare vouchers and tuition tax credits. … more

Detroit Schools’ Deficit Appears Linked to Staffing

A review of Detroit Public Schools figures suggests the district engaged in unrealistic hiring as enrollment declined. … more

Michigan Education Digest

ISD reforms signed; Detroit enrollment drops while employment grows; vouchers vs. tax credits; remedial costs. … more

'Offshoring' State Services Benefits Michigan

Preventing the state from using foreign companies results in higher costs, fewer services, or both.  … more

Union Subjects Religious Objector to Modern-Day Inquisition

A teacher trying to exercise her rights finds herself forced to substantiate her religious beliefs to a panel of her peers. … more

Michigan Education Digest

Michigan teachers paid 2nd-highest; NCLB progress; Detroit union may sue to stop charters; grants for failing schools; EMU construction scandal. … more

Zogby/Mackinac Center survey: Union members question union organizing tactic

A national survey of union members suggests that a majority would prefer the current secret-ballot system for unionizing a workplace to the “card check” favored by union officials.  … more

Proposed Electricity Bills in Lansing Would Harm Consumers and Decrease Reliability of Supply

Bills introduced this month in the state Senate threaten to end the lower prices and improved service enjoyed by Michigan’s electrical consumers since deregulation in 2000.  … more

Lansing Bureaucracy Threatens New Telecommunications Technology

Impending regulations could stifle Internet phone calling, killing high-tech jobs and slowing economic growth. … more

Eminent Domain Extremism Runs into Judicial Brick Wall

A Michigan Circuit Court Judge stopped Grosse Ile township supervisors from seizing a privately owned bridge, recognizing limits to government’s use of eminent domain power.  … more

Do Economic Development Programs 'Feed the Sparrows through the Horses?'

Fiscal Policy Director Michael LaFaive outlines four problems with state-directed economic development programs. … more

Playing Monopoly with Detroit's Kids

Detroit's student enrollment falls while school employment grows. Only a monopoly education system can behave this way and avoid accountability. … more

Michigan Education Digest

California districts withhold special ed cash from charters; school property taxes go back up; superintendents testify under threat of subpeona; teachers with fake degrees dismissed. … more

Cities that Cry Poverty Should Sell Their Money-Losing Ski Slopes

Traverse City's budget has a million-dollar deficit, 8% of which is due to its money-losing ski area. … more

Detroit Should Take Advantage of Teacher Placement Program

Michigan’s largest school district has stopped using one of the most promising ways to get good teachers into the classroom. … more

Calling the Bully's Bluff

The Institute for Justice explains how its attorneys helped the Mackinac Center defeat the MEA's attempt to silence free speech. … more

Michigan Education Digest

Feds tell states to spend cash; Michigan ranks low in college grads; Detroit drains 'rainy day' fund; voters could dissolve ISDs. … more

When Will Conventional Public Schools Be as Accountable as Charter Schools?

Last week a charter public school was closed for financial and educational problems. If only the rest of the public schools were held to the same standards. … more

Are Targeted Tax Incentives Constitutional?

Does it violate the Commerce Clause when states offer some businesses special deals to lure them to locate inside their borders? … more

The True Meaning of Patriotism

Real patriotism is rooted in the ideas that gave birth to a nation -- the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness -- and a government limited to protecting those rights. … more

Michigan Privatization Report "Around the State"

Privatization initiatives, opportunities and controversies gleaned from headlines around the state. … more

Michigan Education Digest

Colorado high court rejects voucher plan; charter school dissolves itself; voters could eliminate intermediate districts; college aid up. … more

New Cigarette Tax Should Have Gone Up in Smoke

On July 1 Michigan's cigarette tax will become the second-highest in the nation. The new tax will hamper economic recovery and encourage more unnecessary state spending. … more

Should We Pay Sales Tax on Services Too?

One group recommends more than 200 consumer services that could be newly taxed. See the list here. … more

Beggars Can Be Choosers

Adjunct Scholar Dr. Robert Murphy refutes the claims of a reporter that charitable gifts to poor countries makes them poorer. … more

Prison Privatization: A Growing National Trend

Michigan could join other states that are saving millions of dollars by privatizing an increasing share of their prison operations. … more

Michigan Education Digest

Teachers prepare to strike illegally; Kentwood imposes contract; protesters disrupt Detroit board meeting; and fraud charge in 'wired' classrooms.  … more

Is Affirmative Action the Right Fight?

No one would be talking about affirmative action in education if we had a market-driven school system that produced good results. … more

Competing for Prize Launches the New Space Race

Private teams vying for a $10 million prize are about to prove that space travel is not the exclusive province of government. … more

Improving Michigan's Air Permitting Program

Businesses will create fewer jobs in states where they cannot predict when, or if, the state will grant them air emissions permits for new plants. (pdf) … more

Lower Gas Prices by Scrapping Counterproductive Regulations

The governor can't control OPEC, but she can help eliminate the most costly regulations that add little or no benefit. … more

Cut Train Subsidies to Re-connect Rural Michigan

The lack of bus service between cities in most of Michigan is about to get worse because of competition from government-subsidized trains along populated bus routes. … more

The U.S. Economy Is Booming

Mackinac Center Adjunct Scholar Dr. Mark Perry argues that the economy is gaining strength, against the opposite view presented by California Congressman George Miller.  … more

Government Policies and Gas Prices

In a recent survey, three-quarters of respondents said that high gas prices are because of a desire to boost profits. Are they right?  … more

'Smart Growth' Does Not Equal Intelligent Planning

Diane Katz, writing for the Michigan Townships Association, explains why central planning in land use leads to poorer choices and less freedom. (pdf) … more

Strange Lessons in School Discipline

Odd outcomes are the result of zero-tolerance discipline policies coupled with a dearth of real educational choices.  … more

Bioavailability Study Needed for Dioxin

The DEQ is threatening to declare a large portion of the city of Midland 'contaminated' without understanding the health effects of dioxin. … more

On the Passing of Ronald Reagan

Reagan's legacy means Americans can look to the future with the hope and optimism that he gave us reason once again to embrace. … more

Education for All: Choice, Reform, and Optimism

U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige delivered a special policy address to the Mackinac Center's boards of advisors and directors in Ann Arbor on June 4. … more

Will We Run Out of Energy?

Mackinac Center Adjunct Scholar Mark Brandly explains the economics that govern energy supplies. … more

State Stops Subsidizing Its Ski Resort

After the Mackinac Center revealed how much the state could save by privatizing its ski resort, DNR officials contracted out management of the facility. … more

Michigan Education Digest

Teacher health insurance stalls contract talks; Detroit leaves schools without power; students may work longer hours; and University of Michigan minority admissions down. … more

A Setback for Workers

The Granholm administration decides to stop informing state workers of their legal rights. … more

Why Limit Government?

On Memorial Day we honor those whose military service protected our freedom from foreign aggression. But why must we also limit our own government? … more

Michigan Education Digest

Sin taxes for schools; new MEA member fees; non-union school construction; and disruptive students. … more

Give MDOT a Potty Break

The state should sell its 68 highway rest areas and 13 welcome centers to save millions of dollars annually. … more

Downtowns Need Less Government, Not More

Proposed new tax districts would just give downtown residents and businesses more ways to tax each other – without lowering a single government barrier to enterprise. … more

Homeschooling: An 'Encouraging and Robust' Movement

Up to 100,000 Michigan children learn at home, achieving high academic marks and saving taxpayers $600 million annually. … more

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