Business Climate, Not Cronyism, Key to Michigan’s Future Growth

New op-ed published in The Detroit News

If Michigan wants to attract high-quality, job-creating businesses to the state, it should consider removing some of the hurdles companies must face to operate.

Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s Assistant Director of Fiscal Policy James Hohman wrote about the state’s failed attempts to grow the economy through crony capitalism. Rather than offer handouts to a few favored companies that often fail to deliver on their promises, the state should look at its business climate.

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Although targeted programs fail to nudge the economy in one direction or another, broad-based policies can encourage or discourage certain types of activities throughout the economy. These policies set the rules that all companies must abide by. They do things like require firms to register with the state, tax them, regulate what types of buildings they can use, and loads more. And these policies can be made more or less burdensome.

There are plenty of policies that can make the state more attractive to start and expand a business. The state needs to continue to remove occupational barriers to entry. Around 21 percent of all jobs require workers to get a license from the state. There are other ways to protect people from harmful practitioners without licensure regimes and ways to do it without blocking people from the market.

Read the full op-ed in The Detroit News.

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