From Detroit to Traverse City and Beyond

Spreading the message of freedom

The staff of the Mackinac Center frequently travel the state, speaking to an assortment of groups on a variety of policy areas. Recently, policy analyst Jarrett Skorup presented in Detroit on occupational licensing laws and spoke at a Constitution Day celebration in Traverse City.

In Detroit, Skorup spoke at an event put on by the southeast Michigan chapter of America’s Future Foundation. AFF is a network of liberty-minded young people that host speakers over appetizers and drinks.

Licensing, where the government mandates educational requirements and fees in order to hold a job, is increasingly a barrier to work. The number of people who have to be licensed to do their job has risen fivefold in the past few decades. Skorup talked about how these rules prevent people from working, with high costs and arbitrary requirements. The evidence shows that most licensing serves no public purpose and does not protect health and safety. The result is fewer jobs and higher costs for Michigan residents. The Motor City was a good location for the talk: In Detroit, window washers, furniture movers, sign and awning erectors and gardeners have to jump through hoops to work. 

In Traverse City, the grass roots group Americans for Prosperity brought out about 150 people to celebrate and learn about the U.S. Constitution. A pastor and a federal judge spoke about how the document relates to civil and states’ rights and how those issues should be interpreted from the text.

As the keynote speaker, Skorup discussed how the U.S. Constitution came to be and why limitations on the government were put into our founding documents. Almost immediately after arriving, the Pilgrims, Puritans and others were dealing with issues of how they would govern themselves in America. Their experiences and thoughts helped shape the view of the founders and authors of the Federalist and Anti-Federalist Papers and ultimately the Constitution. Skorup concluded by giving an overview of the countries around the world which establish individual rights for their citizens. He also explored the explosion in wealth and opportunity enjoyed by the nations that limit government and allow for economic freedom. 

The Mackinac Center frequently hosts free events and speeches, with our staff members and outside experts participating. If you are interested in attending, check out our events page at