Economic Development

A Plea for Skepticism about the MEDC: An Open Letter

Lawmakers should take a closer look at economic development programs

Lawmakers should take a closer look at economic development programs … more

Politicians Subsidize Less Than 1 Percent of Job Creation

Taxpayer dollars wasted subsidizing a tiny fraction of the economy

Taxpayer dollars wasted subsidizing a tiny fraction of the econom … more

Business Subsidy Programs Grow State’s Bureaucracy, Not Its Economy

They’re mostly just in-state cronyism, not big employer “deal closing” incentives

They’re mostly just in-state cronyism, not big employer “deal closing” incentives … more

Michigan Lawmakers Consider More Handouts

If at first you don’t succeed, spend millions of taxpayer dollars

If at first you don’t succeed, spend millions of taxpayer dollars … more

Bonfire of the Bureaucratic Vanities

MEDC should publicize its failures, too

MEDC should publicize its failures, too … more

Token Symbols of Growth Damage the State Economy

Select business interests have higher status with lawmakers than regular taxpayers

Select business interests have higher status with lawmakers than regular taxpayers … more

MEDC Is a Moth to a Failure Flame

Suniva bankruptcy lights up program shortcomings

Suniva bankruptcy lights up program shortcomings … more

Pure Fiction: State Tourism Cost-Benefit Analysis Ignores Costs

The full cost of the Pure Michigan advertising campaign is ignored

The full cost of the Pure Michigan advertising campaign is ignored … more

A Look At The State Budget for Business Subsidies

Old ideas get new taxpayer cash

Old ideas get new taxpayer cash … more

What Michigan Government Lacks in Transparency

Billions in business subsidies still can’t be disclosed

Billions in business subsidies still can’t be disclosed … more

State’s MBDP Job Creation Claims an Inconvenient Fiction

Just because government says its effective doesn’t mean it is

Just because government says its effective doesn’t mean it is … more

Study: Michigan Business Development Program of Questionable Merit

Research shows decline in jobs in counties where subsidized projects are located

Research shows decline in jobs in counties where subsidized projects are located … more

Taxpayers Shouldn’t Subsidize High Income Housing

Millions going to build luxury developments

Millions going to build luxury developments … more

Michigan Was Right to End Film Incentives

New report backs up legislators

New report backs up legislators … more

Why did the Governor Flip Flop on Corporate Welfare?

Corporate handouts remain unfair and ineffective

Corporate handouts remain unfair and ineffective … more

The Business Climate Matters More Than Amazon

Number of jobs created apart from Amazon dwarfs that offered by retailer’s new project

Number of jobs created apart from Amazon dwarfs that offered by retailer’s new project … more

Taxpayers Deserve to Know Details of Business Subsidy Deals

State officials are hiding what should be public information

State officials are hiding what should be public information … more

This Just In … Longwoods Out

Secretive MEDC consultant replaced

Secretive MEDC consultant replaced … more

Post Labor Day Weekend Good Time for Tourism Talk

Lots to discuss with unofficial end of summer season

Lots to discuss with unofficial end of summer season … more

A response to Oxford Economics' Review

Critique of 'An Analysis of State Funded Tourism Promotion' not substantive, helpful

Critique of 'An Analysis of State Funded Tourism Promotion' not substantive, helpful … more

Give Foxconn Nothing

Lansing politicians should not make tools out of taxpayers

Lansing politicians should not make tools out of taxpayers … more

Lansing Politicians Betray Their Stated Ideals

Watch what they do, not what they say

Watch what they do, not what they say … more

Targeted Business Subsidies vs. Broad Tax Relief

State lawmakers think subsidies improve the economy more

State lawmakers think subsidies improve the economy more … more

The Allure of Corporate Welfare

Both parties seem to agree that handing out select subsidies and tax breaks is good politics

Both parties seem to agree that handing out select tax breaks is good politics … more

New Corporate Welfare Proposal is Unfair

'Good Jobs for Michigan' a repeat of failed MEGA program

'Good Jobs for Michigan' a repeat of failed MEGA program … more

George Orwell and Humpty Dumpty Economic Policy

Michigan must remember warnings to not corrupt the English language to give businesses 'free' money

Michigan must remember warnings to not corrupt the English language to give businesses 'free' money … more

Skorup Speaks on ‘Good Jobs’ Proposal Before Michigan House Committee

Republicans contemplate returning to bad economic policy

These bills provide more opportunities for some by taking from the many. … more

Why Government Fails at Economic Development

Politicians and bureaucrats repeatedly fail at picking the winners … more

Incentive Programs Fail: Evidence is All Too Clear

Center Scholar Speaks to Tax Group in Florida

Center Scholar Speaks to Tax Group in Florida … more

Mackinac Center Praises Lawmakers Trying To Hold Pure Michigan Program Accountable

One Democratic lawmaker tried to defund multi-million dollar program; others calling for investigation into unsubstantiated ROI claims

One Democratic lawmaker tried to defund multi-million dollar program; others calling for investigation into unsubstantiated ROI claims … more

Should Construction Workers Pay Taxes to Billionaires?

Under proposed legislation, some of them would

Under proposed legislation, some of them would … more

Proposed Corporate Giveaway Unlikely to Grow Economy

Lawmakers should consider the full costs of corporate welfare before they approve it

Lawmakers should consider the full costs of corporate welfare before they approve it … more

Secretive Bidder Wins Pure Michigan Contract Over Transparent One

Auditor General, not MEDC, should hire reviews of corporate welfare programs

Auditor General, not MEDC, should hire reviews of corporate welfare programs … more

The Failing Business of Business Favors

What would you say you do around here?

What would you say you do around here? … more

In the Battle for Jobs, Subsidy Programs Shoot Blanks

More subsidies won’t improve economy

More subsidies won’t improve economy … more

Michigan Already Awash in Business Subsidies

Lawmakers should reject latest proposal for more

Lawmakers should reject latest proposal for more … more

One State May Do Away With Taxpayer-Funded Tourism Promotion

Why ending Florida’s 'Pure Michigan' counterpart would benefit residents and visitors

Why ending Florida’s “Pure Michigan” counterpart would benefit residents and visitors … more

New Subsidies More about Political Development than Economic Development

Economic conditions matter more than giving targeted taxpayer dollars to developers

Economic conditions matter more than giving targeted taxpayer dollars to developers … more

People First or Well Connected Developers?

We should provide tax relief for all instead of favors to a select few

We should provide tax relief for all instead of favors to a select few … more

Real Economy Creates 81 Jobs For Every 1 Promised by Business Subsidy Program

And don't look too hard at the record of those promises

Broad improvements to the business climate help more than special subsidies … more

Tourism Promotion Study Criticism Absurd, Ironic

MEDC criticism falls flat; still hiding behind secretive study … more

Plenty of Good Reasons to Oppose Business Subsidies

Giving taxpayer dollars to developers is ineffective

Giving taxpayer dollars to developers is ineffective … more

Profiles in Courage in Defense of Taxpayers

Cotter and Chatfield hold the line on cronyism

Cotter and Chatfield hold the line on cronyism … more
Little Caesar's Arena

Michigan House Rejects Cronyism Bills

‘TIF on steroids’ legislation dead for now

‘TIF on steroids’ legislation dead for now … more

Mackinac Scholars Challenge Tourism Officials to Debate

Letter sent to key proponents of Pure Michigan campaign

Letter sent to key proponents of Pure Michigan campaign … more

Tourism Officials Invited To Debate Efficacy of Pure Michigan

Mackinac Center researchers challenge state to defend claim that program is worth its cost

Mackinac Center researchers challenge state to defend claim that program is worth its cost … more

Pistons Move to Downtown Comes With Big Taxpayer Price Tag

Mackinac Center experts comment on the deal in state media

Mackinac Center experts comment on the deal in state media … more

Study: New Sports Facilities Do Not Increase New Business Openings

Research discredits idea for ‘catalyst’ or ‘transformational’ developments

Research discredits idea for ‘catalyst’ or ‘transformational’ developments … more

Study: Pure Michigan a Poor Investment

New study raises questions about Pure Michigan’s effectiveness

New study raises questions about Pure Michigan’s effectiveness … more

Back to the Future for Taxpayer Stadium Funding in Detroit

Legislators should stand firm against special deals

Legislators should stand firm against special deals  … more

Time to End the 21st Century Jobs Fund

New Mackinac study featured in state media

New Mackinac study featured in state media … more

Study Recommends Ending Michigan’s 21st Century Jobs Fund

The program has failed even by its own measurements

The program has failed even by its own measurements … more

An Evaluation of Michigan's 21st Century Jobs Fund

In 2005, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm launched a project intended to stimulate he state’s economy: the 21st Century Jobs Fund. At the time the state had not yet recovered from the 2001 national recession and was suffering the country’s highest unemployment levels.
After a tough political battle to establish the program and after making a number of compromises, the 21st Century Jobs Fund was created. The program was to be funded from 2006 to 2015, and in the 2013-14 legislative session, under a new governor and Legislature, it was extended until 2019 and provided with $75 million in continued annual funding.
After ten years of existence, this program has received little attention and its effectiveness has never been measured. All government programs should be reviewed regularly, and it is time for a close look at the 21st Century Jobs Fund. … more

A Quick Brief on the Housing Recovery in Michigan

Price of average home is approaching record levels

Price of average home is approaching record levels … more

Michigan Crushes Korea in Corporate Welfare Handouts

Nearly $9 billion in crony-capitalism subsidies

Nearly $9 billion in subsidies over two years … more

Blown Away By Flawed Research on Jobs Program

Michigan spent millions with little to show for it

Michigan spent millions with little to show for it … more

New Evidence: Film Incentives Still Don’t Work

Research from Michael Thom analyzes a variety of programs

Research from Michael Thom analyzes a variety of programs … more

Rumors of Taxpayer Spending

State job funds are expensive and underwhelming

State job funds are expensive and underwhelming … more

Economic Interference Week

Economic Development Week is no cause for celebration

Economic Development Week is no cause for celebration … more

Job Churn Shows Why Targeted Tax Favors Do Not Work

There is constant job loss and creation in the state economy

There is constant job loss and creation in the state economy … more

Pure Michigan Campaign Ineffective, Needs To End

New op-ed published in the Detroit News

New op-ed published in the Detroit News … more

Pure Flummery: Seeing Double on Corporate Welfare Spin

Pure Michigan ads are attractive corporate welfare

Pure Michigan ads are attractive corporate welfare … more

Reasons to be Optimistic Abound in Michigan Economy

State leads the way out of recession, but work still to do

State leads the way out of recession, but work still to do … more

Are Michigan's Record Labor Force Gains Real?

Can we celebrate recent record-breaking job growth figures? … more

Grand Rapids: Michigan's Boomtown

Recovered from recent recession and grown beyond its 2000 peak

Recovered from recession and grown beyond its 2000 peak … more

Tax Cuts Beat Selective Favors in Economic Growth

Only broad changes will improve the state's economy

Only broad changes will improve the state's economy … more

Michigan Competitiveness Stuck on Mediocre

Economic outlook has improved, but could be better

Economic outlook has improved, but could be better … more

College Grads Attracted to Opportunity Before Bike Lanes

To increase college grads, increase opportunities for all … more

Sports Stadium Deals Consistently Strike Out

Cities fail to negotiate deals that protect taxpayers

Cities fail to negotiate deals that protect taxpayers … more

LaFaive Op-Ed Published in The Detroit News

Why Michigan shouldn't single out Switch for tax breaks

Why Michigan shouldn't single out Switch for tax breaks … more

Addition by Subtraction

Detroit's economy stagnates under regulatory burden

Detroit's economy stagnates under regulatory burden … more

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